For the rest of the week, we'll be posting excerpts from a new article: Master Class: Keyword Research for Stellar Content Creation , by Angie Nikoleychuk . Click below to get the full article now.
Different Keywords for Different Purposes
Not all keywords bring the same results, and I don’t mean the difference in the amount of traffic they bring in. Ask any smart businessperson and they’ll tell you traffic and sales are still miles apart. What I mean is that you can’t just say to yourself “OK, now I’m going to become an authority figure,” pound out some content, and expect to get results. It just doesn’t work that way.
These are the ones all search engine optimizers are familiar with. These keywords generate massive amounts of traffic  with a reasonable amount of work to get the URLs up there and ranking. “SEO Company” is a great example of these. Granted, this example is definitely not for the faint of heart, but you get the idea. In short, these words bring in traffic, but there’s no guarantee of conversion. That’s where our next type comes in. (Tip: If your main content goal is to generate traffic, these would be the ones to use.)
I’ve tested tons of copy and keywords, and I can confidently say that, while you can’t actually guarantee conversion rates , there is certainly a huge difference between traffic keywords and conversion keywords. So, while “copywriting services” is my big term, I optimize for things like “press release writer” and “seo smo press releases,” which are far more profitable. Sometimes, you’ll be able to identify converting keywords just by looking at them, and sometimes, you’ll have to do a little research to find the ones that work.
There are two ways to do this: you can either look at the keywords already converting at high rates and test variations of those, or look at the terms most heavily targeted with PPC and use those terms and terms similar to those. After a while, you’ll be able to figure out which ones are going to convert better than others. (Yes, if your conversion rates fall short, these are the keywords you’d need.)
Branding or Authority Keywords
While these keywords do bring in traffic, and they may even convert, they are far better at helping you earn your client’s respect. However, the key difference here, as with conversion keywords, is that you need to have the content to back it up. These keywords are usually longer, are purely for informational purposes, and in your target market’s precise language.
The best place to find these isn’t with tools, however. Instead, go to your client emails, comments, and questions. Make note of what they’re asking and how they’re asking it. When speaking to your clients, what are their biggest concerns and worries? You may even consider asking them the question: “If I could only do X, the results I achieve would be amazing.” Pull out the important phrases and make yourself a list. And yes, it will be long.
As mentioned previously, content can be great for supporting the main pages of your site. You can publish posts and link back, make them accessible from the main page only, or create entire funnels for each one. Regardless of how you do it, these terms need to work seamlessly with your content and your site architecture . They need to make sense.
Again, decide whether you’d like an approach focused more on search engines or social, create keyword groupings of relevant terms, and go from there. To make things easier, do all this keyword research at once so you have a pool of good terms to pull from when working on other things. Also, these things change frequently, so don’t be afraid to create new keyword groups every few months.
Again, content is ideal for testing keywords you think might have potential. You can test almost anything and not have to restructure large portions of your site or lose your current rankings. While you’re at it, test variations of the same keyword and call-to-action phrases to see how your target audience reacts to each.