Keyword research is a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy, including social media management.
It is an essential step for any social media manager looking to optimize their client's content for search engines and reach the client's ideal target audience.
However, we've found that many social media managers struggle with knowing how to effectively conduct keyword research or where to even begin.
That’s why we’ve created this guide, to address the issue head-on by providing a comprehensive look at how to use keyword research as part of your overall social media strategy.
Here's everything you need to know about conducting keyword research for clients, including a step-by-step example!
What are Keywords?
Let's begin by getting clear on what keywords are.
Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe the content or topic of a website, document, or piece of content. These words and phrases are used by search engines to understand the content and to match it with search queries made by users.
Keywords can be single words, such as “shoes” or “travel,” or they can be phrases, such as “best running shoes” or “cheap travel deals.” They can also be questions, such as “How to tie a tie?” or “Where to find vegan food in New York City?”
What is Keyword Research?
So, we know what keywords are. Now, where do we find these keywords? The answer is keyword research.
Keyword research is the process of finding the words and phrases people use when looking for something on the internet. It helps businesses and individuals understand what their audience is searching for, and how they can create content that aligns with those search terms.
Let's say you have a bakery, and you want people to find your website when they search for “best cake shop” in their area. By researching keywords, you can find out that people are searching for this phrase, and you can then include it in your website content and create relevant content for social media, so that people can find your bakery when they search for that phrase.
It's like trying to find the right words to put on a sign so that people can find your store. Keyword research helps you understand what words people use when they're looking for something so that you can make sure your business or website can be found by the right people.
Why Should Social Media Professionals Do Keyword Research?
Keyword research is an important aspect of social media marketing because it helps social media professionals understand what their clients' audience is interested in, what they are searching for, and how they can create content that is optimized for those search terms.
Keyword research can help social media managers in a myriad of ways, including:
- Audience Insights: Gain insights into the interests and needs of your client's target audience, which can help you create content that resonates with them.
- Content Optimization: Optimize your client's content for social media platforms and search engines, which can increase the visibility of their posts and pages.
- Trending Topics: Stay up-to-date on trending topics and create timely, pertinent content that will capture the attention of your client's audience.
- Competitive Analysis: See what your client's competitors are posting about and adjust your client's content strategy accordingly.
- Advertising: Select the most relevant keywords for advertising campaigns, and target your client's ads to people searching for those specific keywords.
By performing keyword research, you can identify the keywords that are most relevant to your client's target audience and create content that aligns with those search terms, making it more likely that your client's social media content will be seen, engaged with, and shared.
How To Perform Keyword Research
By now you're probably wondering, “Okay, how do I do keyword research for my clients?”
We've broken the process down step-by-step to get you started.
Part 1: Initial Research
Start by identifying a list of seed keywords that are relevant to your client's business and industry.
Seed keywords are short-tail keywords that you will use as a starting point for your research. For example, if you have a client who provides beauty services, you could use:
These seed keywords will be your client's main silos (categories).
Take these seed keywords and create a spreadsheet with a column for each of your seed keywords:
Part 2: Deep Dive with Keyword Research Tools
Once you have your seed keywords, it's time to expand upon these and find long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords are longer, highly specific keyword phrases. These types of keywords tend to have lower search volume than your seed keywords but are more likely to result in a higher conversion rate, as they are more aligned with a user's search query than the seed keyword.
Use free and paid tools to find applicable long-tail keywords for your client.
You can start with free searches on places like Google, Pinterest, and YouTube by typing in your seed keywords and looking at what other search phrases pop up.
Use paid tools, such as TubeBuddy, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and UberSuggest, to perform further keyword research and gather data on search volume, competition, and suggested keywords.
TIP: Many paid tools allow a few free searches per day/week or offer free trials. Test out a few platforms and find the one you like best before committing to a paid tool!
Here are some free and paid keyword research tools to try out:
As you do your research, add any appropriate long-tail keywords to your spreadsheet under the seed keyword, as shown in the below example. This spreadsheet will now serve as your resource for what type of content your client should create and their overarching content marketing and social media strategy.
Keywords are your roadmap to creating engaging and relevant content and attracting and retaining your client's ideal target audience. By identifying the keywords and phrases that your client's target audience is searching for, you can create content that not only resonates with the target audience but is also optimized for search engines.
If you're looking for more in-depth training on how to optimize your keyword research, we've got you covered.
Our Social Strategist Pro training gives you a comprehensive look at keywords, and how to use them in your overall social media strategy.
This training teaches you EVERYTHING you need to know about creating social media strategies for clients, from selling an audit and strategic plan to the final product and reporting your findings.
If you are currently providing social media as a service to clients, this training will immediately and forever change your business.