You know those old-school SEO tactics that say you need to find the keywords with high volume and low difficulty? Those days are gone.
Even though keyword research is an essential part of your marketing strategy, creating content that will appease an algorithm isn't going to cut it anymore. After all, you want people to read and engage with your content, and they won't do that with cookie-cutter "SEO" blogs.
In this article, we'll tell you why current keyword research practices don't work for B2B businesses anymore and why you need to focus your energy on creating content that your customers actually want.
TLDR Key Takeaways
- The first pieces of content you create should work as a sales pitch, covering the benefits of using your product vs. targeting a set of keywords.
- Don't shy away from zero-volume keywords. These numbers are almost always wrong.
- Don’t parrot top-ranking sites in the SERPs. Write content you'd actually want to read.
Focus on Your Own Business Needs
The importance of keyword research cannot be overstated when it comes to any marketing strategy. After all, choosing the right keywords has the potential to make or break your content writing efforts.
But when you first start creating your content, you shouldn't focus exclusively on keywords.
Why? Because the first few pieces of content you create should be focused on your business and its unique selling proposition (USP).
You want to use this chance to build up your brand, fine-tune your messaging, and explore the topics that actually resonate with your audience.
Not only will this help you paint a clear picture of who you are and what you offer, but you'll also be able to repurpose this content in future eBooks, white papers, guides, and other tools for your sales team.
So how do you do this?
You want to start out by mapping out every service you have to offer—even the ones you don't consider your top money-makers. If you can do it, list it. Then, brainstorm everything your ideal customer might search for in relation to those services.
For example, our ideal customers might search for the best B2B content marketing agencies, or the best strategies for B2B SEO, or how to write B2B content, and so forth.
The key here is to ensure you're getting as granular as possible because that's the only way that you can have any chance of ranking potentially based on your niche.
Find Your Best Opportunities That Overlap With Your Business Needs
Now that you've compiled an extensive list of potential topics you want to write about, it's time to see if there's any potential to rank for those pieces.
Look at those SERPs, and see who's covering the topic. Take time to analyze your topics and choose the ones where there's some room for you to make your mark.
If you don't want to spend countless hours filtering through SERPs, we recommend using free tools like Keywords Everywhere or Ahrefs.
Here are the key things you want to identify:
- Is the topic filled with gigantic competition (big names you won't be able to move even if your content is pure gold)?
- If we wrote a solid piece that actually matched the search intent, would we be able to rank for it?
- Are people actually searching for this topic (is there any volume at all)?
You won't find the Goldilocks zone every time, but you also shouldn't be scared off by zero. Why? Because zero doesn't necessarily mean zero—especially if you're using free tools.
Even if the volume is low (we're talking 20, 30, or 50 people searching for that topic), you'll still drive traffic to your site with that topic because there are significantly more people searching than your keyword research tool is registering.
Plus, there are also a bunch of other searches surrounding that topic that you could potentially rank for.
Create Great Content, Not "SEO" Content
Now that you're armed with topics relevant to your business and the data to back it up, it's time to write meaningful content—not SEO content.
But aren't they the same thing? Nope!
How many times have you looked up a specific topic, clicked on the first listing, and had to endlessly scroll to find the actual answer to your question? We're gonna take a wild stab in the dark and say that you probably do this more often than not.
That's because that SEO content contains tons of unnecessary information to try and maximize the keywords for the algorithm.
For example, if I'm looking up how to maximize B2B marketing content, I don't need to know what B2B content marketing is or why it's beneficial—I already know those things.
Instead of writing a great piece of engaging content that your audience will find truly helpful, you end up writing content for a search engine that features a cookie-cutter response that may or may not answer the actual question.
So how do you create powerful content that resonates with your audience? You start by writing what you would want to read.
Let's face it. If you're not willing to read your content, why would your audience? If it's boring to you, it's boring to them. Period.
Don't research how to create content that ranks. Don't research other articles about that topic, and try to copy them. Just create content from your heart with a good narrative—content that has a truly beneficial, tangible outcome for your readers.
It's that simple.
If you follow these simple tips, you'll be in good shape. And when you're ready to start pushing those industry giants out of their number one spots, that's where we can help.