How to Use Keywords in Content Marketing for 2018

Martin Andrews
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The new year is almost upon us and as we advance through the funnel of progress it is time to rethink how we use keywords in our upcoming content strategies. Buyers are savvy; they no longer rely on sales teams to make buying decisions. Consumers perform extensive research before parting with their cash. They read product reviews, compare and contrast, watch user videos, and ultimately look for the best solution to the real problem behind their desire to buy. This is why the best content marketing agencies drive their keyword strategies towards a methodology best suited for today’s market that will rain lead conversions and stimulate business growth.

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Exact Match Keywords Can’t Stand Alone

Once upon a time SEOs could use exact match keywords in well-written content and see their content climb the ladder in the SERPs, but even then not much was done to try to nurture searchers or convert them into buyers. Why? Because exact keyword match was the focus, and topic and context was not. Exact match keywords will still have a purpose but by no means are they still a priority. At the end of the day businesses don’t want to simply rank for keywords; they want to be found by the right audience who will likely convert into buyers. This means exact match keywords need to be associated with context rich text geared to real consumers with real pains behind their desire to buy.

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Keywords and Context

Context is going to be huge for keywords going into 2018. Why? Because contextual content helps readers make emotional connections to what they are reading. This is why your keywords need to have longtail variations centered in context that triggers buyer pains. Furthermore, when keywords are rooted in exact match standards BUT go above and beyond by providing context to the bigger picture behind search queries, expect to see sales go up and conversion metrics rise.

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Keywords and Buyer Personas

As we enter a new year where the demand for brands to market content directly to individual buyer personas is doing away with basic keyword generation software, your keywords MUST be mined with the intention to rank topic-specific content.

Buyer personas are fictional representations of real customers. In order to create these, digital marketers must first engage in some research. Checking email communications from clients, sending out surveys, and interviewing members of the sales team can reveal a number of things that can help you create thorough buyer personas. Some of these points should include work title, income level, family status, work roles, hobbies and ultimately create a snapshot of a buyer that reveals their pains and needs for the product or service at hand you are trying to market.

Your keywords need to absorb some of these buyer persona talking points. For example, if the brand sells office analytics software and one of your buyer personas is a mid-level executive partially responsible for office efficiency, some keywords could be “office efficiency software for managers” or “improve office efficiency with management software”.

Incorporating exact match keywords and common longtails are fine; just be sure to include context into each one so that topic-focused content can be created around them to attract more readers and increase conversion rates.

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