If you want to drive more traffic from search engines, you need to get keyword research right. Using the right keywords in the right ways in your content will influence how quickly your pages will rank in Google searches and therefore how much traffic you generate.
But you shouldn’t put all your eggs in one basket and only focus on SEO. All it takes is one minor tweak to the search engine algorithms, and you might quickly see your organic traffic start dwindling. Indeed, SEO is best approached as one channel that’s part of a holistic and more diverse traffic acquisition strategy, which also encompasses social media marketing.
Whether you’re looking to get active on one or a handful of social networks, the keyword research that you do for publishing content that ranks on Google is still useful for social media as well. After all, across all of these channels, you’re only going to be as effective if your content is worded in a manner that resonates with what your target audience is after.
In this post, we are going to show you how to use keyword research to improve both search rankings and social reach.
First, do keyword research for search engines
It’s generally a good idea to first nail down your keyword research for search engines before you do any social research. There are two ways to go about this. One is to just look up keywords on Google search and Google AdWords Keyword Planner, trying to find phrases with high search volume that seem relatively attainable. This technique is effective, but takes up a lot of time.
An alternative shortcut is to use a third-party tool for keywords where you can just analyze your competitor’s websites. This will show you all the keywords they are ranking for, and you can also filter the keywords based on search volumes and difficulty and only choose the ones you have the most potential to rank for.
Many of these tools will also help you spy on your competitors’ links. You can later use this list to inform your blogger outreach efforts, to help you build links from the same domains as your competitors, chipping away at their advantages over you in the rankings.
While researching keywords for search engines, don’t just look at the search volume and difficulty, but also pay attention to factors such as click-through rate and buyer intent. These factors will also determine how much traffic you stand to gain and what people will expect to see when they arrive on your landing pages.
With these considerations and methods in mind, try and find as many keywords as you can, as not all keywords that have search volume on search engines will be popular on social networks. As shown in the next step, there need to be significant overlaps between your search and social keywords.
Combine with social research
Once your SEO keyword research is nicely underway, it’s time to follow it with social keyword research. The best place to start is with networks like YouTube and Pinterest. These platforms might appear like social networks, but they’re arguably primarily search engines with a few social features like comments, repins, likes, and direct messages.
People make billions of searches on both networks. This is why it would be wise to find the keywords people are searching on these channels. Pinterest makes this easy for you, as its ad manager allows you to see search volumes of keywords.
After you conduct research on networks that are a combination of search engines and social media, you can turn your attention to traditional networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Here you will mainly look at what topics are generating the most engagement. You can also go into specifics such as whether a certain keyword or hashtag is generating more engagement. You can do this research by manually typing in the keywords onto the network or using a social research tool.
Your goal should be to find topics and keywords that not only have high search volumes, but also generate more engagement on social media.
Create great content
To rank on Google and social search networks like Pinterest and YouTube, keyword optimization is the main thing that matters. How you write your content and weave the keywords into key areas will make a massive difference.
But when optimizing the content for social, the thing that will matter more is the quality of the content. If you create better content you will generate more engagement – i.e. more people will like your post and share it themselves on social media. This will improve your posts’ reach.
Quality can also matter for search engines, as well written articles and landing pages can make a better impression on readers and drive conversions. So, along with writing for search incorporate techniques such as copywriting to make your content more persuasive.
Also, do your best to differentiate yourself from the competition. Before creating any piece of content, you should check out all the posts your competition has created. You should then figure out angles in which you can position your content as something different. If your content stands out, you will naturally attract more attention and engagement.
Now create content for both search and social
Search engines are evolving. Before they were all about helping people find websites with the right information. But nowadays search engines are trying to keep people as long as they can on their websites and persuade people to click on the ads and maximize profits. This is why less than 50% of online searches result in a click.
So, it’s a good idea to optimize your content for social networks too. They will help you drive some extra traffic that you are missing out from search engines. While doing your keyword research for search engines, dedicate time to finding keywords for social networks that your audience frequents.