Quality content is king when you’re trying to get found on the internet. While you may be a word nerd who is a master at spinning the most boring of topics into a memorable treatise, it’s not going to matter if it’s not being read; you have to have a plan to get discovered. That said, one of the most important parts of your content strategy should be your content calendar. It helps you define how to get your content to the right people at the right time to get the most out of what you’re publishing. But before you can start planning your calendar, you have to have the right keywords to draw in that audience. In this week’s Memo to the Modern Marketer, we’ll show you how to get there.
Keyword research is a pretty involved process. One method is to use your intuition to come up with killer keywords to bring in a bigger audience, but you’ll attract more visitors with keyword selections that are backed by data. While a lot goes into uncovering keywords that convert, when using the Searchmetrics Content Experience there are only a few steps you have to take to get you on the right path to filling out an effective editorial calendar – without having to use Google.
The Searchmetrics Research Cloud takes a lot of the work out of keyword research. With the Searchmetrics Content Experience, you can investigate specific keywords or you can execute your query based on your domain to find the right keywords with which to build your editorial calendar.
Let’s look at WebMD – a massive health publisher. For our industry report, Health Ranking Factors 2017, Searchmetrics found that content for Google’s top 20 health websites uses 43% more words than the benchmark average, so keywords should be one of the base elements to build a health company’s content calendar. Entering WebMD’s domain into the Research Cloud returns a treasure trove of information that WebMD can use to whittle down a list of powerful keywords: the keywords it already ranks for, its top performing URLs and its key competitors.
To edge out the competition, first you have to look at what they’re doing. Not only can the Research Cloud show you who you’re up against, it also shows you exactly what content they’re creating to rank, and how it’s performing. But the tool really shines when it compares a site to its competition. Let’s pit WebMD against one of its major competitors: Healthline.com.
It can sort keywords that only WebMD ranks for under one tab, the keywords only Healthline ranks for under another tab along with the keywords that both sites rank for under another tab.
Under “Shared Keywords,” you can see the terms, search volume and the rankings for both sites. Looking at this information, WebMD might consider targeting “poop” because it has a monthly search volume of more than 370K and WebMD ranks #40 for it while Healthline ranks #1.
To take the competition a step further, WebMD can target the unique Healthline keywords that WebMD doesn’t rank for at all. Healthline ranks #1 for “OBGYN”, which has a monthly search volume of 224K, so that may be a keyword WebMD would target.
Seek & Destroy
Now that you have your top-level keywords, you can start looking for similar keywords.
Let’s say one of the keywords WebMD wants to focus on is “weight loss.” The Research Cloud displays the similar keywords along with their search volumes. The ones with a high search volume may be ones to add to your keyword list because those are the ones people are looking for the most.
To collect the similar keywords, you can check the boxes in the far right column, then click on the plus sign at the top to export the list into a CSV or XLSX.
Digging a little deeper, if you click on the “Rankings” tab at the top of the page, it shows which sites rank for those similar keywords and what they’re publishing to rank for it.
That may serve WebMD well as inspiration when coming up with content ideas, but if you click on one of the competitors you can see what else they’re ranking for as well as the corresponding links that can be used for inspiration, too.