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Learn what makes your heart beat.

In online marketing, it’s important to understand the entire buyer’s journey, in order to craft an effective program.

Keyword research plays a crucial role in this process, since search engines like Google are a primary channel for customer acquisition. In other words, they drive the best prospects to your website.

If you’re looking for ways to improve your SEO strategy, try these five steps.

Step 1. Start with a niche topic list.

What usual subjects do your target audiences use to search? List at least five different niche topics to start identifying great keywords.

For instance, your topics could be:

  • Digital marketing
  • Marketing automation
  • Lead generation
  • SEO
  • Social media

Step 2. Create a list of keywords.

Look closely at your niche topics. What keywords or phrases can boost your visibility in search engine results?

Let’s say you picked digital marketing as a niche topic. Your list might be something like:

  • What is digital marketing?
  • Digital marketing tools
  • Why do I need digital marketing for my business?
  • Top software for digital marketing

Need help expanding on your keyword list? Here’s a cool tip on how to get related keywords on Google.

  1. First, type in your keyword or phrase.
  2. Next, scroll down the first search results page.
  3. At the bottom of the page, you will find suggestions related to your original keywords. Thanks, Google!

Step 4. Pick long-tail keywords.

Still putting your advertising money only on head terms? Get a bigger bang for your Google Ads buck, by also using long-tail keywords that niche audiences might use to find your business.

Try this out by searching with three words or more. Google will provide some useful suggestions, too.

Because long-tail keywords are more specific than general keyword terms (where there’s stiff competition), it will cost less to bid on them. For best results, have a well-balanced keyword strategy that uses a mix of both long tail keywords and head terms. Doing so will give you those needed short-term wins and also help you achieve your long-term goals.

Step 5. Check out the competition.

What keywords are your competitors trying to rank for? Pick out the ones that might also work your business and try different strategies to get a leg up on search results.

On the flipside, are there good (long-tail) keywords that the competition are not looking at? See if they are relevant to your business and use them to your advantage.

SEO is a key component of digital marketing. Do it right and keyword research can do wonders for your business.