Category: Content Marketing

Keyword Research Tools & Tips [Powerful SEO Series: Article 2]

This is the second entry in our 8 Steps to Powerful Search Engine Optimization series. Check out Article 1 to learn about website audits!

You: Who needs keyword research, anyway?

Us: Everyone.

You: Everyone?

Us:

Woah … Sorry, about that. Not sure what happened there … Anyway … 

Yes, everyone should do keyword research before optimizing a website, writing new content, or anything related to digital marketing.

Sometimes companies pay for research tools, while others opt for free ones. Here are a few options you might want to consider.

Paid Keyword Research Tools

Marketing companies tend to use paid tools for their keyword research because they give a ton of information in a tidy package. One example of these is the SEMrush management platform.

If you’ve spent a lot of time researching SEO, you’ve probably heard of SEMrush by now. There’s a good reason for that — their platform kicks ass. Especially the Keyword Magic Tool.

When you type in a keyword, you’ll be given a large number of terms and phrases related to it. You’ll also be given data for each keyword, including:

  • Monthly search volume
  • Keyword difficulty
  • Average cost-per-click (CPC)
  • And more

Here’s an example of how a search would look if we used the keyword “keyword research”:

Picture of the SEMrush Keyword Magic Tool dashboard.

As you can see, it’s a powerful program. However, it’s also expensive, so might not be the best option for a small business. Let’s take a look at some of the free options available… 

Free Keyword Research Tools That Don’t Suck

This isn’t going to be a comprehensive list because we haven’t tried all of them. BUT, we do use a couple of free keyword research tools that we believe hold their own against pricier choices.

Keywords Everywhere

We use this one to find additional keywords and long-tail keywords to add to our existing list. Keywords Everywhere is a Google Chrome extension and super simple to use.

All you have to do is type in a keyword, click search, and the results will appear on the right-hand side of the search results. The extension will provide you with the trend data for the keyword, along with a bunch of similar keywords that you might be interested in using.

Picture of the free keyword research tool, Keywords Everywhere.

Keyword Surfer

This is another Google Chrome extension that we use often. When you search for a keyword, Keyword Surfer provides monthly search volume, estimated CPC, and a list of keyword ideas related to your search.

Basically, this tool can give you all the information you need to properly optimize your website’s meta titles, meta descriptions, headers, and on-page content. Here’s an example when we searched for “keyword research tools”:

Picture of the free keyword research tool, Keyword Surfer.

Potential Shortcomings of Free Keyword Tools

Free technology usually has its quirks. For example, sometimes Google’s shopping ads at the top of the search results will block the keyword boxes. It doesn’t happen often, but even one research session can throw off a project.

Another inconvenience is that, while it’s free to use the base functionality of these tools, there are elements of them that might require payments. It’s not enough to hinder the experience, but definitely something to be aware of.

We Can Help You With Your Digital Marketing

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Level-Up Your Digital Marketing

5 Blogging Tips For Your Small Business

You got somethin’ to say to me? Good, blog about it!

Small business owners want loyal customers, but let’s be honest, that’s not as simple as it used to be. People can do fast research on their phones and easily find competitors with higher ratings or cheaper prices.

Hey! I’m not a buzzkill! I promise this is going somewhere.

Since people can find cheaper options than you, one way you’ll be able to stand apart is by opening up a dialogue with customers. That’s right, you can build a relationship through content marketing. Blogs can:

  1. Help you interact with your customers on a frequent basis.
  2. Give you a platform to present your products or services.
  3. Generate traffic to your website and help cultivate quality leads.
  4. Secure your position in the marketplace as an expert thought-leader.

Long story short, blogs are sweet and get results. But there are a handful of things you should know to get the most out of them.

1) Don’t expect instant lead generation.

Leads will come over time, but quick spikes are more in-line with a strategy like PPC advertising. Blogging should be a long-term strategy to help build a relationship with your audience.

This isn’t a get-rich-quick strategy that brings rapid form submissions. It’s more like SEO, where you gain people’s trust over time through reliable content. Once you hit stride, the leads you get from blogs have the potential to be of higher quality than other channels.

2) Be consistent with your posting frequency.

Don’t overload your website with a ton of blog posts and then slow down drastically. Sometimes you’ll see companies post three blogs one month, then zero blogs the next month.

Even if you have a lot of blogs written and ready, stagger the publishing and give your audience a consistent frequency. You’ll be able to churn out content online while having some padding to work on future blogs.

3) Focus on quality.

If you’re just writing blogs for the sake of posting them, knock it off. Think about what you have to offer and share your expertise. If you have a fun personality that sets you apart from other companies, then share it proudly!

People can tell if your heart isn’t in the right place and you’re just posting crap in hopes of getting a sale. There’s an old expression that works very well for blogs:

“Write what you know.”

– Mark Twain (Maybe?)

Personality will come as long as you’re staying true to the core of your business and you’re truly passionate about your industry. Pinpoint what you have to offer your website visitors first and the brand voice will follow.

4) Craft and perfect your brand’s voice.

Once you have honed in on your topics, your brand should have an identity. It’s how people will get to know you and develop an attachment to your company.

Your voice should speak to customers as though you’re talking to them in person, which happens after extensive market research.

5) Share the blogs on social media and always link back to your post.

Social media marketing is important. It’s replacing traditional storefronts by being the first interaction people have with your brand.

Share your new blogs on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google My Business and always link back to your newest blog in the social post promoting it.

People won’t go to your website and dig around to find a new blog simply because you told them to. You have to work for their attention, not the other way around.

Giving your fans a link to the blog offers a direct pathway to the new content and will make them more likely to read it.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

See How You Can Improve Your Marketing

A Timeless Marketing Strategy For Any Year

2020 is almost here! Can you feel it? There’s so much awesome new s#!t happening this coming year. Once the new year begins, your website will instantly fall off the face of Google searches without making these five digital marketing adjustments…

Yeah, we got nothin’. We can’t predict the future and neither can anyone else. Trends come and go in digital marketing and nobody knows exactly which strategies will take off or sink. We do our best to keep up to date with emerging tech and new tactics, but there’s never one magic cure for all marketing woes.

Each company is different and requires unique marketing for its industry and audience. One social media method might do wonders for one business and fall flat for another. One brand might see their website visits and retention skyrocket by adding videos to their content, while others might see little-to-no change.

Trying new things and testing out multiple campaigns is a great way to help improve your brand. However, the primary focus of a website should always be to deliver quality content. When you’re creating web pages, make sure:

  • There’s a clear goal.
  • You know your audience.
  • Your tone is transparent and authentic.
  • The content flows without coming off as a jargon-filled sales pitch.

Clear Goal

What do you want your web page to do? If the goal is to get leads, the content should point to a form, click-to-call phone number/button, or another type of conversion action.

If the goal is to be informational, then load it up with useful, relevant content that’s helpful to your customers.

Know Your Audience

What are your customers interested in? Where are they spending their time online? What digital channels do they use the most? Do they favor mobile or desktop when they visit your website?

These are only a few of many questions to consider when creating content. Knowing your audience is a major step to engaging them and making meaningful connections.

Transparency & Authenticity

Like momma used to say, “Be yourself!”

If your brand is humorous, then be funny and entertaining. If you’re traditional and straightforward, then own it and rock it!

No matter what your brand identity is, it’s always best to be true to yourself and honest with your customers. The more open you are, the more people will trust you.

Content Flow

We hammer this point a lot in our blogs because it’s really important. Keyword stuffing is a useless tactic that looks spammy. Seriously, people are savvy enough to realize when they’re reading a sales pitch and it can be very off-putting.

Keyword research, on the other hand, is valuable for writing good content. Think outside the box and find long-tail keywords that could attract people who are more likely to buy your products or services. Once you have a solid list, weave in the keywords strategically so they flow logically within the content.

Marketing In 2020 And Beyond

Never be afraid to look into new marketing techniques if you think they could help you. But it’s a good idea to avoid chasing the dragon.

There is always a new “next big thing” and it’s unnecessary to keep up with all of them. Focus on creating quality, evergreen content first and add shiny new toys as they fit into your budget and resources. 

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

Learn About Our Digital Marketing Services

What The Google BERT Update Means For Your SEO Strategy

Google recently introduced BERT.

Sorry, not you, Bert. We’re talking about a pretty big algorithm update called “Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers”. This article does a great job of giving the details on how this update works. Basically, this update impacts SEO by shifting the focus of search results.

Before the BERT update, the search results would be based on the primary keywords. Now, search results are given based on the entire sentence entered in order to give results more accurate to the user’s search goal. Learn more about this here.

Should I Update My SEO To Accommodate The BERT Update? 

That depends. Have you seen a large drop in your analytics in the last couple of weeks? If so, you might need to make updates. Come to think of it, it might be a good idea to refresh your content anyway. The main goal of website content shouldn’t be to fit into Google’s algorithm puzzle. Your SEO objective should be to help your customers and potential customers. Here are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to writing web content:

Research Is Mandatory

You can’t guess what the best keywords are for your industry. You need to choose your keywords based on actual monthly search volume trends. You also need to research long-tail terms that will help you focus on answering relevant customer questions.

Keyword Stuffing Is Pointless

Search engines are smart enough to know when you’re trying to game the system. If you have paragraphs saturated with keywords with the goal of tricking search engines, you’re going to fail. Keyword stuffing hasn’t worked in a long time, so don’t even bother trying it. 

Context & Accuracy Are Everything

People aren’t searching for your products and services, they’re searching for answers. If you’re not offering answers (or if your answers aren’t good), then your website won’t take priority in search results. After you’ve done keyword research, make sure you’re using terms in content that’s relevant to what people search for.

About Us

CG Marketing Group is a talented team of creatives and strategists who can make your business awesome. We like to have fun, but we’re very serious about digital marketing.

To sum us up in a single word — Scrappy. We’re always eager to branch out and apply new tactics to create successful campaigns. Our crew works hard to bring value, get results, and keep our clients happy.

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