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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.

Author John Keller

Cultivating proper SEO tactics along with building sites with excellent User Experience since 2003.

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