Since Google and other search engines have become popular platforms that 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 the exact terms their target audience is 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. 2021 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 you want to search for anything on the Internet, all you need to do is type in exactly what you are looking for, receive search engine results, click on your preferred website, and access the information you are looking for. The words that you type are what PR and marketing professionals call keywords.
What is keyword research?
Keyword research is the process of discovering and determining the terms that matter most for your company’s objectives and its website. It enables you to understand what words audiences are using to solve their problems. The research process is essential if you want to dispel any misunderstandings or assumptions that you might have about the audience’s needs and the language they use to express them. It can be time-consuming and tedious, but you can come out with valuable information that can set your company apart from its competition. Taking the right amount of time to research keywords will help you to find popular search terms that people use and are relevant to your brand. The keywords you come out with can then be seamlessly integrated into all your online content.
One of the most common digital marketing goals for any company these days is to significantly increase their online visibility. Regardless of whether your customers plan to buy a product or service online or at a brick-at-mortar store, having a robust online presence will help these customers to initially find, learn about, and possibly purchase from your 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, newsletters, and media kits. They should also be incorporated into social media with hashtags. The goal of SEO and keywords goal is to help your company’s content appear everywhere when people are looking up specific words. This helps present a strong voice in addition to establishing expertise and leadership within the industry.
Keyword strategies are essential when developing an effective search engine marketing campaign. This is because choosing the right keywords can determine how well your 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 your business or are associated with your 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 newsworthy content. They also provide access to their PR database of over 1 million journalists and media outlets to help companies 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. Ultimately, ranked keywords with SEO scores 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. Other search terms 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. These categories are usually defined by how effective they are at converting. The indexed terms can include; brand, product, competitor, a substitute product, a complementary product, and audience.
You 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 revisited continuously. This is because market situations – and therefore keyword rankings – are always changing. You need to be aware of circumstances like the shifting needs or desires of target consumers. Moreover, keep in mind the new competitors entering the market, changes to search engine algorithms or features, or further queries that consumers are using to look for what your 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, you need to get into the mind of the consumer. You need to think about terms that your ideal customers would use to describe your business or product/service. Thinking about terms that they use to talk about their problems, concerns, and ideas will help you find keywords that you can use to describe your product or service when creating content.
You can find this information by studying different articles, blogs, and forums about the topic you’re interested in. On these platforms, you can see the exact words used to describe any pain points that your company is trying to resolve with its product or service. You can also identify 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, you should compile a list that you 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 you because it gives you both a direct and indirect route to the keywords that make sense to your audience. Beyond using keywords that are directly related to your brand, you can also use words with a 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 out. If your company already has a website and online presence, you probably already have a list of keywords that have been used and keywords that you are trying to rank for. If you are just starting out, you can analyze the high-performing keywords for your industry. Find out what drives relevant traffic so you can establish your keyword strategy.
From there, you should run an analysis to see how each keyword is performing by looking at your ranking history and search volume. The metrics gathered will help you separate the high-performing keywords from those that only provided sufficient to low search volume and impressions.
4) Formulate your goals
Having goals in place gives you a sense of direction with your research and strategy. There have been many times when keyword research shows terms that a company could rank for. However, they may not attract as many visitors as expected. Setting goals helps improve your chances of SEO success. It avoids targeting irrelevant terms or keywords that provide little to no return on investment.
5) Assess the competitive landscape
When you are first starting your keyword strategy, you should look at the keywords that already exist in your industry and develop them from there. This tactic also works if you are looking for other sources to find keywords you 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. In fact, it has helped companies optimize their PR content through SEO. Through keyword research, you can create content that is focused on high-performing keywords and drives relevant traffic.
1) Write headlines that attract the audience
With the researched keywords, you can create headlines that draw readers in and retain their attention. PR campaigns require all types of headlines. Nevertheless, the bottom line is that all of them need to include frequently-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 your 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 your press releases, companies obtain visibility by appearing higher in search rankings. This tactic also provides an incentive for media outlets. This is 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. This 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. Using the right keywords is what gets brands online visibility and the sales they acquire. Keyword research 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.