3 frequently forgotten – but essential – elements of content marketing: How to improve keyword analysis, optimisation and rank tracking
Great content alone isn't enough to raise your brand up. Antony Melwin explains three necessary actions to get your content to rank well
Having a robust marketing process is essential for any piece of content to perform well and deliver the desired results. Depending on the type of content, availability of resources, and the end goal, your content marketing process can either be simple or elaborate. But in this article, we’re going to talk about three of the most important parts of any content marketing process - keyword analysis, optimisation, and rank tracking.
Why are these three things so important? Anyone can generate content and publish it online – it’s not that difficult. But content that is aimed to rank well organically, needs to:
- Appear in the relevant search results
- Provide value to the searcher/user
- Be measurable in terms of ROI.
If you’re writing content for a food blog, you can either build content around the keyword ‘table setting’, or ‘table arrangement’. Both these keywords are similar, but the former has a monthly search volume of 33,100 searches, while the latter has 1000. That’s a huge difference, and can impact the performance of your content significantly. With proper keyword research, you can target the right keywords for maximum impact.
In the same manner, content that is optimised lets search engines know exactly what it is about, and helps them serve it up for the relevant search queries. This also results in your blog or brand having increased authority in the particular subject matter.
You also need to be able to measure the performance and results of any content that you put out there. This will pave the way for further refinement and helps you focus more on what works for you. That being said, let’s take a closer look at how you can carry out these processes effectively.
Your content marketing process starts even before you generate content, in the form of keyword analysis. This is the first and perhaps the most important part of content generation. Targeting the right keywords and publishing relevant and useful content can skyrocket your website traffic, consequently increasing brand awareness and your authority in the industry. On the other hand, poor keyword research can very easily plateau or decrease traffic, and increase your website’s bounce rate, which can also affect its organic rankings.
To target the right keywords, you need to be able to judge their value to your website. This process starts with answering a few simple questions with respect to each keyword, and they are:
- How relevant is the keyword to the product/service you’re selling?
- Will users be satisfied with what they find on your website when they search for these keywords? In other words, will the content match their intent?
- Will the keyword attract the right kind of traffic that will meet your end goal?
If the answer to these three basic questions is yes, then your keyword research has been on point. If not, then you might want to change your keywords, or rethink your approach to them.
Sometimes, certain keywords are just too popular, too expensive, and/or have too many competitors ranking well for them. This might put you in a spot where targeting these keywords might not yield the expected results, even though they check all the boxes. For example, the keyword ‘local SEO’ has a high search volume (as shown below), and is almost impossible to rank for, in most cases.
In cases such as these, targeting niche keywords can make a huge difference. In the scenario above, instead of targeting the generic keyword ‘local SEO’, let’s say you target a more niche-specific keyword or phrase such as ‘local SEO audit’ (provided it’s relevant to your website). In that case, you would have a much better chance of ranking well and generating more relevant traffic, as you can see below.
You can use keyword tools such as Ubersuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and Google Trends to thoroughly research your keywords, and Google Analytics to test and understand their impact on your website.
Optimisation is another key aspect of your content marketing process. It can be quite a continuous and drawn-out process, but it is essential if you want your content to keep bringing in relevant traffic. That being said, how exactly do you go about optimising your content?
There are four basic steps that you need to follow to optimise any piece of content that you might publish. Here’s how you go about doing that.
1. Make it error-free and engaging
There are few things more off-putting than typos and grammatical errors in an otherwise great article. So your first step when it comes to optimising content should always be to make sure that there are no errors in it, and that all your facts are backed by published studies and statistics. Apart from providing good user experience, a well-researched article also shows helps build trust among viewers, and increases your authority. You can use an online tool like Grammarly to check for such errors.
You also need to take the effort to make your content readable and engaging to your audience. This can be done through the use of relevant images, infographics, bullet points, and proper H1 and H2 tags, to name a few techniques.
2. Optimise your keyword density
It is well known that when you’re targeting a particular keyword, you need to SEO your content and make sure that search engines find it relevant. One of the best ways to do this is by organically including the keyword that you’re targeting in it. However, it is not advisable to stuff your content piece with keyword(s), just to rank better. On the contrary, Google penalises websites that use keyword stuffing.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your use of keywords is optimal, and occurs in the natural flow of the text. A keyword density of 1-2% is a great place to start.
3. Create user-focused content
Google’s Webmaster Guidelines clearly states any content that is published should be intended for the benefit of users/viewers, and not purely for better rankings. So before you publish your content, make sure that it is focused on your end user.
4. Have a clear CTA
In most cases, a well-optimised content piece is ideally an action-oriented one. It should be informative, and should direct the user towards the next step, especially when your goal is to convert. So do include clear, actionable CTAs in your content that will help your target audience move forward with their intent, and yield a better conversion rate for you as well.
Once you’ve done your keyword research, decided on the right keywords, and created optimised content around those keywords, the next step is to track results. This is where rank tracking comes in.
Rank tracking is primarily keeping a track of how well your website/webpages rank for each keyword that has been targeted. This helps you figure out what’s working for you and what isn’t, how you stack up against your competitors for any given keyword, and which content pieces need further optimisation. This is an important part of your content marketing process, as it helps you refine your optimization techniques and gives direction for further keyword analysis.
There are many online tools that enable you to track rankings, such as this one. However, simply measuring results is not enough. You need to analyse them and convert the data into an actionable process for further content that you might publish.
Carrying out these three processes effectively is sure to lay a solid foundation for your content marketing process, and greatly improve rankings and conversion. But one thing to keep in mind is that these marketing processes are not going to fetch you great results if the content that you put out isn’t great. So focus on generating quality content, and then use these techniques to build it even further
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