3 Ways to Avoid Being a Keyword Basket Case

A keyword basket case

Your keyword basket contains the terms people use most frequently to find you. Are you sharing it with your content marketing writers?

You’ve spent plenty of time and money researching the terms that people use to find you on the web. And you’ve optimized your web pages and blog posts according to your resulting “keyword basket.” Now take one more step and pump those terms into the white papers, case studies, articles and presentations you hang out on the web as well.

Your content marketing writers should have access to – and maybe even input into – that keyword basket. They should be creating content that judiciously uses your keywords to help the pieces get found on the web and draw more visitors to your site. Keywords aren’t just for stuffing into your <meta> tags, after all.

This occurred to me as I read a Stephanie Tilton article, “Buyer Personas: How to Deliver Relevant Content to B2B Buyers“. At the same time that you tell your writers about the piece you want them to deliver, you should talk about important keywords for the piece.

3 scenarios to avoid with your keyword basket

Of course, keyword baskets are still a novel concept to some marketing managers. I can think of three companies that are keyword basket cases because of how they handle – or don’t handle – their keywords.

Here are the scenarios and how to steer your content marketing effort away from them:

  1. Company A doesn’t have a keyword basket at all. It has done an admirable job of growing business through sales rather than through marketing. But it hasn’t paid much attention to whether people find its content, let alone how they find it. Sure, the web team has stuffed a few words into the <meta> tags on the home page. That’s no substitute for a concentrated, ongoing effort to assemble and maintain a keyword basket, though.
  2. Company B has a well-oiled marketing machine behind it. Its web team meets weekly to plan and deliver a fabulous web infrastructure for publishing content in huge salvos. The team disgorges unique, technical content in an orderly manner week after week but is wrapped around the axle when it comes to its SEO strategy. “People will find us,” the team believes. That’s short-sighted because the team could easily distill keywords from its content and analyze them from web statistics.
  3. Company C has a keyword basket that it gladly shares with writers, but the keywords are monotonous. The company stuck to the short, fat, dumb terms that drive 70% of visitors to their site, while ignoring finer, more subtle terms and long-tail keywords. The basket contains little more than permutations of the half-dozen or so words that most people would associate with its line of business. That makes for a simple basket but not for very effective use in white papers or case studies, because almost all of the content from everybody in the category contains the terms. The basket is missing long-tail terms that describe in greater detail the nuances and unique value proposition of the company’s services.

Is your company a keyword basket case? What can you do about it?

photo credit: Marshall Astor


Author: John White

John White of venTAJA Marketing is a content marketing writer for technology companies. He posts about technology writing from the perspective of the marketing manager. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it. Download his eBook, “10 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Content Marketing Writer.”