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How to Use Keyword Research to Connect With Your Target Audience

Keyword research is 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 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.

Take a look at the competition

I’m a runner and fitness enthusiast, so let’s examine

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:

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

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.

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.

It’s always helpful when you fit the target demo, and considering I’m an injury-prone runner, I’ll make it myself. This individual will be a 27-year-old female who has spent years of her life running and enjoys living a healthy lifestyle. The injury-prone runner will be interested in tips to heal specific injuries, gear designed to prevent them and food or supplements that will ease it.

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.

Keyword Research

Lots of good information here. I can already see numerous content ideas coming from this.

(You’ll want to dive deeper than I do in this article, but my editor will kill me if this thing runs too long, so we’ll just pretend these are all the keywords.)

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. Not every article must include every word within a group. This will give you the opportunity to create multiple articles within a group.


Jessica King

About Jessica

Jessica King develops content marketing strategies for a number of top brands. When she's out of the office, Jessi loves fitness, most especially running. Follow her on Twitter.

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