In order to be effective finding the right customers, marketers must choose the right keywords to target the right audience. This is one of the biggest struggles by digital professionals, as they find it difficult to pinpoint the specific words that will drive the right traffic for the desired conversions.

There are several tools out there that help with this; the most common, Google’s keyword planner. SEM Rush is also effective in analyzing competitors and assists with keywords to streamline traffic. Further including a search function within a website can be very effective to identifying popular searched phrases to be included in a campaign.

Keyword research is undoubtedly at the forefront of every digital marketer’s strategy. But, does having a list of words do anyone any good if you don’t know how to use them?

I find that most people also struggle to make the connection to the target demographic. My biggest tip for creating a keyword list is to think like the target audience of your customer. Easier said than done, sure — but let’s give it a shot with The WRIGHT Consult.

Assessing the competition for digital success

For example, lets look at a runner and fitness enthusiast, a good site to examine for his is

The first step is to run your client’s URL through SEMRush. Get an idea for what your client is already ranking for and what the competitive landscape looks like. We want to understand the target demographic. Looking at the main competitors will give you an idea of other sites the target demographic is interested in.

What do we see?

Sure, I see a lot of similar sites to and some eCommerce sites, but one in particular sticks out to me:

Knowing the Runner’s World audience spends a large amount of time on a site dedicated to preventing and healing injuries gives us insight into their search queries and additional interests.

AHA! That’s the nugget of information I was looking for!

Let’s take a peek at the top keywords driving traffic to their site and see if you can’t get a little bit more insight into this demographic.

Just as I suspected — injuries are some of the top drivers of traffic to the site. “Shin splints” and “IT band” happen to be two of the most common injuries runners face. We’ve confirmed the Runner’s World audience is looking for information to treat and prevent injuries.

Now, we can’t get ahead of ourselves just yet. Before we can fire up the Keyword Planner, we’re going to need to turn this idea into a persona. When I do keyword research for a content marketing strategy, I base it off the person I’m trying to engage, not the website as a whole.

Now dive into specific terms

Now, head to Keyword Planner and type in the general search term you’re using to get going — we’re starting with “running injuries.” Google will suggest you start with “Ad group ideas,” but I say, think for yourself. Navigate to “Keyword ideas” to choose your own. Don’t let Google tell you what to think and feel.

Group these words. What phrases should go together? This is how I’d group this list:

Group 1:

  • Knee pain running
  • Running knee pain
  • Running injuries knee
  • Knee injury running
  • Common running injuries

Group 2:

  • Shin splints
  • Calf injury
  • Common running injuries

Group 3:

  • Foot pain running
  • Running injuries foot
  • Top of foot pain running
  • Common running injuries

In just three keyword groups, we have found ourselves at least three articles. If we were doing more research, we would find subcategories within these main groups. For example, “plantar fasciitis” is a common running injury in the foot. This would be an entire subgroup of keywords.

Look for new and creative ways to incorporate your keyword group into your content. This will make for effective digital campaigns that will attract viewers and drive traffic to your site,

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