Dos and Don'ts of Keyword Usage in Content Marketing

By: Alex Chrum | Published: October 7, 2013

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Digital content marketing is key in the world of e-commerce. Content marketing is what draws consumers to your site, and if your content is well developed, it is what keeps them there. Without the use of specific keywords and SEO, though, it is difficult for these potential customers to find you. You can’t just use random keywords all willy nilly; it is important to follow certain rules to make the most of your digital content marketing strategy.

Do: Research Keywords

It’s important to know the exact phrases customers are actually searching to base your keywords around. Failing to do this research results in a lot of missed traffic – and that missed traffic often means missed sales. Don’t just scratch the surface! Dig deep when doing your research, and use all of the tools available to you; look at keyword popularity trends, and consider looking at social media to gain insight on how your potential keywords are used by regular people.

Do: Use Multiple Types of Keywords

There are many different types of keywords, all of which help you in different ways. Don’t just utilize head keywords, which are the short, popular keywords consisting of only one of two words, also make use of mid-tail and long-tail keywords. These phrases are slightly longer than head phrases (with long-tail keywords being the longest of all), and they attract more focused traffic than that of head keywords.

Do: Place Your Keywords Strategically

You are not Jackson Pollock, so do not splatter paint your artwork, your content, with keywords. Place your keywords with care and strategy. You want them in the URL, in the meta descriptions and in the first sentence or at least in the first paragraph of your content. Other places to place keywords include the headings and in any image file names related to your content.

Don’t: Overstuff Your Content

While it is important to use your keyword consistently, you do not want your content to be so jammed full of keywords that the actual value is lost. In content marketing, it is important to make your content relatable and to make it sound like a real person wrote it. When a keyword is inserted every so many words, it doesn’t sound natural, and it turns readers off. If you wouldn’t speak that way, don’t write that way.

Don’t: Use Only One Keyword

Most content naturally develops multiple keywords, whether is it intended by the author or not. Primary keywords are what your article is focused on. If you are writing about motorcycles, that would be your primary. Your supporting keywords are the long-tail keywords that literally support your content; in this case, something like motorcycles for senior citizens. Finally, orbiting keywords are not really related to your keyword but are helpful to the content. For motorcycles, something like riding boots would be an orbiting keyword.

Don’t: Ignore Synonyms

Not every potential customer is going to phrase their search exactly as you expect, but you still want these customers! To draw them in, use plenty of synonyms for your keywords. As an added bonus, readers get a little variety in the content. Use any synonym that makes sense as a natural substitute for your keyword.

There’s no formula for perfect digital content marketing by the use of SEO and keywords; however, there are many things that improve your strategy and make your content successful. Follow these guidelines, and pick up your own best practices along the way.


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