Content Marketing Magic: Aligning Keyword & Content Types with Business Goals


Lately it seems like content marketing is the new SEO. It’s become a bit of a marketing buzzword. But when you slap a trendy label on something, it’s easy to start overthinking it. Ten years ago, everyone with a website was producing content of one kind or another. Then we started worrying about SEO – how to make that content more visible and available to search engine visitors. Now that “content marketing” is the word of the day, people are stressing about what “content” means and how they can “create great content.”

But the truth is, for most businesses, your goals haven’t really changed. You’re still just trying to get people to your website to do whatever it is you want them to do – to buy your widgets, as it were. Advertising is one way to accomplish that; content marketing is another. So when we talk about content marketing, what we’re really talking about is creating whatever kind of online stuff is most likely to attract the kind of people who might like your widgets. It doesn’t matter what kind of widgets you sell; if there’s a market for them at all, there’s probably a kind of content that would speak to that market.

So your job, as a would-be content marketer, is to:

  1. Define your goals
  2. Do preliminary keyword research
  3. Align your goals and keyword types with the right content

Let’s walk through each step in a little more detail.

Step 1: Define Your Goals

As with any marketing strategy, the first step is defining your business goals. What are you trying to achieve with your content? Most businesses with a web presence are trying to achieve some combination of the following goals:

  • Lead generation – Service-based companies, many local businesses (e.g. lawyers, dentists), and businesses that sell through a sales force are usually looking for leads. (Your content should inspire trust in your ability to serve the customer.)
  • Traffic, return readership – Traffic in and of itself is important for sites supported by ad revenue. More traffic also widens your lead funnel. (Your content should be exceptionally informative and/or entertaining.)
  • Product sales – Sales are the primary goal for e-commerce businesses. (Your content should persuade people to buy.)
  • Links – In addition to increasing your referral traffic, links give your whole website a lift in authority and rankings. (Your content should be highly shareable and/or a resource worth returning to.)

Having your goals in mind from the start will guide you through the process of strategizing and creating your content.

Step 2: Find Keywords that Align With Your Goals

There are really two ways to proceed from here. You can start by thinking about:

  • What kinds of content would attract the people you want to visit your site, and then figure out what types of keywords best align with that type of content, OR
  • What kinds of keywords your audience would use, and then create content that suits those keywords.

Frame it in the way that makes most sense to you. Either way, the key point to remember is that your end goal should inform both your keyword research and your content strategy.

Here are some examples of how different goals can align with different keyword and content types:

Content Marketing Goal Alignment

Depending on the kinds of keywords you’re looking for, you may find that different keyword tools suit your needs. For example, there are tools specific to social media or competitive research, and some keyword tools offer more long-tail terms than others.

Step 3: Putting it All Together

Creating content with your goals and keywords worked out ahead of time makes you much more likely to reach your intended audience. With this process in mind, you’ll be better able to:

  • Create content that is suited to your audience, in terms of length, style, tone, format, etc.
  • Focus your on-page optimization efforts around the right keyword.
  • Promote that content so you get it in front of the right audience at the right time.
  • Design your content so as to guide the visitor to the action your want her to take, whether that’s buying your widget or calling in to make an appointment.

Content marketing isn’t really new, but it may be a new way for you to think about reaching potential customers. Instead of going out into the world and screaming for attention (with display ads and push email campaigns, for example), how can you create value that brings potential customers to you?

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Sep 04, 2012

Content marketing... inbound marketing... earned media...Lately it seems like everyone's fussing over the definition of things, and forgetting the reason why we pursue these "online strategies."Love that  you're calling it out the "great content" cliche and reinforcing the need to integrate online marketing goals to actual relevant business goals.Relevant content for relevant goals!

Elisa Gabbert
Sep 04, 2012

Thanks Victor!

Sep 05, 2012

Being relevant I think is the easy part. What I find difficult is being in a sea of relevant content and still getting noticed. 

Elisa Gabbert
Sep 05, 2012

Good point -- the thing that is going to get you noticed above competitors, of course, is quality -- it's not enough to just do the bare minimum in most cases.

Stanley Rao
Sep 06, 2012

Content writing is a great field and it can lead the businesses to huge number of advantages, but what ever is being done should be done in a proper manner. In others the content that uis being written should be relevant to the what the customers have asked.  Than providing them with the info that they dont need

Sep 12, 2012

Content Marketing has become popular nowadays in business.That's a great a thing that in content marketing keywords are very important. Thinking and aligning the best keyword for a business will surely boost the business in a short lenght of time. Goals is the best motivation for building great and relevant content for a certain business. Think for the best and popular keywords that will truly attract vistors and traffic to your business.

Dan G
Oct 01, 2012

I really enjoyed this article. Good content is the key to any successful marketing campaign.  We have spent the last few months really trying to encompass quality in the message and make it relevant to be searched organically. This has paid off for us. Our Alexa ranking has improved to just over 125,000 in the US and our traffic has doubled.  

Nov 03, 2012

Well writen and i have taken these tips into consideration for my self, keep up the good work, im lookinng forward to reading more of your work.

David Henry
May 21, 2013

Hi ElisaA very well written article.  I think you sum it up perfectly in you putting it all together summary.  Taking time to find out what your readers want and then providing  the content based on this is a far more effcient wayto get the results you are looking for.  Too many marketers blast articles and blog posts on topics they thinkwill engage the reader and then wonder why they dont seem to get the results they expect.Thanks David Henry 

Jeff Lenney
Jun 26, 2013

Great Stuff Elisa,"Content is King" as they say - SEO has changed MAJORLY in the past 1 1/2---2 years since the Google Penguin and Panda Updates, it's very important to not only DO content marketing, but do it right.  Keyword density of 3-5% is a thing of the past.At any rate, great post - thanks for sharing :)Jeff

Daniel Bryant
Jul 08, 2013

I am Just starting out maketing my blog. It's just a small blog but I want to experiment with that before applying some of the tequniques to my work website. I have found the whole concept very confusing. You have shed some light here on the current situation of IT marketing. I think this approach will work for me so I will give it a bash. Many thanks for sharing your knowlege.

Jul 30, 2013

So many people overlook the alignment of their keywords and get stuck focusing on the keyword volumes instead.  Good helpful article. Thanks

Elisa Gabbert
Jul 30, 2013

Thanks James!

James Raymond
Aug 27, 2013

Great post by you Elisa,This is what I call a informative post to all you readers! The SEO world really changed dramatically after thePanda and Penguin updates. Quality Content  is the most important factor today that will keep these farm animals from sweeping your websites under the rug. I remember the days where you could have a 5% keyword density:) Anyways, thanks for sharing Elisa!  

Mar 18, 2014

Its really very informative blog..Thanks for sharing this..

Jun 30, 2014

Good quality content is the vital key to suceed in whatever component types of marketing you are doing. That is why Google is after on the quality of your content in website. 

Sep 26, 2016

Nice content. Got the point.

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