keyword-research-content-marketing.jpgKeyword research is a critical part of content marketing and may be one of the most overlooked.  I see a lot of blogging and content marketing these days but with no clear direction.

Writing for topics that people are looking for is important to get found by search engines.  There are many free tools to figure out which topics are the most searched and which ones don't get any traffic.  Once you understand the process you'll be able to boost your blog's performance.

The problem is figuring out how to find and use an effective tool.  The tools are pretty complicated and it takes time to understand and be able to use them effectively.  

Here are the tools I use:

  1. Google Adwords Tool - Keyword research will tell you how many searches and will try to find related keywords for you.
  2. Hubspot Keywords - We use Hubspot as our marketing platform.  This tool pulls more information from other sources for a better understanding of how each keyword would perform.
  3. Google Instant - Once you have your keywords you can try your own variations by searching and seeing how Google fills in the search terms for you.

Here's a good example on how I started writing this post.  My idea was how Keyword Research and Content Marketing go together.  So rather than just writing a post blindly without an idea of who my audience is and what they may be searching for that's related, I started researching keywords. 

For this post I simply went to the Hubspot tool and put in my 2 separate keywords for "keyword research" and "content marketing".  The tool then gave a list of suggestions.  (You can do this with Adwords which is free)

This is how I wrote the title of this post.  But I also wanted it to make sense and not be too optimized.  That is the hard part, finding the sweet spot between art of writing and the science of optimization.  Think of it as a left brain vs right brain approach.

Another important point to make regarding content marketing is to simply write first, optimize later.  Unless you are a robot, the creative writing process can get inhibited or blocked by focusing too much on the topic you've researched.  Your writing comes out stale and uninteresting because you are writing too much around the topic.  

I like to start with a topic and let the post flow out.  Many times it takes on a new life of its own and I have to go back and change the topic.  I'll do some research at the end of the rough draft and get another idea for keywords.  I'll go back and rework whatever keyword seems to fit best.  

Now that you've researched your keywords, and written your post, it's time to optimize the post.  This is kind of complicated and difficult to learn but once you do it will make more sense on how and why you do it.  

Since we use Hubspot for our blog we use their system to optimize the post.  If you are using WordPress you can use the Yoast plugin for optimizing posts.  

Internet Marketing is a complex process of building an online system for attracting visitors, converting leads, and closing customers.  We can make it easier.

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