If you are already in the world of digital marketing, it is obvious that you want to succeed, and stand out among the thousands of pages and content on the Internet, the question is: how to do it? Well, one of the basic concepts that you need to know are keywords and how to use them to your advantage.
In this article, we will talk about the definition of what keywords are, the different types, the correct way to use them, and more importantly, why they are essential for your inbound marketing strategy to have the success you want.
First of all, let's remember that talking about inbound marketing is referring to the methodology and series of practices that are focused on attracting users organically, seducing users so that their interest ends up becoming a sale for your business.
When we talk about the path to success in attraction marketing, we must consider that it is necessary to work on content marketing, at the same time that we focus on optimizing search engines and achieving SEO positioning. Both are necessary so that the information you develop reaches the people who are interested, those who you have the opportunity to convert into your customers.
For both content marketing and SEO, as well as some aspects of outbound, keywords are a basic element that you cannot skip if you really want your efforts (and investment) to pay off.
What are keywords?
In current times when you have a question, what do you do? the most likely thing is that you resort to consulting it in Google, Yahoo, Safari, or some other search engine. From concepts you don't know, where to go on vacation or what car to buy, a totally normal response for the new generations is to turn to the internet to find the solution you need.
This is where the concept of keywords or keywords comes into play. As its name indicates, they are the concepts and series of words that users use to locate content on the network. Keywords are the indications that a user provides to the search engine so that it can locate the best possible result that aligns with what is indicated.
The use of keywords in a search engine is, to give an example from real life, like being in a clothing store and asking the manager for "a short red dress". In her experience, the person in charge can show you all the options that best fit the criteria you have indicated.
The suggestions that are presented to you are like the results that appear in the SERPs. Just as you trust the salesperson's expertise to get you what you need without having to search the entire store, so do search engine users trust that the first few results contain the best answer from across the web.
The result? Only in the field of content, you will see an increase in organic traffic to your website, you will notice the difference in the authority and relevance you receive. Remember that this attraction of possible clients is the first step to being able to convert them into leads and later, with nutrition, make them completely become your client.
What are keywords for?
Keywords are a basic and indispensable concept for various processes, due to the power they have to elevate the work you do as part of your digital marketing strategy. The importance of keywords lies in the weight they have for the user and the relevance given to them by search engines and ad platforms, among others.
If you are developing content and you have already invested your team's time and resources in obtaining the best information to build a compelling narrative, in short, making a piece of great value and relevance, the first thing you want is for everyone to read it, right? For this reason, it is necessary that first of all, you consider the keywords with which you want to position yourself.
The same happens if we talk about the field of pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns since words are also an important pillar. For example, if you have prepared a monthly campaign in which $35,000 pesos will be invested, you do not want that money to be wasted, showing your ads to people who have 0% interest in what you offer. This is the need, from the beginning, to indicate the parameters of the campaign, among these, which are the keywords in which you want them to be included.
Imagine, going back to the example of the clothing store where you enter with the intention of getting a “short red dress” but the only thing they offer you are green pants and skirts. Obviously, you will not take the trouble to look at them, try them, much less spend your money on those pieces.
How are the keywords chosen?
The selection of keywords, as we never tire of reminding you, is incredibly important because it defines the impact you can achieve. Its purpose in positioning is to help you place your content on the first page of Google results, that is, in the top 10.
However, keywords are not magic, much less should they be chosen at random. You shouldn't select your keyword list just for the sake of it, or trust that you know what your potential customers are searching for.
It is necessary that you take the time to do a thorough investigation, the search for keywords or keyword research is an essential process and that must be done under consideration because depending on different variants, they will be the type of keyword you need.
Some factors that you should take into account when selecting keywords are:
Volume, difficulty, and competition
With these points, we refer to the power and weight that we can contribute to our page if we resort to using a certain keyword.
The volume of the keyword is a reference to the number of searches that this keyword receives approximately per month. This does not immediately translate into the amount of traffic your website will receive, but, if the keyword ranks among the top positions, a high percentage will go to your website.
When you investigate the possible keywords that you could use, the volume helps you decide which are the words that are worth taking and working on, because the results you can achieve will be favorable. This way you won't be pouring hours of effort into a word that has a volume of 30, from which you would get even fewer visits per month.
In terms of difficulty and competition, this is an SEO factor offered by many of the tools to check keywords. Well, SEO difficulty lets you know how much competition exists to be able to position a determined word.
The higher the difficulty, it means that that word is very monopolized and there are many people who are working to get it to position it in the first position. This is not to say that you shouldn't consider or work on it, but it does help you to be aware of the work that will be needed to achieve it.
The customer is always right
As always in the business world, if you want to sell, you must offer what the customer wants and needs, which is why it is necessary that you select your business keywords thinking about the needs of your different buyer personas.
With the profiles of your buyers well defined, you can know their needs in order to be able to develop any content that is of interest to them. In this same way, you can establish which keywords you will need to use, depending on the kind of searches that these individuals carry out.
For example, if your business is eyeglasses and you sell to use in the sun but also graduates. Perhaps the person who consumes the graduates is a buyer person who values quality and on the other hand, you have a buyer person who consumes the sunscreen and whose priority is style. The kind of searches they perform is different and you need to consider what are the keywords that will lead you to sell to both, equally or separately.
The sales funnel stage
Not all leads are at the same nurturing stage, even when they first interact with your site or content. There will always be people who are looking for things for the first time and others who are looking at brands because they are ready to make an investment in a product or service.
This is why you need to create content for each stage of the sales funnel so that you have something to offer people at each stage. Therefore, it is necessary that you know the keywords that you can work on in the different phases that the lead goes through before buying.
The correct keywords
Taking into account the previous factors, there is also a variable that you should consider before getting down to work with a keyword. This is considering what you want to achieve with that keyword to find out if it is the right one for you. For example, if the keyword has a search intent that drives more traffic.
We touch on this topic because there are keywords that have high volumes and may be relevant to your buyer persona but are very related to searches that do not generate clicks. What do we mean by this? Well, currently, due to the need for immediacy of Internet users, there are searches that do not generate clicks, because thanks to the featured snippets, people get the answer without having to access a website.
This does not mean that you discard these words, as they can give you relevance and authority against the competition. But you do have to be more ingenious, like developing a meta description that grabs the user's attention and gives you that click.
Another option is to look for keywords that are more specific, it is possible that the volume is less, but the chances that they will enter your page and stay there are greater. Also, by being more specific, the interest is higher, thus reducing the bounce rate of your site and increasing the chances that those leads will become sales.
It should be noted that although these factors are stable on some occasions they can also change over time. Your buyer personas may evolve and need new approaches or different information.
Keyword volume and competition may fluctuate or you may find that a keyword that you had discarded is already useful in your strategy. You can increase the flow of leads at a certain stage of the funnel, putting more effort and development into it.
For all this, it is necessary that you monitor these factors in the same way that you measure the results that you are accumulating with your KPIs. The road can be slow and difficult, but the secret behind success is perseverance. Don't be afraid of trial and error, no one learns without screwing up a couple of times first.
How are keywords used?
We have already made it clear that keywords are an element that you cannot discard in your digital marketing strategy. We have made it clear that there are several factors that you should consider in the process of selecting the right ones to achieve your goals. But one point that surely causes you doubt is: where are the keywords placed?
When you have finally selected a keyword and want to position it, for SEO reasons, there are different places where you can place them to help your article to position itself organically. These are the places where you should include the keyword (or a variant):
The title of the article: It is the first thing that users will see, make sure to include the keyword and make it as attractive as possible.
The URL: as well as the main title, the URL needs the keyword, Leto helps your positioning. Remember that the simpler URLs are better, do not complicate the user's life with numbers and symbols.
The meta description: the description of the content that appears in the search results is approximately 155 characters. Include the keyword in a witty and direct way. The meta description can be the difference between choosing to visit one website or a different one.
The alt text and the description of the images: This is an optimization that will be very useful in searches, do not forget to do it in an ingenious way.
The subtitles (H2, H3, and H4): This will be very useful for indexing the content but the same for the user experience; and as everyone knows, the customer is always right.
Several times throughout the content: Naturally use the same keyword, similar variants, synonyms, supporting keywords, and concepts that enrich what you want to position. Do not exaggerate, it is not about repeating the same word over and over again, you do not want to fall into keyword stuffing because it would not help you and it would be counterproductive.
Types of keywords
Just as there are factors that help you select the types of keywords to target, this also means that they can be categorized based on the needs they cover. Some classifications are:
By user intent
In relation to his conversion to a customer, it depends on the moment in which the user is on his purchase decision. They may be:
The informational ones: at the beginning of the process, they are the first searches for very general information on a topic.
The transactional ones: you are looking to make a purchase or acquire a service, as the name indicates, to carry out a transaction.
Navigational: specific searches for a website.
Knowledge: They serve to solve a specific problem. The needs begin to be specified.
Decision: the search is already close to conversion, they are usually consulted, to decide if the purchase is finalized.
From geo: By location, the user searches by specific location. It is ideal for working on local SEO.
By its length and volume of searches
Reference to the length of the keyword, that is, how generic or specific it is and —consequently— the volume it has. They may be:
Head tail: very generic concepts, which is why they are broad and usually have high search volumes and a lot of competition, such as 'television' or 'salt'.
Middle tail: they are semi-generic, they are still broad but they are already somewhat more specific, they still have a high search volume and their competition can go from high to intermediate. They can consist of 2 or up to 3 search terms, such as ‘kids bike’ or ‘live tv’
Long tail: these are the most specific, they are longer and have a more specific purpose. Their keyword search volume may be lower, but they have less competition and their chance of leading to a conversion is high.
The keywords can also be because of their usefulness, their type, depending on their level of competition, the medium where the searches are expected to be carried out (writing is not the same as a voice search), or even because of the objectives of our strategy.