Is Keyword Research Important for Inbound Marketing?


When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), keyword research is vital for ranking on results pages. However, there is a strong argument that keywords are not as important for inbound marketing blog content. One goal of inbound marketing is to attract and build an audience who closely resembles your ideal customer, but who are not necessarily at the decision-making stage. Consequently, a portion of your blog content will focus on your target's interests, goals, and values. The SEO of these Blog posts is less about the best performing industry keywords and more about the search user's intent, language, and context.

Moreover, if you are trying to drive traffic from social media networks, then keyword research may come across as even less significant. So, there is sometimes an underlying philosophy with inbound marketing that it is all just about great content. Regardless, every good marketer knows that keyword research is the cornerstone of all inbound marketing campaigns. Furthermore, if you are not optimizing your content for search, you are missing out on a substantial number of opportunities. In fact, it is having an inbound strategy that is aligned with keyword research that will set you apart from your competition. 

A Basic Understanding of Keyword Research

Over the years, changes made to search engine algorithms have transformed keyword use. In days past, you were rewarded when you repeatedly stuffed a keyword into your Blog articles. However, the readability of content suffered and this standard was prone to abuse. As a result, keyword stuffing can now cause a penalty and a density between 1 and 3 percent has become the norm. Despite this, keyword research is still a vital component of successful marketing.

Keywords will help you discover the terms and phrases that your target is using. This will help you better identify relevant topics and publish the content visitors will want to read. As an example, if your target is searching for information about "business consultants", you will likely want to craft content that these prospective clients would find useful and informative. Inbound marketing is only successful when it touches on the topics that interest your audience and will hold their attention.

How to Maximize Your Inbound Success

The most effective inbound marketing strategy will produce content that is "uniquely valuable". What does that mean? Essentially, it is providing information that cannot be found anywhere else. For example, you simply do not want to be the thousandth law firm that published an article about "The 10 Benefits of Filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy". While you need to have an active website and create content, generic articles have absolutely no value. Effective keyword research will inform you about what your competition is publishing, empowering you to create content that will help you stand out.

Additionally, the consequences of targeting the wrong or generic phrases will mean either attracting unqualified traffic or no traffic at all. Even if your content does increase the number website visitors, it will have little value if those visitors are not likely and potential customers. The only way that inbound marketing can produce a return on investment is if visitors closely resemble your ideal customers. Don't you agree?

Ultimately, effective keyword research will benefit both inbound marketing and search engine optimization. This step is essential for strategically building an inbound marketing content library. Over time, you will want to use data and analytics to identify new search terms and build a strategy based on your audience's specific search behaviors and preferences. In short, keyword research is more than just adding the "right" terms and phrases into your content. It is about developing an understanding of your target and customer's behavior.

Do you have questions? What haven't we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about keyword research and inbound marketing, or a related topic, please contact us.