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Ditch the Keyword
Based Content
Strategy
Topics, Search Intent, and Users!
Nicole Hess
Director of Strategy
Greenlane Search Marketing
Demographic Research
Digital Marketing
SEO
Co-organizer, Content Strategy Philly
Meetup
Digital Marketing Office Hours
University of Arts, Philadelphia
@nicolecherieh
What We’re Covering
➔Faults of Traditional Keyword
Strategies
➔How To: Find Topics (New and
Competitor)
➔How To: Uncover Search Intent
➔How To: Other Data for SEO Content
➔Resources
But first, you.
Good Riddance
Keyword Planner
@maddiegoodie
Why do You use
Keyword Planner?
Use of Google’s Keyword Planner
9/10 respondents said “search
volume” was primary use of
Google’s Keyword Planner.
The devil is in
the details
^
keyword
70% of all
searches are
for long-tail
keywords.
@aaronfriedman
70% of all
searches
are for
long-tail
keywords.
skirts
skirts with pockets
cheap skirts
long skirts with pockets
pleated skirts with pockets
cotton pleated skirts with pockets
Topics Rule the
SERPs
● 2 of the top 5 didn’t include
“infant” in any content
(onpage or metadata)
● 3 of the top 5 didn’t include
“infant” in metadata
# of instances of “infant” in page copy
Scenario 1.
Our site offers products tailored to specific
dog breeds.
We didn’t have content for different dog
breeds and how our products relate to
them.
#topicsnotkeywords
Use Google Suggest
Find out what people are searching for about their breeds
But how long will it take to find all Google suggests?
Visualizes
Google
suggestions by
question
words.
Answerthepublic.com
Google
Suggestions by
prepositions.
Use the tool
to get MSV data.
Map the topic
opportunities
to # of
keywords and
monthly search
volume.
Action:
- Aggregate topics and search volume per breed
- Develop per breed outline of the topics to cover and in what order
Don’t leave 70% of potential
searches untapped.
Do topic based research to
uncover these long-tail
keywords.
Scenario 2.
Need new content for a client who already
has half a million pieces of content.
They knew competitor sites ranked above
them for a lot of keywords.
How to find them all?
And deliver actionable writing prompts?
#topicsnotkeywords
80 / 20 Rule
20% of your content likely drives 80% of engagement.
Probably even less than 20%, like these 3 clients:
Analysis of 3
client’s
content and
organic traffic
patterns.
“The quality of your content
has an exponentially
greater impact than
quantity.”
@janessalantz
Find Competitor
Keywords Topics
SEMrush
Domain vs. Domain analysis
Oldsckullskateboards ranks
for 5,705 keywords that
Zumiez doesn’t.
But what to write about?
Raw Competitor
Ranking Data
Sorting the data, we’ve
found some keyword
themes.
How can we aggregate
all the topics together?
Topic Opportunity
Finder
Automates finding ranking topics
of competitors by providing:
Competitor ranking topic
Total search volume for topic
Best ranking competitor URL for topic
Keywords competition ranks for
Search volume by keyword
Ranking URL @seanmalseed
How to use
1. Make a copy
2. Export competitor rankings
from SEMrush (yes, one by one)
3. Paste into worksheet
4. Input API key
5. Wait.
6. Enjoy!
Topic Opportunity Finder
(Link)
581,000 monthly searches
We identified 4 topics representing over 600 keywords and 581,000
monthly searches.
Onpage
Optimization
Template
Target topics not keywords.
Find out the variations people are
searching for.
Scenario 3.
Page moved from pos. 1 to 3 for the targeted head term.
And stayed there for a year.
This caused the company to lose a lot of $$$ in revenue.
We helped them get back to #1.
#searchintent
Search Intent
Top 5 results for
“plan trip with infant”
● 2 of the top 5 didn’t include
“infant” in any content (onpage
or metadata)
● Only 2 of the top 5 included
“infant” in metadata
Search Intent
Top results for “childcare”
● Day care centers local results
● Day care center PPC
● Only 1 result for a page
about “child care” without
meaning “day care”
How to Identify Search Intent
1. Look at the SERPs for specific and different intents
2. Find the long-tail keywords that align to the intent
E.g. “buy dress with pockets” vs “reviews of dresses with pockets” vs “cheap
designer dresses”
3. If trying to outrank competitor, see what long-tail intent
keywords your competitor’s target page(s) rank for.
4. Compare competitor long-tail intent keywords to your own
SEMrush
Competitor Long-Tail Intent Keywords
Search Intent Tables
in Google Sheets
How to Identify Search Intent
1. Look at the SERPs for specific and different intents
2. Find the long-tail keywords that align to the intent
E.g. “buy dress with pockets” vs “reviews of dresses with pockets” vs “cheap
designer dresses”
3. If trying to outrank competitor, see what long-tail intent
keywords your competitor’s target page(s) rank for.
4. Compare competitor long-tail intent keywords to your own
Compare Our Site to Competition
Both competitors rank for
nearly double the search
volume for "buy" related
searches.
We overperformed for
“reviews” - a search intent
more for information than
purchasing.
Us Ranking #1 Ranking #2
All Related Pages
Optimization Plan
Reviewed competitor content and intent keywords
used
Changed the order of copy on page to showcase buying
information before additional reviews.
Included “buy” in H2 and first paragraph of content.
#1
Target keyword moved up from position 3 to position 1 within 2 months,
after 1 year of its drop to position 3.
Google is matching head-term
searches to intent.
Use long-tail keywords to
discover different search intent.
Other Data Sources
Adwords + Search Console
Connect the Accounts
Get the Data
Mapping PPC to Organic Rankings
Steps:
1. Review successful PPC keywords
2. Identify relevant organic keyword
3. Note if organic keyword ranks
4. Note if organic landing page for keyword
has conversions
SEO from PPC Data
Noted if organic keyword ranked
Identified other relevant organic keywords
Identified content that the keyword relates to
Optimized page + conversion element
70%
70% increase in conversions for targeted service “cookie delivery”
Don’t let PPC data go to waste.
Find out how your target keywords
perform ($) and find other
opportunities you hadn’t
considered.
More Data? Yes.
Your Audience
1.Who is your audience for the
particular thing you are
promoting?
2.Who are the extremes in the
audience?
1.What are the needs (not
wants) of the audience?
Brand to
Audience Survey
http://www.greenlaneseo.com/
blog/2016/08/write-content-
clients-voice/
Ask Them What They Need
12%
12% lift in on-site leads YoY
Listen to your audience.
Really listen.
Create the content + experience
they need.
1 Min Wrap-Up
See. Learn. Do.
Don’t be the generic yet
widely familiar SEO guy.
See what other’s are doing.
Learn why it worked for
them.
Do your own strategy based
on your client’s needs.
It’s time we move past
simple keyword research.
We can research topics
and search intent.
Resources
➔ Good Riddance Keyword Planner
➔ Answer the Public
➔ Keywords Everywhere
➔ SEMrush Keyword Magic (Beta)
➔ Topic Opportunity Finder (Beta)
➔ Search Intent Tables
➔ Onpage Optimization Template
➔ Brand to Audience Survey
➔ 80/20 Content Marketing Power Law
@nicolecherieh

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Ditch the Keyword Based Content Strategy

  • 1. Ditch the Keyword Based Content Strategy Topics, Search Intent, and Users!
  • 2. Nicole Hess Director of Strategy Greenlane Search Marketing Demographic Research Digital Marketing SEO Co-organizer, Content Strategy Philly Meetup Digital Marketing Office Hours University of Arts, Philadelphia @nicolecherieh
  • 3. What We’re Covering ➔Faults of Traditional Keyword Strategies ➔How To: Find Topics (New and Competitor) ➔How To: Uncover Search Intent ➔How To: Other Data for SEO Content ➔Resources
  • 6. Why do You use Keyword Planner? Use of Google’s Keyword Planner 9/10 respondents said “search volume” was primary use of Google’s Keyword Planner.
  • 7. The devil is in the details ^ keyword
  • 8. 70% of all searches are for long-tail keywords.
  • 9. @aaronfriedman 70% of all searches are for long-tail keywords. skirts skirts with pockets cheap skirts long skirts with pockets pleated skirts with pockets cotton pleated skirts with pockets
  • 10. Topics Rule the SERPs ● 2 of the top 5 didn’t include “infant” in any content (onpage or metadata) ● 3 of the top 5 didn’t include “infant” in metadata # of instances of “infant” in page copy
  • 11.
  • 12. Scenario 1. Our site offers products tailored to specific dog breeds. We didn’t have content for different dog breeds and how our products relate to them. #topicsnotkeywords
  • 13. Use Google Suggest Find out what people are searching for about their breeds But how long will it take to find all Google suggests?
  • 16. Map the topic opportunities to # of keywords and monthly search volume.
  • 17.
  • 18. Action: - Aggregate topics and search volume per breed - Develop per breed outline of the topics to cover and in what order
  • 19. Don’t leave 70% of potential searches untapped. Do topic based research to uncover these long-tail keywords.
  • 20. Scenario 2. Need new content for a client who already has half a million pieces of content. They knew competitor sites ranked above them for a lot of keywords. How to find them all? And deliver actionable writing prompts? #topicsnotkeywords
  • 21. 80 / 20 Rule 20% of your content likely drives 80% of engagement. Probably even less than 20%, like these 3 clients: Analysis of 3 client’s content and organic traffic patterns.
  • 22. “The quality of your content has an exponentially greater impact than quantity.” @janessalantz
  • 24. SEMrush Domain vs. Domain analysis Oldsckullskateboards ranks for 5,705 keywords that Zumiez doesn’t. But what to write about?
  • 25. Raw Competitor Ranking Data Sorting the data, we’ve found some keyword themes. How can we aggregate all the topics together?
  • 26. Topic Opportunity Finder Automates finding ranking topics of competitors by providing: Competitor ranking topic Total search volume for topic Best ranking competitor URL for topic Keywords competition ranks for Search volume by keyword Ranking URL @seanmalseed
  • 27.
  • 28. How to use 1. Make a copy 2. Export competitor rankings from SEMrush (yes, one by one) 3. Paste into worksheet 4. Input API key 5. Wait. 6. Enjoy! Topic Opportunity Finder (Link)
  • 29. 581,000 monthly searches We identified 4 topics representing over 600 keywords and 581,000 monthly searches.
  • 31. Target topics not keywords. Find out the variations people are searching for.
  • 32. Scenario 3. Page moved from pos. 1 to 3 for the targeted head term. And stayed there for a year. This caused the company to lose a lot of $$$ in revenue. We helped them get back to #1. #searchintent
  • 33. Search Intent Top 5 results for “plan trip with infant” ● 2 of the top 5 didn’t include “infant” in any content (onpage or metadata) ● Only 2 of the top 5 included “infant” in metadata
  • 34. Search Intent Top results for “childcare” ● Day care centers local results ● Day care center PPC ● Only 1 result for a page about “child care” without meaning “day care”
  • 35. How to Identify Search Intent 1. Look at the SERPs for specific and different intents 2. Find the long-tail keywords that align to the intent E.g. “buy dress with pockets” vs “reviews of dresses with pockets” vs “cheap designer dresses” 3. If trying to outrank competitor, see what long-tail intent keywords your competitor’s target page(s) rank for. 4. Compare competitor long-tail intent keywords to your own
  • 37. Search Intent Tables in Google Sheets
  • 38. How to Identify Search Intent 1. Look at the SERPs for specific and different intents 2. Find the long-tail keywords that align to the intent E.g. “buy dress with pockets” vs “reviews of dresses with pockets” vs “cheap designer dresses” 3. If trying to outrank competitor, see what long-tail intent keywords your competitor’s target page(s) rank for. 4. Compare competitor long-tail intent keywords to your own
  • 39. Compare Our Site to Competition Both competitors rank for nearly double the search volume for "buy" related searches. We overperformed for “reviews” - a search intent more for information than purchasing. Us Ranking #1 Ranking #2 All Related Pages
  • 40. Optimization Plan Reviewed competitor content and intent keywords used Changed the order of copy on page to showcase buying information before additional reviews. Included “buy” in H2 and first paragraph of content.
  • 41. #1 Target keyword moved up from position 3 to position 1 within 2 months, after 1 year of its drop to position 3.
  • 42. Google is matching head-term searches to intent. Use long-tail keywords to discover different search intent.
  • 44. Adwords + Search Console Connect the Accounts Get the Data
  • 45. Mapping PPC to Organic Rankings Steps: 1. Review successful PPC keywords 2. Identify relevant organic keyword 3. Note if organic keyword ranks 4. Note if organic landing page for keyword has conversions
  • 46. SEO from PPC Data Noted if organic keyword ranked Identified other relevant organic keywords Identified content that the keyword relates to Optimized page + conversion element
  • 47. 70% 70% increase in conversions for targeted service “cookie delivery”
  • 48. Don’t let PPC data go to waste. Find out how your target keywords perform ($) and find other opportunities you hadn’t considered.
  • 50. Your Audience 1.Who is your audience for the particular thing you are promoting? 2.Who are the extremes in the audience? 1.What are the needs (not wants) of the audience?
  • 52. Ask Them What They Need
  • 53. 12% 12% lift in on-site leads YoY
  • 54. Listen to your audience. Really listen. Create the content + experience they need.
  • 56. See. Learn. Do. Don’t be the generic yet widely familiar SEO guy. See what other’s are doing. Learn why it worked for them. Do your own strategy based on your client’s needs.
  • 57. It’s time we move past simple keyword research. We can research topics and search intent.
  • 58. Resources ➔ Good Riddance Keyword Planner ➔ Answer the Public ➔ Keywords Everywhere ➔ SEMrush Keyword Magic (Beta) ➔ Topic Opportunity Finder (Beta) ➔ Search Intent Tables ➔ Onpage Optimization Template ➔ Brand to Audience Survey ➔ 80/20 Content Marketing Power Law @nicolecherieh

Editor's Notes

  1. Survey Qs - Works in house vs agency? - Is responsible for content creation? - Writes content themselves? - Thinks Kristen Wiig is hilarious?
  2. https://medium.com/antics-in-semantics/medium-com-anticsemantics-good-riddance-google-keyword-planner-82c693c8926c#.h3fh6l72s
  3. https://moz.com/blog/illustrating-the-long-tail
  4. http://answerthepublic.com/seeds/578348
  5. https://keywordseverywhere.com/
  6. https://www.semrush.com/analytics/seomagic/start
  7. https://docs.google.com/document/d/14pbhgTezqLxoPovHTJy9QmZAjp-rwqr4ifMrDIThjdY/edit
  8. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kHuf6jCV9P2s5C-HvylAWBkgHKNnYUuFqbFRVeKsAnE/edit#gid=1888121372
  9. https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/b2c-lift-with-questionnaire
  10. https://www.marketingsherpa.com/article/case-study/b2c-lift-with-questionnaire