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How Content Generation Impacts Keyword Rankings

You’ve written a great piece of content; it’s posted; you run it through a quick Google search, but it’s not anywhere on the SERP! If you’d had this issue or have seen your content fall behind other competitors, you might be using the wrong keyword research tactics.

Generating SEO content that ranks high on Google searches is essential to increase organic traffic and sales, and one sure-fire way to improve is making content with the right keywords.

Keyword research helps you find what words work and what words don’t for search engine algorithms. Here’s how and why you should be updating your keyword research tools.

What is SEO Keyword Ranking?

There are a ton of factors that digital marketers use to increase the SEO of their content—titles, links, readability. But keywords are an easy and effective way to increase SERP rank.

When Google’s algorithm crawls your page, it looks for key data to organize it on the SERPs, according to the relevancy of the keywords you choose. Depending on how complete and reliable your web page is, how users interact with your site, and how often you update your content, Google will rank your page’s quality for the keywords searched and present in your content.

Don’t Bog Down Your Content with Keywords

Though keywords are a helpful way to build your content, you should focus on making your content audience-centric rather than paragraphs of keywords to rank you higher on the SERPs. The last thing anyone wants to read is a page jammed full of the word “basketball” with only one paragraph on last night’s game.

Harsh Agrawal, SEO writer at ShoutMeLoud, says you should avoid what he calls “keyword stuffing.” Agrawal says your “main keyword should ideally not be more than 2% of the article. I try to keep it between 1-1.5%.”

Making content readable and non-repetitive and hitting that number 1 spot on Google is a difficult balance, but with the right keyword research, you can get there.

Keyword Research Tools for the SEO Pro

Don’t venture off into the wild world of content generation without knowledge of which keywords work and which ones don’t. Keyword research tools help you test words to optimize your rank and generate organic traffic for your webpage. Here are some of IMPACT’s favorite keyword research sources:

Keywords to Key Into

There are two kinds of keywords (and they aren’t created equally):

  • Short-tail (e.g., “basketball game”)
  • Long-tail – (e.g., “where to get cheap basketball game tickets”)

Agrawal believes that digital marketers and content creators should be featuring more long-tail keywords as “the competition for these keywords is far less than it is for the short-tail keyword. Also, long-tail keywords drive more targeted traffic than short-tail keywords do, so your conversion (sales, email sign-ups) improves a lot.”

Making content using long-tail keywords is a great way to generate more specific traffic and help your pieces rank higher on more specific SERPs.

Network Your Content

Use keywords that fit your content into a network of other similar topics so that your webpage has a higher chance of appearing on different searches. To do this, you should use keywords to create topic clusters around your pillar content. With many subjects and sub-topics, you can generate a greater volume of highly relevant and useful content. The more content you generate, the more opportunities you have to rank for keywords. Effective keyword research and implementation through consistent content generation allow you to spread your reach.

Stacy Willis, Principal Strategist at IMPACT, writes that topic clusters are a new and effective way of spreading the reach of your content. Willis states that “the ‘old way’ involved coming up with a long list of long tail keywords and creating individual blog posts targeted at those keywords. This resulted in a lot of content that lived in silos, never giving Google any indication that you showed significant thought leadership on an entire topic area, but only that you had a single website page focused on a very specific subject.”

You want to show your site visitors and potential clients that you’re original, innovative, and capable of handling their business. You do that through thoughtful and valuable pieces of content that relate to their questions and concerns. Break down what your clients really want to know and supply the answers to those questions, incorporating the key terms from recurring web searches and queries that you get asked.

 

Generating content that’s informed by proper keyword research is essential to your digital marketing strategy and your SERP rank. If you need help with content that generates traffic, reach out to us.

The First Step for SEO: Research

Just like any task, preparation can make or break your strategy. Research is the first step to SEO to know how to build your effective SEO strategy. Effective SEO research includes the following:

  • On-Page Analysis of your own site
  • Keyword research
  • Competitor Research
  • Social Analysis
  • and Search Engine Saturation

So, now you know what to do, research. But HOW? All of this requires you to know coding languages, magic spells, and to have copious amounts of caffeine right? Not at all. The key to a successful SEO in the research phase is having the right tools. Here are just a few of the tools used at W3 Affinity for successful research. Most of these are free, I’ll make sure to label them for you with links if you click on them:

7 Tools for Effective SEO

  • Google Adwords Keyword Opportunity Tool (Free) – Use this tool to find out search volume on keywords that people are actually using on Google. This is a great way to discover content that you’ll want to create, how to write your copy on your website, and maybe even help you see that maybe people don’t search for your services by technical terms.
  • Moz Open Site Explorer (Limited Free) – A great link analysis tool for you and your competitors. This tool will help you understand where you stand.
  • Woo rank Page Analyzer (Free to try) – Covers a variety of on page ranking factors, this tool is very easy to use and understand. It has tool tips near all of it’s grading factors, with importance being noted next to the tips as well.
  • GTMetrix Speed Testing (Free) – Site speed is very important, GT Metrix combines YSlow & Google Page Speed checker into 1 unique tool that grades you based on your code quality & structure.
  • Hubspot Marketing Grader (Free) – A great tool to see how effective your site is online. I use this to get a broad understanding of a site.
  • Webmaster Tools for Bing & Google (Free & Free) – The cornerstone of effective SEO is knowing what the Search Engine thinks of your site, this tool has crawl errors, site analysis and keyword ranking all in one place.
  • SEMRush (Limited Free) – The best competitor research tool I’ve come in contact with. It’ll give you link analysis, keyword analysis and traffic estimates!

Ok so now you have a few tools under your belt, you’re starting to look like a super hero. Know that these tools above are just tools I prefer to use in my research of a website, the aren’t the only ones out there, nor are they the only ones that I have in my arsenal. There are many paid tools that are designed for programmers and techies alike that have large fees built for companies like W3 Affinity to manage and research multiple websites, and aren’t designed for the small business owner to operate. That’s ok though, you’ve got the key tools above now to get an effective plan together.

Time to Use Those Tools

Alright, with all these tools, what does an effective plan look like? You’ll want to gather a list of 10 or so keywords that you want to target using the Google Keyword Opportunity Tool. These should be longer tailed (multiple words) while broad and cover the variety of services you offer. This will help you align your content to build an effective website to cover these topics. Build out pages on your website in a way that makes sense, and using the keyword data you’ve found you should begin to make text that answers the question or issue of those keywords. Make sure each page sticks to one topic and make the content unique. Once you’ve put the content into your site, head over to the Hubspot Marketing Grader & Woorank tools and grade the pages one at a time and make recommended tweaks to improve your content’s value. Once your content is optimized, its time to speed everything up, head over to GTMetrix and start making the tweaks they recommend to improve your page speed, like optimizing images, alt tags, moving java script and various other tasks they’ll recommend. Put all of theses tasks into organized lists so that you can get them done in an orderly fashion.

The true key to an effective SEO plan is research, but the secret to that key is that you’re always researching. You’ll never be done looking at competitors, keyword opportunities, and making adjustments to your website. New technology will arise, new security risks, new ways to improve your speed, and the list goes on. So continue researching, stay ahead of your competition and succeed.

Take this with you…

My last piece of advice before starting in on your SEO journey. There is no “right way” to do SEO, or quick and guaranteed results out there. There are Webmaster Guidelines to follow in the Google Webmaster tools and beyond that, it’s experiment and analyze. So try different things, get social, test, analyze and re-test. Don’t take shortcuts, they’ll hurt you in the end.