Keyword Research
December 2nd 2020

Keywords and Content – How They’re Frequently Misused #firesidecontent

8 min read

We recently had our very first Twitter Chat #firesidecontent with Nick Eubanks, founder of From the Future, and MarketMuse Co-founder Jeff Coyle. Jeff and Nick spent time talking about some common misconceptions about keyword research. Here’s a summary of the chat.

Q1: What common data points in keyword research are outdated?

Keyword research has been around, it seems like forever, yet the majority of content marketers approach this in the wrong way.

Q2: How is TF-IDF misused?

TF-IDF stands for Term Frequency Inverse Document Frequency. We’ve written about TD-IDF before and created a TF-IDF FAQ page too. Nick offers a succinct perspective on this as well.

A couple of other people weighed in on the conversation including MarketMuse’s very own Camden Gaspar, who brings up another misused concept, LSI (latent semantic indexing). That too, is something we’ve written about.

Q3: How is search volume misused?

In Nick’s example of the term “covid cases” we see that it receives a huge number of searches with no clicks. This is case where searchers can get the answer they’re looking for straight from Google without needing to click through to a website. That’s never good news for a marketer!

Q4: How do you prioritize topics to pursue?

Finding something to write about is rarely the problem. Often, when it comes to content creation, there are too many opportunities to explore. That’s when you have to make critical decisions about what topics to pursue and which ones to defer.

Q5: What is the advantage of prioritizing high intent topics?

One way to prioritize involves setting criteria in terms of the level of intent behind specific search terms.

Q6: How do you map content for lead generation?

Unless you’re Stephen King, your writing needs to generate leads at one point or another. Mapping content to the user journey is one tactic to ensure this happens.

Q7: How does keyword research differ between new sites vs existing sites?

One size does not fit all, as Jeff and Nick point out. Even existing sites can vary substantially depending on their age and authority.

Q8: What is your perspective on black hat strategies like cloaking, Google bombing and parasite hosting?

Well, it looks like there’s no easy button here folks!

Q9: What advice would you give people weighing SEO and content investments for 2021?

Q10: Keyword density or topic modeling?

My first response, like Nick, is keyword density really even a thing anymore?

I hope you enjoyed our very first twitter chat. Look for more #firesidecontent coming your way in the New Year.

Written by Stephen Jeske stephenjeske