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How Do I Know if I’m Targeting the Right Keywords?

Getting the kind of traffic that you want from your content marketing efforts has several moving parts. One of them is ensuring that you’re setting your sights on the keywords that will generate results and building content around those keywords. Here’s some best practices for finding the right keywords along with common mistakes to avoid.

Go By Data, Not Intuition

Many site owners make the mistake of focusing on keywords that they think will be effective, or ones that just seem easier to work with, rather than what is actually being looked up. This often results in keywords that may sound nice in copy but have little or no search volume. It can also result in keywords that are too general or vague to have tractable results since the largest companies in the world already spent millions on ranking for very general keywords. Subsequently, long-tail keywords with multiple words are where you need to focus.

You can start with simple processes and also get ideas for content by typing words into search engine bars and seeing what kind of words come up, and is a free tool that can help you save time and show you different results for search engines while the paid version unlocks the analytics. Answer the Public is another free tool that gives you common prepositions and phrases related to the keyword you’re looking up based on what people are actually searching for.

Investing in a keyword map based on search data from a thorough data scrape can give you further insight like global and local search volume, ranking difficulty, and other important analytics that will help you make more informed and data-based decisions for which keywords to target.

Using Multiple Keywords Including Local Elements

If you’re the owner of a physical business like a chocolate shop, you’re trying to capture traffic from chocolate-related searches and convert that search traffic into foot traffic. Using a mix of long-tail keywords is how smaller businesses can effectively get search traffic. While a large company like Hershey’s or Nestle would have a keyword like “chocolate gifts” or “chocolate bar” on lockdown, focusing on “chocolate gifts downtown LA” or “vegan friendly chocolate bars” is more likely to produce stronger results.

Local elements are an important keyword not to overlook as they can make the difference between getting highly-targeted traffic or none at all. This is especially true for general keywords the large companies already bought up like “cheap car insurance”: adding the name of a city or town after that very general term like that can make an enormous difference. Then getting into niches using the chocolate example such as customized chocolate gifts and specific types of chocolate and confections available is also going to produce more results than incredibly general terms.


The more fine-tuned a keyword is with localization and niches in mind, the more likely it is to have traction when used in high-quality content. Keywords that seem like they’d work by intuition might not have the data to back them up and shouldn’t be your focal point. Take a look at the search data out there then pare down the keyword universe by niches, localization, and other relevant wording that will help you determine which keywords to focus on for maximum clicks and conversion.

Rachel P is an indie game developer, writer, and consultant. She is also a content strategist here at Writer Access and would be happy to help you with keyword maps, customer journey maps, and buyer personas in addition to writing for you. If you would to like to hire Rachel to devise a content strategy for you, please contact your account manager or send a direct message.

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By WriterAccess

Freelancer Rachel P

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