Keyword Research Checklist for Creating Stellar Content

Welcome to Ernst Media, where we believe in the power of keywords to elevate your content and drive organic traffic to your website. In this blog post, we've curated the ultimate keyword research checklist to help you craft engaging blogs that resonate with your target audience. So, grab a cup of coffee and let's dive into the wonderful world of keywords!

 

Step 1: Define Your Objectives

Before embarking on your keyword research journey, it's crucial to clearly outline your objectives. Ask yourself: What are you trying to achieve with your blog? Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or boost conversions? Understanding your goals will allow you to focus your keyword research efforts in the right direction.

 

Step 2: Know Your Target Audience

To create content that truly resonates, you need to know who you're speaking to. Conduct thorough audience research to gain insights into your target demographic. Identify their pain points, interests, and preferences. This will enable you to select keywords that align with their search intent and help you connect with them on a deeper level.

 

Step 3: Brainstorm Relevant Topics

Once you know your audience, it's time to brainstorm topic ideas. Put yourself in their shoes and think about the questions they might have or the problems they need solutions for. Use tools like Google Trends, Buzzsumo, or Quora to discover trending topics and popular queries. This step is all about tapping into the conversation swirling around your niche.

 

Step 4: Expand Your Keyword List

Now that you have your topic ideas, it's time to expand your keyword list. Start by using tools such as SEMrush or Google Keyword Planner to generate a pool of related keywords. Look for long-tail keywords, as they tend to have less competition and higher conversion rates. Aim for a healthy mix of high-volume and low-competition keywords to maximize your content's visibility.

 

Step 5: Analyze Competitor Keywords

Take a sneak peek at what your competitors are doing. Analyze their content, website, and ranking keywords. This will give you valuable insights into their keyword strategy, allowing you to identify gaps and opportunities you can capitalize on. Don't copy their keywords outright, but rather use them as inspiration to refine your own keyword list.

 

Step 6: Prioritize Your Keywords

Not all keywords are created equal. Some will have a higher potential to deliver the results you desire. Prioritize your keyword list based on relevancy, search volume, competition, and user intent. Focus on keywords that strike a balance between being highly searched and niche-specific. This will help you target qualified traffic and maximize your chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages (SERPs).

 

Step 7: Optimize Your On-Page SEO

Keywords alone won't guarantee success. You need to optimize your on-page SEO to make your content search engine-friendly. Incorporate your targeted keywords naturally into your titles, headings, meta tags, alt text, and throughout your content. Don't overstuff, though, as this could hurt your rankings. Strive for a balance between keyword optimization and readability.

 

Step 8: Monitor and Track Performance

Once your content is published, the journey doesn't end there. Monitor and track the performance of your keywords using tools like Google Analytics or SEMrush. Measure your rankings, click-through rates, and conversions. This data will provide valuable insights for future improvements and optimization.

 

Conclusion

Congratulations! You've now mastered the art of keyword research and learned the essential steps for creating stellar content. Remember, keyword research is an ongoing process, and as trends evolve, so should your strategy. Stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments, test new keywords, and keep refining your content to stay ahead of the game.

 

Now, armed with this ultimate keyword research checklist, go forth and create content that captivates, converts, and inspires!

B2B Content Marketing in 2023: The Power of Connection

Welcome to Ernst Media, where creativity meets results! In this blog post, we're diving into the world of B2B content marketing in 2023. As businesses evolve and technology advances, it's crucial to stay ahead of the game and leverage the power of connection to drive success. So, grab your metaphorical surfboard and let's ride the wave of B2B content marketing!

 

Key Points

  1. The Evolving Landscape of B2B Content Marketing:

In 2023, B2B content marketing continues to be an integral part of a successful marketing strategy. However, the landscape is constantly evolving. Gone are the days of simple blog posts and basic videos. Today, it's all about interactive experiences, personalized content, and innovative storytelling. To stay in the game, businesses must adapt and embrace these changes.

 

  1. The Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Content Creation:

AI is no longer just a buzzword; it's becoming the driving force behind content creation. From chatbots that provide instant customer support to AI-generated content, businesses are tapping into this technology to streamline processes and boost engagement. In 2023, expect AI to play an even bigger role in creating hyper-personalized content that resonates with B2B audiences.

 

  1. Connecting with Authenticity and Transparency:

In an era of increasing skepticism, authenticity and transparency are paramount in B2B content marketing. Businesses need to share their stories, values, and missions in a genuine and relatable way. By connecting on a deeper level with their target audience, businesses can establish trust and build long-lasting relationships.

 

  1. The Power of Influencer Marketing:

In 2023, influencer marketing continues to thrive, especially in B2B circles. Collaborating with industry thought leaders and experts allows businesses to leverage their authority and tap into their loyal followers. Through strategic partnerships, brands can amplify their reach, enhance credibility, and generate quality leads. It's time to find the right influencers who can help your business shine.

 

  1. Embracing Video as the King of Content:

Video has taken the internet by storm, and its reign continues in 2023. B2B businesses are recognizing the power of video in conveying complex concepts and engaging with their audience. From product demos and testimonials to thought leadership interviews and virtual events, video content has become an indispensable tool for B2B marketers. So, grab your cameras and start crafting captivating stories!

 

  1. Data-Driven Decision Making:

In a data-driven world, successful B2B content marketers understand the importance of analytics and insights. By leveraging data, businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behavior, preferences, and pain points. In 2023, expect data to play an even more significant role in shaping content strategies and delivering personalized experiences.

 

Conclusion:

B2B content marketing in 2023 is all about embracing innovation, authenticity, and the power of connection. The evolving landscape presents exciting opportunities for businesses to engage with their audience and drive meaningful results. By staying ahead of the curve and implementing these key strategies, you're sure to make waves in the B2B world.

Google Core Updates From 2003 to Today

Google announced its newest broad core update for September 2022! This came shortly after the helpful content update and just a little before the Search-On Press Meeting In other words, Google is busy being innovative and giving the search engine market something else they have to try and compete with.

 

Google Core Updates

Google has plenty of updates that come out quite regularly but Google has only made 7 broad core updates. These updates are known to shake up how a brand's presence is represented on its search engine in one way or another. Not keeping up with these core updates could be the reason a website that’s ranked number one in every primary keyword is not performing well in search results. The result is that within weeks they’d be hard to find on the 8th page of Google. So before we get into the Helpful Content Core Update, let’s talk about the previous updates.

Google Florida Update

 This was one of the first major core updates from Google that was released in November 2003. This update made a major change in how Google portrayed backlinks and the value they had to the website. It was meant to stop a lot of retail websites from keyword stuffing, using hidden links, and invisible text to gain higher rankings.

Google Jagger Update 

This update was released in September 2005. This update made it possible for Google to search more in-depth with websites and find things like PDFs and other document and file types. This update also gave penalties to websites for having toxic backlinks which were paid backlinks, unnatural backlinks, linking schemes, and scraped content. This update was followed by the Big Daddy Update which was released in December 2005. It wasn’t as major for the website's ranking but it was an upgrade that Google had done to vastly increase their data centers which in turn helped improve the quality and technical aspects of improved search results.

Google Vince Update 

This update was released in January 2009 and was meant to give established brands in the outside world a better opportunity to compete with smaller businesses that were optimizing their online presence more than their brick-and-mortar stores and locations.

Google Caffeine Update

This update was rolled out to speak on the new indexing system that Google created to have their crawl bots search and store data at a much more efficient rate. To be specific Google developers were quoted to say “Caffeine provides 50% percent fresher results for web searches”.

Google Panda Update 

In February 2011, a huge core update was released Called Panda. This update was released to reward all the blogs and websites that had unique and great-quality work on their sites. This is when Google started officially giving websites a quality score and ranking the websites based upon this internal score they were giving. It gave brands and businesses all over who took the time to create quality work, a brand new outlook and a chance to outrank those who just had notoriety or had been copying good content and pasting it in various places. There was also another update released in November of 2011 that was called the Google Freshness Update. It was focused on making more recent search results able to be found and seen over articles and news that were dated.

Google Penguin Update 

There were a lot of updates in 2012, in October, the Penguin Update was released.

This update was made to target “black-hat practices” in various areas. Link stuffing, spam links, link directories, etc. Basically, Google gave a statement that said black-hat techniques were any techniques used that didn’t benefit the users and the intent is to look for shortcuts or loopholes that would rank pages higher than they deserve to be ranked. This is when the links and their anchor text were under a much finer magnifying glass to find out who’s using these techniques just to rank. Some other updates that year include the Exact Match Domain Update where Google cracked down on websites that were using keywords as their domains to help to rank. The Venice update was used to take users’ IP addresses or physical locations and use them to increase Google Map appearances based on those organic search results. Also known as the birth of local SEO. Then there was the Page Layout Update which focused on ensuring that websites didn’t show ads above the fold and instead showed ads where they were meant to be shown which is lower in the page.

Google Hummingbird Update 

This update was released in September of 2013 and it was used essentially to make the search engine more human. Hummingbird took a lot of sentence structure into account to better understand what people were searching for more than just taking the words at face value. This was a big jump in the search engine market and made searching for things more personal and easy for a lot of users. There was also the Pay Day Loan Update which was another crackdown on users who were using spammy links and directories for websites. This wasn’t big for the US but it did impact a lot of other countries where these problems were more rampant.

Google Pigeon Update 

The Pigeon update was another step in the local SEO direction from the Venice update. The Pigeon Update was released July 2014 and was used to release a local algorithm that was meant to help local businesses that have a strong organic traffic following with a better SERP ranking as a reward. This helped users get a better understanding of what truly was local around them, that had something to do with the search query they were looking for.

Google Mobilegeddon Update 

By this time and age it was understood by Google and most of the world that we all carry mini-computers in our pockets and we’re using them as such. The app market is exploding, cell phones are being released by companies that were never in the mobile market, and cell phone carrier plans were in abundance. The mobilegeddon update was released in April 2015 and made mobile-friendly websites or responsive websites a topic of conversation by giving them priority over websites that weren’t optimized for mobile devices. This was another step in the direction of Google being more human-friendly. They wanted users to have better experiences with the results that were showing up on the top pages and that meant having a website that functioned well and looked good whether it was Desktop, Tablet, or Mobile. In October 2015, there was also a Google update called RankBrain.  This update was released as an extension to the Hummingbird update in the idea that it was a machine-learning aspect that was implemented in Google’s algorithm. Rank Brain’s goal was to understand the intent of Google searches more, and less about the words that were specifically put in the search bar.

Google Intrusive Interstitials Update 

This long-winded update called Intrusive Interstitials was released January 2017 and was created to penalize websites that were creating spammy ads and popups and other things that were getting in the way of users being able to see the content they were looking for.

Google Medic Update 

The Google Medic Update was released August  2018 and from what most people understand, it was meant to help take low-quality pages off of higher rankings but since it affected so many hospitals and clinics, the community coined the term Medic Update even though it wasn’t targeted or meant to harm that industry at all. Another update released that year was the Mobile-First Indexing Update in March 2018. This update was another step in saying that responsiveness is the future. The update allows Google bots to give a higher ranking based on the mobile page experience and not the desktop page experience. Google says this was done as a way to “better help our – primarily mobile – users find what they're looking for.”

Google BERT Update 

Google BERT Update - The Google BERT Update was used to double up on the Rank Brain update but not replace it, but an add-on. The BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) Update was meant to understand at an even deeper level what users are searching for based on the nuances of the sentence and not just on the phrasing of the search to understand the clarity of questions and search queries. This was also the same year they released the Featured Snippets Update in August 2019 which gave an even more human-friendly way to portray information to users with news, blogs, and time-based information like events and TV shows.

Google Helpful Content Update 

The newest Google core update is the Google Helpful Content Update. This update was used once more to become a little more human. No one likes reading copied articles with the same information over and over so the Helpful Content update is meant to stop that. They’re rewarding the blogs, sites, and post authors with higher ranking capabilities due to having unique and high-quality work. This to many users seemed like exactly what it was called, a helpful update, but in reality, it’s an attack on the SEO industry and those who use black-hat techniques to over-saturate pages with repetitive quality work for ranking. This update is meant to not only lower the ranking of those posts and blogs but penalize the entire site for using these techniques. It’s a stern warning to those who are still trying to find ways to trick the algorithm that Google has spent over a decade polishing. Of course, things will fall through the cracks but being that Google owns over 90% of the entire search engine market, I think it’s safe to say that their ideas to create a more human-friendly search engine are far from over.

Google Updates and Search Engine Optimization

Google updates happen pretty regularly through the years and with all of the technological advances, I can't foresee them slowing down. If you're looking for help with your search engine optimization or even search engine marketing to create a better presence on Google, contact us and we'll do our best to grow your business and the company's brand awareness!

Keyword Research: It's Importance In SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the largest growing digital marketing strategies in the world. As Google grows, the world changes and social media platforms rise and fall, the need for a digital presence increases, and even more so the awareness needed for these brands grows.

Search engine optimization is a very broad marketing strategy with so many moving pieces but no matter what specialists or agency you speak to, they’ll let you know that keywords and user experience are the most important things when it comes to any strategy they have.

Today, we’ll be going over the keywords so you have a grasp of what they are, how to get them, and properly use them. Let’s go!

What is a Keyword?

A keyword is a word or phrase that is used to search for all types of information on the internet through search queries. The way it’s pulled up is through crawlers that are pushed from search engines like Google and Bing that decide whether or not the search query from the user relates to the content of a website. Keywords are one of the most important parts of a website when it comes to SEO and can help increase traffic to your site tremendously without paying for ads if done correctly.

The keywords you choose have a direct impact on how your content will rank on search engine results pages. It’s so important in SEO because it helps people find your site when they search on Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines and that’s the exact point of search engine optimization. They even have the ability to help people find your content when they search on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

No one ever wants to rank on page 5 of Google because it’s extremely rare for anyone to even look past the first three results on Google and statistically it’s been researched that over 50% of all search results are clicked within the first 3 search results and a whopping 87% never get past the first page! So if you’re not putting in the work to make sure your company is seen first, then your competition has the edge up on you in this digital world and that can make or break any company.

What are the types of keywords?

There are 8 types of keywords. Short-tail, Long-tail, Product defining, Customer defining, Long-term evergreen, LSI, and Geo-targeting. With this plethora of keywords, it’s important to know what they are, where you’re using them, and why. Using the wrong keyword type in the perfect place can get you results that aren’t helpful for you even if there’s a huge influx in traffic. We’re going to go over the 8 types of keywords that you should know below.

Short-tail keywords: These are the most popular and are used to find information quickly. They are usually one or two words in length and are often used for a specific product or service. These are considered when creating primary keywords. They’re short and sweet and have a huge search volume, often very broad or general in definition when put into the scope of the page or blog post.

Long-tail keywords: These are more specific and less popular than short-tail keywords. They usually have three to four words in length and can be used for a variety of products or services. These are used to give you more options than repeating the same keyword in a page or blog post. They’re extremely beneficial because they can trigger search queries that the short-tail keyword may not have been able to because it was so general. These are very important for the keyword plan and should never be overlooked when it comes to your keyword strategy.

Product-Defining Keywords: These help customers find your product or service by using phrases that describe what it is they want to buy. These are especially important when working with e-commerce sites or even affiliates that are looking to bring in a target audience whose purpose is to buy the product or service.

Customer-Defining Keywords: These help customers find your company by using phrases that describe what they want to buy from you. Product-defining keywords and customer-defining keywords can be easily confused but it’s important to know the difference. Product-defining keywords are used to describe a product or service in detail, while customer-defining keywords are used to describe the customer’s needs and wants. They’re both great to use but when writing a page or blog post with a specific intent, it’s good to know the difference.

Long-term evergreen keywords: These are words that have a high search volume over a long period of time. These are good for blogs like food blogs and how-to blogs because recipes in a food blog like “garlic parmesan grilled chicken” have a specific search volume that will rarely waver upward or decrease. It doesn’t have much societal swing nor is there anything that happens in the news that could sway people to search it more or less. These are great for content you create that you want to always be a staple on search engines and can update once a year or so and keep a steady incoming traffic flow.

LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords: These are words that have a similar meaning to the main keyword but with different contexts. So if we had a short-tail keyword like “phone” then we could use other words like “cell phone”, “Samsung phone”, “android phone”, etc. It may not relate directly to the subject but it stays on key with the theme and that’s the point. It can be a huge game changer for triggering more search queries and if used correctly you’ll still be targeting the same target audience.

Geo-targeting keywords: These are words that relate to a specific location or region. These are becoming bigger and bigger when it comes to local SEO. Using geo-targeted keywords along with tools like Google My Business and Bright Local can be the difference in you ranking number one for your services in your city or ranking at 12 or 13 and being overlooked for a service that you have that’s lightyears ahead of the competitors in the city.

Keyword Intentions

Don’t worry, I counted and also see that there are only 7 keyword types and that’s because the last type of keyword we want to go over has, even more, to describe in it, and didn’t want to do an injustice to it. 

So the final keyword type is intention targeting keywords. These are when you target your content based on what people want to do with it - like buy something or learn more about something. This keyword type can be so broad  that we want to go more in-depth than just buy now or learn more. Let’s talk about the different types of intentions you can use when writing blog posts or pages and how they’re seen by Google and your audience.

The different intentions that people have when they search for information can be summed up into informational intent, navigational intent, commercial intent, and transactional intent.

Informational keywords: These are words or phrases that people use to find information about a topic or subject. They may be looking for an answer to their question or they may just want to learn more about the topic. These are good for FAQ pages, instructional posts, or how-to blog posts.

Navigational keywords: These are words or phrases that people use to find their way around a website. These are used when someone is trying to find something specific whether it’s on the main navigation, footer navigation, or a specific resource or blog post you have that may be nested in through internal links and navigational keywords are perfect for that.

Commercial keywords: These are words or phrases that people use to find products and services. Whenever a user wants to buy something from you, use your services, or sign up for your services, you’ll want to use words that have a commercial intent.

Transactional keywords: These are words or phrases that people use to buy things online. Just like product-defined and customer-defined keywords, you’ll want to know the difference between commercial intent and transactional intent. Commercial intent keywords are used to bring in an audience and inform them of the product or service you want them to buy. Transactional intent keywords are used to drive traffic that’s looking to buy the product or service that’s in the search query. Using these intentions wrongly can result in the wrong traffic and having you ranked lower for keywords you should be higher up on but the intent was used wrong and therefore the audience brought in wasn’t right.

Conclusion

Keywords are broad and can be used in a variety of ways but what type of keyword you’re using and the intention behind them need to be optimized if you’re intending on creating the right type of traffic to your site.

If you want to learn more or find out how the keywords in your site are being used and whether or not you’re sending out the right intention, come connect with us at Ernst Media and let’s get an audit together to get you pivoted in the right direction with your target audience!

 

Why your business needs an SEO agency

There are many advertising and marketing agencies, and recently, many have become proficient in offering client SEO (Search engine optimization) work locally and nationally. Similarly, digital advertising and marketing becoming more important than ever. Visibility of a businesses website can sometimes be the difference between booming business and having to close the doors. Moreover, to be good at SEO services, there needs to be a strong focus on SEO strategy. Most importantly, here's why your business needs an SEO agency to execute on those high priority SEO items.

Here are three main reason’s why any business in Seattle (or anywhere else) needs to have a focus on SEO.

1. GET FOUND

If a potential customer can't find your website, they will find your competitors'. What’s the lifetime value of your clients or customers? Above all, finding the opportunity cost of losing a sale to a competitor is greater than the cost of the lost sale. Alternatively, the gain can be greater as well.

2. BUILD A PRESENCE

A strong SEO presence brings legitimacy. Similarly, SEO intersects with website development and design. User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) are equally important to SEO. These concepts coexist and be consistent throughout an entire brand. A strong web presence strengthens brand legitimacy. In turn, this provides an ecosystem for strong conversions and conversion rates.

3. WEBSITE PERFORMANCE

If you aren't paying attention to your website performance, you're missing out on sales. For example, we've discussed why your business needs an SEO agency. First, a good SEO company will go beyond the search rankings to help you understand how people are using your site. Use this information to drive improve your SERP rankings. Subsequently, targeting keywords that are likely to drive relevant traffic to your site is effective. Targeting high-value keywords in your page copy can increase your conversion rate, too. In other words, better copy can lead to more conversions. Correcting technical errors on your website provides the necessary foundation on which an effective SEO strategy can be built.

In conclusion, when choosing a partner for SEO, be sure to verify references. We’re recognized as a top Digital Agency by several industry associations, including Design Rush, Clutch, and UpCity. Be sure to check out these ppc platforms if you're looking for more options.