Content Marketing Strategy Workshop - Keyword Research, Part 2 of 4

Posted by Mike O'Rourke on Tue, Apr 10, 2012 @ 11:44 AM

Beef up your content marketing strategy by generating related keywordsThe Content Marketing Strategy Workshop is a series of blog posts seeking to help you build your content marketing strategy from scratch.  This post is part 2 of 4 on the topic of keyword research, a process that will help you build a sturdy foundation for your content marketing.  Each week we’ll discuss a new step in the keyword research process until you have the tools and skills to identify the keywords that will help you land your next client.

Each part is designed to build on the exercises from previous steps, so if you're just discovering this blog series now, we recommend that you begin with Part 1.  However, if you've already brainstormed an initial list of keywords relevant to your product or service offerings, then feel free to proceed with Part 2:

2.  Generate Related Keyword Variants - While you may be able to brainstorm a fairly thorough list of keywords on your own, you’ll never be able to think of every keyword variation relevant to your offerings.  And since keywords serve as the foundation for your content marketing strategy, it’s vital to ensure that you’re not overlooking any keywords offering an opportunity to connect with prospective business.  

 Luckily, there are several tools available for free that will not only show you keywords related to those you enter, but will also give you valuable market information for each.  

For use our purposes, we recommend the free version of Traffic Travis, a tool with comprehensive search engine optimization, pay per click, and competitive analysis features.  Click here to register with Traffic Travis and download their software for free


Traffic Travis TabsTraffic Travis’ functionality is divided between 5 tabs displayed in the upper left-hand corner of its window.  When you’re using a newly installed copy of Traffic Travis, opening each tab will automatically play a video tutorial reviewing the selected tab’s features.  While we certainly recommend watching the videos to maximize Traffic Travis’ utility, some of the videos run a bit long so, unless you’ve got a lot of time on your hands, close them for the purposes of this exercise and return to the videos via the Help menu on the toolbar when you’ve got time to kill.

To start finding relevant synonyms and searches related to the keywords you brainstormed, you’ll need to navigate to the Research tab in Traffic Travis.  On the Research tab, simply click on the empty field below Keyword to open the keyword entry window and paste the first 5 keywords you brainstormed into it (the free version limits your searches to 5 keywords per search.  If you’re planning on doing keyword research regularly, you should consider purchasing the Pro version of Traffic Travis or investing in similar professional solutions like HubSpot). 

Traffic Travis Research Tab

Before clicking ‘Fetch’, maximize your results by clicking the numbered field to the right of the Keyword field, and selecting 100 (the free version limits you to 100 results).  Lastly,Inform your content marketing strategy with the right match type click Advanced Settings and select the radio button for ‘Exact’ under Keyword Match Type to ensure the search results are as relevant as possible to your initial keyword list (broad and phrase match tend to return less targeted results, but can be used to discover additional opportunities; try them out to see how your unique results differ).  When you click ‘Fetch’ to receive your results, Traffic Travis will automatically ask if you have connected it to a Google AdWords account. 


If you have an AdWords account, and wish to connect it to Traffic Travis, follow Traffic Travis’ directions for linking to your account now.  However, if you don’t have an AdWords account, or you’re just interested in capturing related keywords at this point, click ‘No’ when Traffic Travis asks you to add an AdWords account.

Use Traffic Travis for more than just your content marketing strategy by attaching it to your AdWords account

You’ll be presented with Traffic Travis’ list of related keywords and some useful data on both global and local monthly search volume as well as the level of advertiser competition for each.  See the below results for ‘motorola droid cases’ as an example:

data from the keyword tool is vital to your content marketing strategy

Now that you know how to use Traffic Travis to find keywords related to the queries your potential customers are using online, your next step will be to capture the keyword variants most related to your product or service offerings.  We’ll cover the process for identifying those keywords from Traffic Travis and exporting them for analysis in next week’s post.  For now, spend some time getting used to Traffic Travis and it’s various features to compliment your newly learned skills!

To ensure your access to part 3 as soon as it is published subscribe to our blog or follow us on Twitter or Facebook.

M.Y. Edge specializes in content marketing strategy and stands ready to assist you with planning, implementation, execution, and measuring results.  If you have questions about keyword research, search engine optimization, or how a content marketing strategy could be tailored to your business, simply call 919-732-2842 or click the button below to scheudle a consultation with one of our content marketing consultants, free of charge.

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*Note: The original version of this post was edited to include updated tools.

Tags: Digital Marketing Strategy, Content Strategy, Content Marketing, Keyword Research, SEO

A Digital Marketing Manifesto: Have You Been Misled?

Posted by Mike O'Rourke on Thu, Nov 04, 2010 @ 01:56 PM
A Digital Marketing Manifesto

The most frustrating challenge facing marketing directors today probably isn't how to convince their boss that they need to spend more time and money on digital marketing, although what may seem obvious to you may not be quite so crystal clear to the folks upstairs. It probably isn't figuring out which method of digital marketing can help your business succeed in accomplishing your greater marketing objectives; if your inbox is anything like mine, you’re inundated with a library of information on how search engine optimization, paid advertising (search engine marketing), social media, etc. can benefit your business every day. Not that anyone has the time to digest it all, but once you’ve read enough whitepapers and attended enough webinars, you probably have some solid ideas for how your business stands to benefit from a myriad of digital marketing methods.

My hunch is that the biggest challenge facing marketing directors and businesspeople of all kinds today is: knowing where to begin with their digital marketing plan?

Indeed, the agencies, consultants, and various service providers do such a splendid job of espousing the benefits of their services that it quickly becomes paralyzing unless you understand how each piece of the marketing puzzle fits together. While there are certainly a few things that every organization marketing on the web should have in place before aggressively seeking traffic online (we’ll go into greater detail on these basics in a later post), it’s important to approach your overall marketing plan from a macro level as well as a micro level. It can be very easy to get lost in the minutiae of the benefits of SEO versus SEM versus blogging and forget that there are many ways that these disciplines overlap, and feed each other.

Unfortunately, many marketers with limited experience online make the mistake of focusing their efforts entirely on one or two aspects of digital marketing while neglecting other complimentary or even essential aspects, dooming their plan from the get-go. As digital marketing service providers become better at what they do and more specialized in their respective fields, their advice and marketing messages often become more focused on their one area of expertise, often misleading their clients to believe that their method is the silver bullet for all their digital marketing problems.

I’ve even heard well-respected gurus advising their clients to avoid entire pieces of a marketing plan altogether because their web design service is competing with SEM for client dollars. The sad reality is there is no silver bullet in digital marketing, and yet there are people making millions of dollars a year on marketers and business owners who don’t know any better. I’m sad to say that from what I’ve seen, this cottage industry based on ignorance shows no sign of slowing down.

There are so many specialists in the market pitching their services, and not enough strategists helping marketers determine how to employ them for long-term success. In this environment, marketers need help developing a comprehensive, holistic marketing plan to increase efficiency of their marketing dollars and grow their organizations the smart way. No two organizations are the same, and I believe that a thorough understanding a client’s needs, strengths, and weaknesses combined with diligent research and marketing creativity can achieve a lot more than one-size-fits all, digital snake oil.

My purpose is not to insinuate that all marketing specialists can’t back up their promises. Coming from an agency background myself, I’ve seen firsthand what a relentless focus on your business’ core strengths as opposed to trying to be a jack-of-all-trades can accomplish. My purpose is to help you see how necessary it is to approach your organization’s digital marketing from the big picture so that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, only to become bitter about its inevitable inability to live up to your expectations.

Tags: Digital Marketing Strategy, Social Media, Digital Marketing, PPC, SEM, SEO, Strategy