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How To Research Keywords For Your Content

Posted by DanTaylor, under , on June 6, 2016, No Comments
How To Research Keywords For Your Content

Keywords are vital for SEO, blog posts and general website, digital marketing success. Dan Taylor shares his methods for researching keywords to optimise results…

In the last couple of years, a lot of businesses have been shifting their focus from link building to content marketing, as Google cracks down on ‘paid-for links’ with their Penguin updates.

One of the foundations of good content marketing is good keyword research, something a lot of companies take for granted or invest very little time in, based on  the feeling ‘they know best’. Very rarely do businesses fully understand the full extent of the phrases that their target audience use when they’re at various stages of the ‘buying cycle’:

reseach keywords funnel

In my experience, businesses generally have an idea of the large, marquee keywords that they want to rank for, but then don’t consider variations or long tail modifiers.

In this post I’m going to outline a number of methods that will help you improve your search for the correct keywords, as well as then how to select them.

Research keywords that are right

Long tail search

Long tail search phrases have two great advantages, they are generally easier to get in a good position for (if you produce a great piece of content) and they tend to have a higher conversion rate as searchers that use them are further down the path to conversion.

The best way to discover long tail phrases is a tool called Übersuggest. Here you enter a short keyword (maybe even a single word) and Über spits out a long list of associated long tail phrases. You’ll first get a short list of keywords based on your exact phrase, and then underneath a long list of (alphabetically sorted) keywords that people use in Google that use your phrase.

After getting your results, there is an option to ‘Download all’ the keywords, I’d recommend doing this and then using Google Keyword Planner to find their search volume.

Competitor Analysis

It’s very important to analyse the keywords that bring your competitors traffic – even if you think that they have a poor site or you don’t think their brand is as good as yours (or that yours isn’t as premium) – on the Google playing field, all brands are equal when it comes to general search terms.

In my opinion, the best tool for this is Semrush, which you can use for free (albeit a limited account). All you need to do is enter your competitor’s homepage URL and then click on the organic research tab on the left and then export the data (export button is to the right, above the table of results). Semrush also provides search volume data, although this data does differ slightly from the search volumes that Google Keyword Planner provides.

Google Keyword Planner

To access the keyword planner, all you need is a Gmail account. Primarily a tool for AdWords and PPC marketing, it’s become a very useful weapon in the SEO’s arsenal.

As well as a tool to find the search volume for a keyword list you’ve found elsewhere, you can also use it to generate lists.

research keywords adwords

You want to use the ‘Search for new keywords using a phrase, website or category’ option. From here you can either enter a handful of keywords you know are relevant to your site, or enter your site’s homepage (or your competitors).

When you do, make sure that in the ‘Customize your search’ box you change the keyword options to only show keywords related to your phrases – keyword planner sometimes can bring in some unrelated phrases that are similar but no good.

Research keywords filters

You can then export these keywords and sort them by search volume.

With all of these methods, you will need to do some manual filtering. As intelligent as these tools are becoming, human input is still vital.


Blog Post Optimisation

It’s important that you also optimise your blog posts. Google rewards content that is designed to provide value for the user, but it is still important to include them in areas of your page that are important to technical SEO:

-          Your keyword should appear in the page URL once and not be repeated

-          You should use the keyword in the page title (H1 tag)

-          The keyword should appear once in the meta title tag, along with any modifiers

-          If you have an image on the page, the ALT text for this should contain a variation of the target keyword

-          Break up blocks of text with H2 tags, especially if you can use ‘modifier words’ in them (if relevant)

-          Include relevant internal links to other pages and blog posts



5 Marketing Lessons Learned From Jose Mourinho

Posted by Ollie Whitfield, under , on May 27, 2016, No Comments
Mourinho marketing lessons

News has broken this morning (27th May 2016) that Jose Mourinho has taken over as Manager of Manchester United Football club. As a football fanatic, I could ramble all day about what this means for the club, football and so on. But as a marketer it’s important to learn from the best and that doesn’t always mean following other marketers. Leaders, motivational speakers, successful people all have lessons to teach us. Jose Mourinho is one of those, a success story and a leader. In this blog post I will outline what you can learn from Jose Mourinho to better yourself and your marketing team.

Marketing lessons learned from Jose Mourinho

If you follow him at all or have the vaguest interest in football you’ll have heard his name. Jose Mourinho is arguably the best manager in the world right now, having won leagues and competitions in multiple countries and cultures. He’s now back in England, managing Manchester United football club. He’s a serial winner, and that means we can learn from him.

Lesson 1 – focus on results

Jose Mourinho clearly outlined his goals when he took over each of his positions as Manager of  different football clubs. His ambition has always been to win the Champions League with a team from another country, which he has done in Italy and Portugal. Having managed teams in Spain and now England, he has moved strategically around Europe to manage teams he feels he can achieve his goal at.

With relation to marketing, the strategy is key. Emulate Mourinho here, identify the ways in which you can achieve your goal and focus solely on the method. Whether long term or short term, there should be no excuses where getting the right things in place to achieve the goal is concerned.

Lesson 2 – cut the fluff

As Manager of Chelsea (in his second time at the club) Jose Mourinho sold star player Juan Mata immediately after taking over the reigns. Having won club player of the season the previous year, many people were surprised and even upset about the decision. Having received £40M in transfer fees for the player, which was reinvested he puzzled people around the world.

Why did he do it?

Juan Mata is a fabulous footballer but his style is very different to Jose Mourinho’s. A typical Mourinho team is made of hard working players who cover lots of distance during the match, not Juan Mata’s style. So he was sold, and a similar but more hard working replacement brought in.

The result, winning the league one year on from the sale.

Bringing the example back to marketing, you have to identify where you’re wasting time and money. Where are you not achieving enough ROI or making any ground? Your time is better spent optimising or working on other channels.

For example with experience working with recruitment clients, LinkedIn has always been a strong point for recruiters but Facebook has been a challenge. If the rewards are not there and the time and resource is better spend elsewhere, make the change.

This doesn’t mean only use LinkedIn, but your strategy can change and the benefits can be there if done strategically.

Lesson 3 – Changes need to be made

When nothing changes the results you get either stay the same or diminish. Where a football team is concerned, not adding to or removing from your group of players means:

  • Players get older – worth less money to sell them
  • Rival teams sign better players, you lose out to them
  • Sponsors and TV companies less interested in you, less money gained
  • Team has same weaknesses and strengths, all other teams have identified them

If you do not change there will be problems. Mourinho is a master of chopping and changing the group of players he has to his advantage. As I mentioned, he sold Juan Mata for £40M which generate a profit of £14M for the club. He sold David Luiz for 50M Euros, a huge profit on the sum the club bought the player for. He reinvested the money wisely and the rewards were earned.

Bringing this back to marketing terms, doing the same old thing will soon ware out. Whether it be advertising to the same people with the same content, writing the same generic blog posts or sharing the same content on social media over and over, your results will drop off. Changes are one of the hardest things to deal with and manage in life as a whole, but in marketing they are key. New social networks come out, new rules are set by search engines on what they want to see from sites. Things change and marketers have to deal with it quickly and effectively.

Spot the opportunity, work out where your weakness, combine the two and the solution will kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Lesson 4 – Belief and support is vital

It’s well known that before matches, Mourinho would encourage his players labelling them “the best in the world” in each of their respective positions. Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic famously recalled this in a TV interview.

A lot of the battle for sportsmen and women is the mental side of the game. Mourinho has his players and teams feeling that they will not lose and that they are unbeatable. This must go a long way towards physically winning the match ahead of his team.

Back to marketing, belief and support from the senior team is vital. It’s easy to blame marketing, or reduce the marketing budget when things take a downturn. If your management really believes in you and your team, instils great confidence you will perform better, go the extra mile. Not only this, you will take more risks. Not all will pay off but when you win, it’s still another win.

Lesson 5 – Learn and adapt your findings

Mourinho learned his trade as a translator for Bobby Robson working at Barcelona. A masterful Manager, Mourinho learned a lot from Robson. In fact, he started off as a translator between the Englishman to his players in Barcelona. After time, Mourinho began to suggest his own ideas to the team and manager gradually becoming more important to the club over time. This was how he gained his first proper role as Manager at Portuguese club FC Porto.

The point to take away here is that Mourinho spent time doing the “dirty work” and learning his trade. A translator would certainly not be what he wanted to become for the rest of his life, but having learned his trade under Robson he was able to apply his findings elsewhere. He lead Porto to successive league titles and also a Champions League triumph too, all within 3 years of working with Bobby Robson at Barcelona.

As a younger marketer myself I know it’s important to always learn more, find out more and be inquisitive. With time, experience and practise you will get your chance to take the reigns yourself, and use your findings in a way adapted to your surroundings.

If you need more help on taking your digital marketing to the next level get in touch with me and my colleagues at Live And Social. You can reach us at alive@liveandsocial.com or call 0845 287 1181.