All too often companies make the mistake of focusing solely on crucial business metrics such as increasing sales and generating additional revenue. Their social media, PR and other marketing efforts reflect this singular focus, which actually limits their reach.

One key to boosting your company’s customer base and creating new revenue streams lies in telling a complete story around your business and crafting SEO keywords to match and support your brand identity. Doing so organically helps differentiate you from the crowd and allows your ideal customers to better find you through your targeted PR, social media, blog posts and other relevant content.

Keywords are the pillar of your content strategy

Content marketing continues to evolve. Increasingly sophisticated search algorithms are changing the way people use and interact with search engines and also have shifted the ways marketers develop targeted content.

Keywords play a crucial role in SEO by linking the things people are searching for (their “pain point”) to the content you or your marketing team has created to fill that need. Every piece of content your team develops should be geared toward driving traffic from web searches back to your site. As a general rule, keywords should encompass three things:

  1. What words are being searched
  2. Your products/services/brand unique value
  3. Your targeted customers’ needs

Keyword SEO increases your site’s search rankings because good keywords answer the questions customer’s type into their search engines and bring those customers to your site.

Conducting keyword research

Use keyword research tools to help your team find out what keywords are bringing the right kinds of visitors to your site. Here are five of the most widely used keyword tools:

  • Google Adwords Keyword Planner
  • Hubspot’s Keywords tool
  • Moz’s Keyword Explorer
  • Mangool’s KWFinder
  • HitTail

These tools generate keyword ideas, track search volume, SEO competition and other key metrics to help your marketing team understand which keywords your business should target to increase search rankings and boost web traffic, conversions and ROI.

Google Keyword Planner, for instance, generates hundreds of relevant keywords as well as shows the total volume that certain keywords have been searched. This is an important piece of data when selecting the proper keywords for your content. Since search metrics constantly change, conducting keyword research should be an ongoing marketing process to ensure your site always remains at the forefront of customer’s searches.

Keyword relevance also is much more important than keyword density (keyword stuffing). You’ll typically use two types of keywords – commonly searched keywords and “long-tail” keywords. Although the latter receive lower search traffic, they often result in higher conversion rates because they are more specific to customer searches. Long-tail keywords are combinations of three- and four-word phrases that are extremely specific to a potential customer’s pain point. Here are two examples:

Common keyword: Used cars

Long-tail keyword: Used 2015 Ford Ranger

Common keyword: Vacation rental

Long-tail keyword: Vacation Rental Lake Tahoe

However, don’t let a keyword tool lead you to ignore the low-volume keywords. Enough long-tail keywords can create highly qualified traffic volume.

Creating compelling content, conducting keyword research and selecting appropriate common and long-tail keywords to match your products’ unique features with customers’ needs tells a more complete story about your business. These are the steps that truly lead to increased web traffic, sales and revenue.