Digital Marketing, Search Marketing Advice

Find a Large Audience at the Corner of Keywords and Content

badge-guest-post-FLATTERHeard this one before? “If you create great content you will find a large audience.” It’s nonsense. Or at the very least, it’s idealistic.

It’s like if you make great music you’ll become a rock star. The number of great bands that are painfully undiscovered is, well, painful. You need to create something great and be discovered.

In my articles I tend to focus on the “create something great” half of the formula. Today I’ll focus on the “be discovered” part, which is largely a mechanical exercise you may not understand—or have never considered. 

Keywords, keywords, keywords.

That’s one way to use keywords—cram ‘em into your article or page. But it’s not the best way.

The best way is to use keywords in your headline. Your headline (or title) carries the most weight. It’s atop the list of what the search engine seeks. When the title matches, in some way, what the search engine user has entered, it’s what gets presented in the search engine result page (SERP).

Sounds downright simple, doesn’t it? It is and it isn’t.

Where do you begin?

You begin with an idea for your content, which of course, should track to your marketing objectives. I’m going to use the article you’re reading now as an example to guide us through this “how to” lesson.

First up is my strategy. I’m an online marketer, a specialist in content marketing strategy and writing. A tactic that has proven enormously effective for generating interest in my services is to position myself as an expert by contributing guest posts at great websites like Convince and Convert.

As a guest blogger here, we have a good fit, a win-win. Convince and Convert gets relevant content that serves your needs. Feldman Creative gets exposure to the large, marketing-minded and engaged audience of Convince and Convert. I encourage all my clients to become not only bloggers, but also guest bloggers.

Convince and Convert has a loyal following of subscribers, so I’m likely to benefit when an article I’ve written gets posted—even if I don’t follow the advice I’m giving you now. But I can help myself and this website by practicing some smart keyword research. The intention being, non-subscribers will discover the article at Google, Yahoo and Bing, the top three search engines, which are the 1st, 4th and 16th most visited websites in the world.

Back to the starting point now: the idea for your content. Got one? For this post, the idea is essentially to give a lesson in SEO.

Your subject is just the beginning.

A Google search for “SEO” produces 567,000,000 results. If I don’t do any keyword research, my article will compete on that very large playing field. Finding a narrower, more focused idea is the next step.

Since my article is about “SEO and content,” I’ll try these three words. Google gives me:

  • 9,080,000 for an phrase match on “SEO and content.” (Put quotations around your keywords to search for a phrase match).
  • 639,000,000 for a broad search (no quotes). In this case, using more words didn’t help narrow the field.

Get out a power tool.

Anyone can do the research we just covered, but as you saw, it’s only a wee-bit helpful. Learning how many search engine results a keyword or keywords phrase invokes isn’t nearly as powerful as learning how often the keywords are searched and to what degree online advertisers compete for them.

So now I’m going to put Long Tail Pro to work. It’s an inexpensive keyword research tool that came recommended to me by some very accomplished content marketers, so I snagged myself a license. The tool gave me these results:

  • SEO: 9.14 billion global searches; and an advertiser competition rating of 52.
  • SEO and content: 27.1 thousand searches; and an advertiser competition rating of 53.

Bad news. If my keyword research goes no further, this article will have some mighty steep competition.  However, in addition to giving you search data, Long Tail Pro also gives you all kinds of ideas for alternate keyword ideas.

I examine these ideas. There are 187 of them, so I sort them by competition, low to high. As I hope you’ve gathered, I’m aiming to stay on topic, but identify a low competition keyword. I feel like Goldilocks. Nothing feels just right.

keywords for blog title

Now think of something else.

“What else have you got?” I ask myself. A Plan B occurs to me. What I’m really writing about is keywords: keywords and content. Separately, I’ll face the same problem, but together, well, look at what we have here.

Keywords winner

Perfect. Long Tail Pro delivers good news. The search volume is substantial and the competition is low. I have a plan. Notice I got the same results for the four variations (using “in,” “for,” “and” or no “tweener” word at all made no difference). Google doesn’t factor the non-essential words. Good to know.

So I have what I need. My headline will include “keywords and content.” The article will teach you how to find a large audience by using a reputable platform, a marketing strategy, keyword research and a little creativity.

I think I’ll call it “Finding a Large Audience at the Corner of Keywords and Content.” And I think it will rank high in search engines over 8,000 times per month for many months to come.

Try it yourself. It’s very effective.

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Nice work Barry! I recently had a similar experience using Google’s Keyword Tool. The post was a list of oil and gas people on Twitter. I naturally thought to call it “The Top 50 Oil and Gas People…” But, “Top 50 Oil and Gas” gets zero searches per month. So, I wondered what would happen if I dropped the “50” and targeted “top oil and gas”? Bingo! 12,100 global/3,600 local/medium competition. So, I shifted the number and called it, “The 50 Top Oil and Gas People on Twitter.” And guess who’s ranking on page 1 for “top oil and gas” now :) It’s amazing what one little tweak can do for your SEO!

    • says

      Good for you. However it sounds like you were doing an “exact” search because your first headline contained the phrase with our without 50. What tool did you use to research the keywords?

      • says

        I’m still very much an SEO newbie, so I wouldn’t be surprised if I’m doing it wrong. But, I use Google’s keyword tool and always have my “Match Types” set to “Broad”

  2. Arnie Kuenn says

    Good article Barry. As a seasoned SEO I can tell you my perspective on this has changed a lot over the years. We are just not as focused on keywords as we used to be for our clients.

    Yes, we do some research, but only to get us started on discovering what content might resonate with our (or our clients’) audience. We use lots of different tools to research relevant, engaging content ideas.

    I like to say “create content that your prospects or customers are actually searching for” – this is often long search phrases. And very often pretty easy to rank for on Google or Bing.

  3. says

    Awesomely written Barry.

    I agree, using the right kind of keyword research is very much essential these days as you compete with tons of content out there.

  4. Anna Pham says

    Those are great tips for me as a blogger, I am continue to find way to attact more readers to my blog.

  5. says

    Long tail keywords are where the majority of opportunities are. When people are looking for something specific, they will search using long tail keywords. “How to” titles often work well.

  6. RustyBishop says

    Hi Barry,

    Interesting article, thanks. I have question that is confusing me. In your Long Tail Pro paragraph, you say “low competition”. It looks like that is PPC competition. How does that equate with low SEO competition? Is it a “rule of thumb” or just a hunch?

    Thanks in advance!


    • says

      You’re right. It is PPC competition. However, that’s generally used as a gauge for organic search. I’m not sure there’s any other way to approach it. When you use Long Tail Pro, you’re also provided a very close look at the top 10 rankings for your keywords which includes all kinds of insights regarding the page’s authority, so you get a clearer picture of what you’re up against, which can be very helpful.

  7. Web Elf says

    This is great! Nice to have a “go to” list to hit up and use. More traffic = great for the busy blogger!

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