Since Google and other search engines have become popular platforms which people use to gain information, SEO and effective keywords have become an essential part of any company’s digital PR and marketing strategy. SEO and PR are no longer separate business tactics. They work together to help companies and PR professionals identify exact terms their target audience are entering into the search box. With this information, brands can rank high in search engine results, and gain attention for their online PR material.
The concept of digital PR and marketing has been around from the moment the Internet and technology first sprung up, and it is quite incredible how it has advanced over the years. 2020 convinced the business world that if companies were reluctant to change before, they needed to adapt because of the increase in lead generation and possible sales online.
When someone wants to search for anything on the Internet, all they need to do is type in exactly what they are looking for, receive search engine results, click on their chosen website, and access the information they are looking for. The words that are typed up are what PR and marketing professionals call keywords.
In this article, we will look at:
- What is keyword research?
- The keyword research process
- How to use keywords to boost your PR campaign
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and determining the terms that matter most for the company’s objectives and its website. It enables them to understand what words audiences are using to solve their problems. The research process is essential for companies to dispel any misunderstandings or assumptions that they might have about the audience’s needs and the language they use to express them. It can be time-consuming and tedious, but it is valuable information that can set a company apart from its competition. Taking the right amount of time to research keywords helps companies find terms relevant to their brand, something that users search for and that can be seamlessly integrated into all their online content.
One of the most common digital marketing goals for any company these days is to significantly increase their online visibility because regardless of whether customers plan to buy product or service online or at a brick-at-mortar store, having a robust online presence will help consumers initially find, learn about and possibly purchase from that company. From a PR standpoint, a company’s targeted keywords should be used to optimize their published online content like press releases, blog posts, eBooks, newsletter, and media kits. They should also be incorporated on social media with hashtags. SEO and keywords’ goal is to help a company’s content appear everywhere when people are looking up specific words. This helps present a strong voice and establishes expertise and leadership within the industry.
Keyword strategies are essential when developing an effective search engine marketing campaign because choosing the right keywords can determine how well a company’s content ranks on Google and other search engine platforms. The best keyword strategies are the ones that rely on highly relevant keywords that relate closely to the business or are associated with its industry.
Since digital PR is something we all need to get used to, many PR agencies have had experience creating content and optimizing it to rank higher in search results. PR agencies like Pressfarm work with companies to develop all newsworthy content. They also provide access to their PR database of over 75,000 journalists and media outlets so companies can find their ideal media match. What’s more important is that they will also help optimize content to rank higher in search results on all platforms.
The keyword research process
When first starting the keyword research process, there are quite a few factors that need to be considered before diving in. As we know, many words make up the English language, and they all mean different things. Similarly, keywords with SEO represent different levels of interest and intent. Since there are various stages of a purchasing process, some search terms are used by people close to conversion, while others may be used by people still in the early stages of research.
Before we look into keyword research, we need to note that there are quite a few different types of categories when it comes to keywords. They are categorized by type and usually arranged by how effective they are at converting. The indexed terms can include; brand, product, competitor, substitute product, a complementary product, and audience.
Companies need to consider all those terms to achieve the research goals when it comes to choosing the right keywords. This task usually follows an orderly process but needs to be continually revisited. This is because market situations – and therefore keyword rankings – are always changing. Companies need to be aware of circumstances like the shifting needs or desires of target consumers, new competitors entering the market, changes to search engine algorithms or features, or further queries that consumers are using to look for what the company offers when considering a revisit. This should be a regular habit for good SEO health and growth.
How to approach keyword research
1) Consider your audience
To find the right keywords, companies need to get into the minds of the consumer. They need to think about terms that their ideal customers would use to describe their business or product/service. Terms that they use to talk about their problems, concerns, and ideas will help companies find the keywords they can use to describe their product or service when creating content.
They can find this information through studying different articles, blogs, and forums about their topic to see exact words used to describe any pain points that a company is trying to resolve with their product or service and any other phrases that have been used to describe the product/service.
2) Start broad, then narrow down
To pinpoint the popularity of a term, companies should compile a list that they can later use with software or SEO tools, to monitor and judge which keyword from the list is the most popular. The popularity of a term is based on how much content has been written about it, the number of forum discussions, and how many press opportunities already exist.
Starting broad and going through the process helps companies because it gives them both a direct and indirect route to the keywords that makes sense to their audience. They cannot only use keywords that are directly related to their brand, but they can also use words with the slight association to reach an even bigger audience.
3) Analyze current keywords
This step works for both companies with an existing keyword strategy and those who are just starting. If a company already has a website and online presence, they probably already have a list of keywords that have been used and keywords that they are trying to rank for. Companies that are just starting can analyze the high-performing keywords for their industry that drive relevant traffic so they can establish their keyword strategy.
From there, they should run an analysis to see how each keyword is performing by looking at their ranking history and search volume. The metrics gathered will help companies separate the right performing keywords from those that only provided sufficient to low search volume and impressions.
4) Formulate your goals
Having goals in place gives companies a sense of direction with their research and strategy. There have been many times when keyword research shows terms that a company could rank for, but they may not attract as many visitors as expected. Setting goals helps improve their chances of SEO success and avoid targeting irrelevant terms or keywords that provide little to no return on investment.
5) Assess the competitive landscape
We have touched on this a bit previously, but when companies are first starting their keyword strategy, they should look at the keywords that already exist in their industry and develop them from there. This tactic also works for companies looking for other sources to find keywords they should be ranking for. The competition is an excellent source for keyword research because it provides access to existing companies that may have uncovered and capitalized on other opportunities.
How to use keywords to boost your PR campaign
Digital marketing has dramatically benefited from keyword research and PR; it has helped companies optimize their PR content through SEO. Through keyword research, companies can create their content focusing on the high-performing keywords to drive relevant traffic.
1) Write headlines that attract the audience
With the researched keywords, companies can create headlines that draw readers in and retains their attention. PR campaigns require all types of headlines, but the bottom line is that all of them need to include easily searched keywords.
2) Maximize website copy and blog posts
All online content should include a variety of keywords so that it can be searchable. If readers were to have the right keyword and phrases, it should lead them to the company’s landing page and any other business information.
3) Optimize news releases
Digital PR outweighs traditional in this sense, where it takes away the difficulty of having to persuade journalists and media outlets to create content to share with their audience. By optimizing their press releases, companies obtain visibility by appearing higher in search rankings. This tactic also provides an incentive for media outlets because they generally want to create original content to get continuous visibility.
4) Regularly research new keywords
As mentioned previously, keyword research needs to be done continuously because market situations can change at any moment. As time goes on, new trends and opportunities emerge, and keywords need to be refreshed. Run an analysis to see which keywords work and which ones are related to current trends, and it will open doors to new opportunities.
We may sometimes overlook keywords because using them seems unnecessary. However, in the digital PR and marketing world, they set a company apart from others. It is what gets brands online visibility and the sales they acquire. Keyword research is a process that needs to be done continuously because of the ever-changing landscape of the market. Having reliable content is one thing, but creating it to achieve a particular goal is another. SEO and keywords are a bonus to any company’s business strategy.