Keyword Research: What is it and How Can It Help You Connect With Your Customers?

In today’s fast-paced, constantly evolving world of digital marketing, "standing out from the crowd" is easier said than done. In many ways, this is why keyword research is so critical to your brand’s ongoing success. Not only does it help to maintain your competitive advantage, it also helps you establish a more valuable, more meaningful connection with your customers in the type of way they won’t soon forget.

Keyword Research: Breaking It Down

Keyword research plays an essential role in your larger SEO (search engine optimization) efforts because of the effect that it has on your search ranking. The better optimized your content is for specific keywords, the more likely it is to rank highly when your real customers start using search engines like Google to look for those and similar terms.

Keyword research tools like SEMrush help you identify popular keywords related to your industry. They can also break  them down into detail and examine factors like volume, historical trends, cost-per-click, ranking difficulty and more.

You can experiment with terms that your customers are searching for until you find ones that: A) are competitive in that you can potentially outrank other businesses in your industry, and B) represent issues or conversation that your actual audience members care about. Then, you can build content around those keywords to increase visibility and quality in search engines at the same time.

Is keyword research the only thing that helps determine your ranking? No – engines like Google have an incredibly sophisticated algorithm designed to handle that. If nothing else, it gives you a target to hit as far as the type of content you’re crafting and generate the kind of insight you need to create stronger, more valuable pieces in the first place.

The Art of Keyword Research

In a lot of ways, both keyword research and the content you’re creating are all about one thing in particular: empowering conversations. Your customers are already having conversations about topics relevant to your brand on the Internet. By using keyword research to find these conversations, you open up new opportunities for you to contribute in meaningful ways and make the lives of your audience members better.

Keyword research helps you identify what your customers are really thinking about – what they like and don’t like, what their problems are and what shape their hopes ultimately take. Then, you can craft content around those keywords to help address those challenges, solve those issues and drive the conversation forward (and back to your brand).

It’s important to remember marketing is about getting the right message in front of the right person at precisely the right time. Keyword is one of the best ways to do that by using the types of conversations your audience members are already having. If you know as much as you can about what they need and  want, you’re in the best position to give it to them – thus strengthening the connection between those people and your brand.

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