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Keyword Research and Copywriting: What You Need For Online Success in 2015 By Christine Churchill


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From the Search Marketing Expo - SMX East Conference in New York City, NY, September 29 - October 1, 2015. SESSION: Keyword Research & Copywriting For Search Success. PRESENTATION: Keyword Research and Copywriting: What you need for online success in 2015 - Given by Christine Churchill, @keyrelevance - KeyRelevance, President. #SMX #11D

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Keyword Research and Copywriting: What You Need For Online Success in 2015 By Christine Churchill

  1. 1. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill Christine Churchill, KeyRelevance Keyword Research and Copywriting What you need for online success in 2015 #11D
  2. 2. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D •  President & CEO of KeyRelevance, LLC for 15 years •  Member of Founding Board of Directors of Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) •  Member of the Founding Board of Directors of the Dallas/Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Organization (DFWSEM) •  Author at Search Engine Land & Web Marketing Today •  Longtime Speaker & Instructor at Search Marketing Expo (SMX), Search Engine Strategies, PubCon, and other conferences •  Masters degree and over 17 years online marketing experience Speaker: Christine Churchill
  3. 3. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D •  Keyword Research – What is it? Why do it? •  How to do KW Research in 2015 •  Knowledge Graph •  Hummingbird Algorithm •  Keyword Tools •  How to use Keywords to Optimize Content •  Online Copywriting Tips What We’ll Cover
  4. 4. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Keyword Research Fundamental step to all search marketing Keyword Research is the process of researching to identify the keyword terms customers use to find your products and services Keyword Research helps you get inside the mind of customers Keyword Research gives content marketing a good start
  5. 5. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D •  People use search engines to find you on the web •  Engines use text to categorize pages •  Research unveils terms people actually use •  KW Research improves performance of online marketing Why Do Keyword Research?
  6. 6. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D6 How to Do Keyword Research
  7. 7. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D7 Keyword Research is an Iterative Process Brainstorming & Discovery Keyword Expansion Keyword Evaluation
  8. 8. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Keyword Brainstorming and Discovery Phase 8
  9. 9. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill9 Create Keyword List Using Diverse Sources •  Brainstorming session – no judging words at this stage. Goal is to cast your net widely and generate broad list. •  Keyword lists from within company Review company web site and print collateral Press Releases Often too much insider jargon May or may not be customer’s lingo #11D
  10. 10. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill Learn the Lingo of the Customer Customer interviews Customer Surveys and Focus Groups Talk to support or sales personnel who talk directly to customers Review discussion forums, user generated content, blogs, social media The best keywords come straight from the customer’s mouth. #11D10
  11. 11. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Speak the Language of Customer Increase conversion by speaking the customer’s language Correct bad keyword choices Missing traffic Missing sales Discover new keyword opportunities - Find overlooked or new keywords - Take advantage of longer tail phrases “Duplicate a CD” vs “Burn a CD” 11
  12. 12. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill12 The Long Tail Finding New Opportunities •  Based on frequency graph •  Chris Anderson wrote book about it Describes it as new economic model Unlimited selection – Amazon books, iTunes Idea is that non-hits can make money based on sheer volume •  Popular phrases on left – highly competitive and expensive. Less popular on right – lower volume “20 to 25% of the queries that Google sees today have never been seen before.” – Udi Manber, Google VP of Engineering #11D
  13. 13. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill13 Create Keyword List Using Diverse Sources •  Online Blogs and Magazines •  Company and Product Reviews •  Online Thesaurus •  Search in Google with tilde ~ for synonyms #11D
  14. 14. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill14 Review Competitors Competitors Review their web site and collateral for keywords Look at words they are buying in PPC & targeting in SEO Get competitive insights and ideas on overlooked terms #11D
  15. 15. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill15 Use Site Search Data Site Search Box •  Reveals keywords and expressions that visitors are actually using / wanting •  Acts as a direct feed from the visitors brain •  Make sure you collect site search data – can tie it to your analytics for easy viewing Downside is data is limited and site search is usually a fall back when users can’t find what they are looking for on your site. #11D
  16. 16. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Developments That Changed Keyword Research •  Google Knowledge Graph •  Hummingbird Algorithm •  Not Provided Keywords •  Other Recent Algorithm Changes 16
  17. 17. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Knowledge Graph “The Knowledge Graph enables you to search for things, people or places that Google knows about —landmarks, celebrities, cities, sports teams, buildings, geographical features, movies, celestial objects, works of art and more—and instantly get information that’s relevant to your query. “ Source: knowledge-graph-things-not.html 17
  18. 18. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D How the Knowledge Graph Changed Search Critical first step towards building the next generation of search •  Taps into the collective intelligence of the web and understands the world a bit more like people do •  A step toward artificial intelligence Google now has a database on entities and understands relationships between different entities 18
  19. 19. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Sources of the Graph Google’s Knowledge Graph contains more than 500 million objects, as well as more than 3.5 billion facts about and relationships between these different objects Sources include Wikidata, Wikipedia and the CIA World Factbook. Freebase retired in 2015 19
  20. 20. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D What is Hummingbird Algorithm? According to Google the algorithm (announced Sept 2013) delivers better results that are "precise and fast" - like a hummingbird. It’s Google trying to figure out user intent and improve conversational search. Google wants to match the meaning, rather than pages matching just a few words. 20
  21. 21. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Do We Still Need to Worry About Keywords? Hummingbird is an overhaul of Google’s algorithm, but many of the old parts are still used. Google’s semantic analysis considers the language in your content - so you still need to use keywords and related phrases on the page to communicate to users and Google what the page is about - means on-page optimization is still beneficial 21
  22. 22. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Tips on Surviving After Hummingbird & the Knowledge Graph • Create high quality longer content that establishes your site as the place to go for answers • Develop ways to increase the authority of the site • Become a leader in your vertical • Show leadership thru social media, links, user metrics, online relationships Google has made it harder for “fake” authority to win. Going forward you have to earn your position. 22
  23. 23. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D The New Approach To Keyword Research • Focus on the user intent behind the search term - Try to develop content that delivers answers to what the searcher wants •  Stop focusing on exact match phrases - Look more to long tail and related phrases - Build a vocabulary of terms that are related to the phrase •  When doing KW research now, research core phrases plus related, synonyms, and words that frequently occur with your main terms (co-occurrence) •  Google’s move toward Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) and recent Google Patents dealing with re-ranking of results suggest that using synonyms and co-occurrence terms has benefits 23
  24. 24. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Keyword Research Tools 24
  25. 25. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Benefits of Keyword Tools •  Saves money and time •  Provides insight outside of your site •  Identifies keyword opportunities you might miss •  Offers popularity numbers you can’t get from your own analytics •  Moves you beyond keyword assumptions •  Allows you to compare phrases 25
  26. 26. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Free •  Google Keyword Planner Tool •  Google Webmaster Tools •  Google Trends •  Google Display Planner •  Google Instant •  Google Related Searches •  Bing Keyword Tool •  Bing Intelligence Tool •  Bing Webmaster Tools •  AnswerThePublic •  Amazon Suggests •  MetaGlossary Keyword Research Tools Fee Based •  WordTracker •  Searchmetrics •  Hitwise •  WordStream •  SEMRush •  ComScore •  SpyFu •  Long Tail Pro 26
  27. 27. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Keyword Planner - Oriented for Paid Search - Must be Logged Into AdWords to Use - Provides keyword ideas & monthly search volumes 27
  28. 28. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Trends Google Trends provides trends from web searches, images, news, shopping and YouTube Shows seasonality of phrases Can compare popularity of phrases 28
  29. 29. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Search Console (aka Webmaster Tools) shows actual search queries Shows up to 2000 top queries for the last 90 days Not affected by the Not Provided – this is limited but actual keyword data Provides Impression, Clicks, and CTR, but no conversion data 29
  30. 30. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Display Planner •  Free Adwords tool •  Built for display advertising in paid search but can give insights on keywords •  Suggests related keywords •  Gives demographic information on keywords 30
  31. 31. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Adwords Search Term Report Great for keyword discovery, but have to be running PPC Query People Actually Typed Shows you how customers are finding your ad. With the Search terms report, you can see the actual searches people entered on Google Search and other Search Network sites that triggered your ad and led to a click. Identifies new search terms with high potential so you can add them to your keyword list. Allows you to look for search terms that aren't as relevant to your business, so you can add them as negative keywords. #11D31
  32. 32. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Related Searches 32
  33. 33. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Bing Keyword Tool - Shows actual queries numbers (not rounded) - Has 6 months of data - Drill down by Country 33
  34. 34. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D •  Data pulled from meta search engines •  Eliminates most skewing issues caused by robots •  Differentiates between singular & plural •  Offer Free Tool for trial 34
  35. 35. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Wordstream / Useful for developing your vocabulary of related terms for Hummingbird 35
  36. 36. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Instant Shows suggestions as you type 36
  37. 37. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Google Instant – Shopping Search Different set of keywords on Shopping search from regular web search 37
  38. 38. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Gives suggestions from different perspectives Provides suggestions from Google Wikipedia Answers YouTube Bing Yahoo Amazon Plus option for15 other sites 38
  39. 39. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Ubersuggest 39
  40. 40. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D YouTube Keyword Auto Suggestions Shows popular video search queries 40
  41. 41. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Amazon Suggests 41
  42. 42. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D MetaGlossary Provides a definition and related terms 42
  43. 43. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Fun keyword tool that gives you lists of questions and phrases Excellent for giving content ideas or thoughts to flesh out an article 43
  44. 44. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Tag Clouds helps identify related terms 44
  45. 45. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D A couple of things to remember… No one tool has all the answers Don’t just extract keywords from a tool and run with them…review them for relevancy You need several tools in your toolbox Combining the tools synergistically works well. Some tools are better for certain functions. For instance, Google Instant is used for discovering new keyword phrases and Google Trends is good for comparing or identifying cycles 45
  46. 46. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Keyword Expansion Phase 46
  47. 47. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Target Variations of Your Keywords •  Comparison (best, compare, reviews) •  Price (cheap, discount) •  Product Description (green, plus size, unique) •  Intended use (gift for mother, baptism gown) •  Product (gift basket, mortgage, flight) •  Location •  Action (apply, book, find, buy) •  Season (holiday, Christmas, Halloween) •  Abbreviations •  Brand / vendor / manufacturer Modifiers are great at helping you expand your keyword list, but remember to keep “user intent” in mind when you combine the modifier to the core term! 47
  48. 48. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Keyword Permutations •  Mix and match terms to create new keyword phrases •  Many tools that do this for you •  Can use concatenate function in Excel or specific tool 48
  49. 49. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Using Excel to Expand KW List 49
  50. 50. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D •  Group related keywords into lists of related terms •  Remember to identify terms that frequently occur with your main terms •  Do a series of keyword research projects on a site, not one •  Develop a keyword matrix Keyword “Buckets” 50
  51. 51. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Evaluating Keywords 51
  52. 52. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D KW Selection Considerations •  Relevancy to Site •  Keyword Popularity •  User Intent •  Competition •  Performance Always test your keywords. Keywords can sounds like a good idea, but upon testing, they can fail miserably. 52
  53. 53. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill Relevancy Considerations Relevancy means choosing the keywords that best describes what the site offers Traffic alone isn’t the goal, you want targeted traffic that is searching for what you sell Best bet: Find words that resonate with your target audience and are descriptive of your site #11D53
  54. 54. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Popularity Considerations Popularity gives insight on traffic potential Being popular Is overrated Popular phrases Less relevant More competitive Less Popular More Focused Less Traffic Consider seasonality and cyclical popularity of phrases 54
  55. 55. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Consider User Intent Getting inside the searcher’s head •  Understand the “why” behind the motivation for the search and you can better target how to respond Research vs Purchase Stage in buying process Audience Demographic Buying vs Browsing “car reviews” “fast auto financing” “80% of all searches on the Web are non-commercial” - Jim Lanzone of 55
  56. 56. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Evaluating by the Stage in Buying Process •  Keywords indicate where consumer is in the Buying Process •  Match your content to satisfy the user’s intent when using the keyword Problem Recognition Information Search Evaluation of Alternatives Purchase Decision Adapted From: Marketing Management by Philip Kotler Select Alternatives 56
  57. 57. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Searcher Behavior Three types of searches: • Navigational - I just want to be at your web site. • Informational - Do hybrid cars require special maintenance? • Transactional -Interactive, purchase, subscribe, download -I want financing to buy a hybrid car. Adapted From: A Taxonomy of Web Search by Andrei Broder 57
  58. 58. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Results Pages Give Insight into What Google Thinks the Searcher Wants Type the proposed query into a Search Engine Look at the kinds of sites and files returned - PDFs, white papers, in-depth articles – likely informational query - Ecommerce sites – transactional - Brand site – navigational -  Are Knowledge Graph Answer boxes returned? -  Are local results or shopping ads returned? Looking at the results can help you interpret what Google thinks the user wants Do this on both desktop and mobile 58
  59. 59. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Evaluating KW By Competition Who Are Your Competitors? Who is ranking for your main keyword terms? Who has PPC ads? How well optimized are competitors sites? Are they active on social media and review sites? What is their link profile? 59
  60. 60. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill60 Competitive Intelligence Tools •  Hitwise •  ComScore Marketer •  Trellian’s Competitive Intelligence •  Keyword Difficulty Tool •  SpyFu •  SearchMetrics •  KeyCompete •  Compete •  SemRush •  KeywordSpy •  AdGooRoo •  Keyword Analyzer #11D60
  61. 61. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D61 SEMRush 61 Provides: • Top Keywords • Rankings • PPC Terms • PPC Bids • Traffic Trends
  62. 62. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Searchmetrics Can Identify Co-Occurrence Terms, Competitors Terms, etc 62
  63. 63. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D SEOMOZ Keyword Difficulty Relative yardstick of difficulty 63
  64. 64. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D SPYFu 64
  65. 65. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill Test KW Performance Use PPC to test candidate KWs - Do keywords bring the amount of traffic you want? - Does the traffic convert? PPC gives quick quantitative feedback on the KW performance while controlling costs If works well in PPC, expand kw use in SEO, social and content marketing Downside: Terms that work well in PPC are often transactional. You may have to expand your list to include informational terms #11D65
  66. 66. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Content Optimization Putting the Pieces Together 66
  67. 67. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D67 67 Everything Is Better with Chocolate Image: Graeme Weatherston / Keywords •  Web sites •  Paid search •  Articles •  White Papers •  FAQ pages •  Product Feeds •  News •  Blog Posts •  Press Releases •  Images •  Videos •  Podcasts •  Schema •  Social Media •  Content Marketing Optimize all digital assets
  68. 68. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Good Online Copywriting Is a Balancing Act •  You have to write to engage the human reader •  You have to write so search engines understand relevancy of content •  It is this talent for doing both that separates high quality SEO content from spam 68
  69. 69. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D On-Page SEO Guidelines Has to be NATURAL Elegantly work keywords into visible content on web pages - Don’t stuff keywords - Do the “Read Aloud” test to gauge natural tone SEO helps good content get found 69
  70. 70. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D On-Page SEO Guidelines (cont) Think keyword phrase NOT single keyword Create a matrix chart to assign different main phrases to different pages Use synonyms and related words on page to reinforce main topic 70
  71. 71. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Where to Use Keywords On Site •  Title Tags •  Meta Description •  H Tags •  Visible text on the page •  Alt Attribute •  Links and anchor text •  File names •  URL •  Schema code •  Bold, strong, emphasized tags •  Breadcrumb Navigation 71
  72. 72. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Title Tags <title>Interesting Relevant Keyword Rich Blurb</title> •  Most important “on-page” tag •  Title contents appears in first line of listing on SERP so spend extra time to create compelling titles that grab attention •  Include keyword phrase early in title •  Should be unique…don’t use same title on multiple pages •  Title should be accurate and reflect content of page 72
  73. 73. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Meta Description Tag <meta name="Description" content=“Compelling marketing message that reads well and contains targeted keywords"> •  Should provide a summary of the page and should be unique to the page •  Frequently used as snippet on results page •  Should contain keywords relevant to the page. Include synonyms and related words – don’t just repeat core terms 73
  74. 74. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Feed the Knowledge Graph Explicit method - Schema - Tables Implicit method - On-page Text Adds confidence in data for Google Schema is helpful as a template to build out quality content 74
  75. 75. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Golden Rules for Writing Copy Talk about benefits, not features -Tell them why they should care Appeal to emotions and senses - most buying decisions are emotionally based Solve problems and answer questions in your content Don’t forget to include a “Call to Action” 75
  76. 76. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Develop Shareable Content Start with relevant interesting content Include social media sharing and keywords in editorial calendar planning Place sharing social share icons in susceptible moments – Make it easy to share The Title can make or break your content so take extra time to create a compelling headline Use a subheading to further entice reader 76
  77. 77. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Good User Experience Increases Share-ability Include visually stimulating graphics - Good graphic draws reader in - Faces & bright colors attract the eyes “Chunk up” the content layout to be more scan friendly - Use headers, subheadings & bullet lists to add hierarchy - White space is your friend - Keep paragraphs short Avoid “noise” and distracting items on page Don’t forget Google tracks user behavior 77
  78. 78. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Getting Your Great Content Found Online •  Mix in synonyms, long tail terms and variations •  Replace duplicate content with original writing and use canonicals •  Clean up the site - Remove low quality pages, write longer deeper content •  Link to related useful content •  Be professional - run link checkers, spell checkers and avoid foul words 78
  79. 79. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Home Page SEO •  Usually your strongest page •  Target most competitive relevant keyword phrase •  Depending on strength of your site and the competition, target 2-3 keyword phrases •  Don’t try to cover EVERY KEYWORD related to what your company does 79
  80. 80. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Internal Page SEO •  Divide and conquer: Assign KW phrases to different pages on site •  Focus, focus, focus: Make that page ALL ABOUT the keywords you’re targeting •  Use related terms and synonyms on the page to reinforce what the page is about •  Balance: resist temptation to stuff Image: winnond / 80
  81. 81. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D Points to Take Home 1.  Keyword research Isn’t dead – helps identify user intent 2.  Exact match keyword targeting is dead 3.  Use keyword phrases, synonyms and related terms on the page, in schema code and in all digital assets 4.  Use tools to increase productivity & provide insights 5.  Test keywords for true worth. View popularity as traffic potential and consider seasonality and trends 6.  Write to enhance the user experience - Compose quality content that satisfies user intent and answers questions 7.  Make content easy to read & share 81
  82. 82. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill#11D82 Thank You! Christine Churchill @KeyRelevance @ChrisChurchill Questions?
  83. 83. #SMX #XXa @ChrisChurchill THANK YOU! SEE YOU @SMX WEST SAN JOSE, CA MARCH 1-3, 2016 #11D