keyword-research

As the marketing industry continues to pivot and shift, marketers have to adapt new strategies and tactics to gain visibility online.

It is predicted that by 2020, customers will manage 85 percent of their relationships without actually talking to a person. This means that digital marketers have to find every possible way to get touch points in front of target audiences online.

A good place to start is to create a keyphrase strategy that informs all digital campaigns. This way, you maximize campaign success by ensuring that every team in every department is working off of the same blueprint and working to fulfill the same business objectives.

At this point, you are probably cringing at the thought of integrating keyword research for cross-channel usage, but it's actually one of the smartest things you can do to maximize visibility.

Think about it, how often have your paid search, organic or content marketing keywords aligned? Of course, there is always some kind of overlap, but just imagine how much better your campaign initiatives would perform online if the keyphrase strategy was perfectly aligned across every channel.

And these days, with the amount of free tools available for research, there's no reason to have your teams continue duplicating efforts. Instead you can have one person - or one department - efficiently create a comprehensive keyword list that drives qualified traffic to your website and generates leads through owned channels.

Of course, this approach requires thorough training and expertise in each area of the strategy. In an effort to set you and your team up for success, here are a few tips and tricks on how to do effective keyword research for integrated marketing campaigns.

The Integrated Approach To Keyword Research

Doesn't it seem a little odd that content, SEO and paid search all do separate keyword research and work off of different keyphrase strategies in order to achieve the same objectives? If you think about it - for the most part - they all use similar tools and work off of the same strategy to build those lists.

If all of these departments are targeting the same channels and targeting the same audience, why not combine efforts and maximize efficiency? The best part about all of this - aside from the ridiculous amount of time you'll save - is the difference you'll see in campaign results month-over-month.

Top 3 Keyword Research Tools and How to Use Them Effectively

1. Google Adwords

The keyword planner in Adwords can - and should - be used to inform cross-channel marketing strategies. It provides unrivaled insight into search trends for long-tail keywords and core phrases; and it is a great place to start when doing keyword research.

Just put together a list of key terms that relate to your products or services and plug them into the keyword planner. From there, Adwords will put together a comprehensive list of ad groups and keywords based on low, medium or high competition.

Even though the level of competition for each keyword is directly tied to paid search metrics, it also provides some valuable insight for organic search. For example, if you want to target general keywords for "lead generation," but do not have the paid search budget to bid $20-$60 per click, then you can initially target those highly competitive keywords in content marketing campaigns and organic search strategies.

Google Adwords is also a great tool when doing keyword research for blog posts. Based on your target audience you have the option to filter the results by location, search volume and low competition.

Generally speaking, the keywords with the lowest competition are long-tail phrases that can easily be translated into ideas for content that targets and attracts qualified audiences.

The search volume for these keywords may be low, but that actually works in your favor when it comes to content strategy. By creating high quality content (preferably gated content for lead gen) using these key phrases you will not only rank well in organic search, but you will also drive qualified, intent-driven traffic to your website.

2. Keyword.io

This is a great tool for identifying short and long-tail keyword trends from search, as well as trending topics and pages currently ranking in the top 10 on search engine results pages (SERP). If you have a hard time using Google Trends, this is a great alternative. Plus, you can export lists of keywords and quickly plug them into any keyphrase strategy document.

3. ahrefs

Ahrefs is kind of a three-in-one tool for keyword research. You are able to do domain specific research to figure out where your website currently stands with SEO, social media and content marketing. You can also use it to explore keyword and content trends to maximize omni-channel visibility.

This tool does offer a free version, but results are limited for non-subscribers.

If there are any tools not included in this list that you find useful for keyword research please share them in the comments section below!