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General internet marketing writing

Keyword research in 2020: a brief answer

I received this question recently:

If I create content for our company (articles for magazines, social media posts, etc), do I need to try to use KEYWORDS within the text as much as possible? And if yes, is there an online tool / website to check how well I did my job before I publish it?

Here’s my answer:

  • Brainstorm and research as much as you can about your topic.
  • Ask your sales managers how they describe the service when they talk to people on the phone; write down all the phrases they mention.
  • Jot down all the phrases and questions you think people will enter into a search engine for your topic.
  • Check the monthly search volume of your phrases using a tool such as SEMRush or Searchmetrics or Ahrefs. Or use free SEO research tools.
  • Check search intent by entering the keyphrase into Google. Analyze the results you see:
    • Are you seeing some of your competitors? That’s good. You are in the right space.
    • Are you seeing dictionary or encyclopedia or university links? That’s not good, if you are a commercial company.
    • Look at the Google results and try to understand the search intent.
  • Map out the structure and SEO elements of your article.
    • Outline the topic you want to target.
    • Write a draft meta page title and meta description.
    • Write a draft Heading 1 (H1).
    • List out the questions you want to answer in your article.
      • Questions are typically Heading 2s (H2).
      • Answers are a paragraph or a bullet list.
    • List out the keyphrases you want to target in the body text.
    • List articles that you want to use as inspiration for your SEO writing process.
      • Avoid copy and paste. Google is not dumb and can find out if you copy and pasted from another site.
    • Review SEO research before starting to write.
    • Start SEO copywriting process and include all SEO elements.
      • Include main keyphrase in your meta title tag, meta description, H1, add complementary keyphrases in H2s and body of the text, add alt texts for your images.
  • There are several tools that you can use to check the keyword distribution and density in your article. I’ve used Ryte.com, Moz, and there’s a new AI tool called MarketMuse that I am testing.
  • Important: Write for humans. Make the article useful. Think about the phrases people will use to find this article.
  • Track traffic and keyphrases in a tool like SEMRush or SearchMetrics or Ahrefs or Ryte.com or similar. There’s quite a choice.

Hope you find this list useful.

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