Why Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm is Good News for Serious Content Creators

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On October 3rd, 2013 Google announced a major search algorithm release called Hummingbird.

Uh-oh.

Does this mean your content-driven business is in jeopardy? Is keyword research dead? Are you going to have to reengineer your entire content strategy?

There’s no question that the Hummingbird algorithm is only the beginning of change in search optimization, but smart content creators can be prepared to thrive in this — and any — environment that may come in the future.

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Keyword Research for Web Writers and Content Producers

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A lot of website owners are taking a “ready, fire, aim” approach to search engine optimization.

They optimize their content like crazy — putting keywords in their post text, titles and subtitles, and anywhere else they think Google might look.

Here’s the trouble, though — if you don’t do your research before you begin your optimization efforts, you might as well be shooting arrows into the wind. Because all the optimization in the world won’t help you if you have no clear idea of what terms you really want to rank for in the search engines.

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Case Study: How Keyword Research Works in the Wild

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You’ve got a straightforward system for finding keywords that work for you.

You’ve got a basic understanding of how to use social media search, Google Trends, and online keyword research tools to find the right keywords to use to optimize your site.

But you’ve still got some questions about how this research works in real life.

Let’s take this final article in my content marketing research series to walk through a simple case study that explains how one business owner conducted her own keyword research.

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How to Find the Keywords that Work for Your Content Marketing Goals

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When you do keyword research, you’re working to discover the actual words your customers use when they search for information about your content topic.

Smart keyword research will let you uncover great information about your audience — how they search, how they speak, and how they think.

Accurate keyword research helps you optimize your website for the search engines, and it also allows you to shape your content strategy. So it’s vitally important that you use smart tactics to help you do your research in a fast, efficient way.

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How to Determine the Potential Size of Your Content Marketing Opportunity

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In my last Copyblogger article, I talked about how to build an agile content marketing team. This time around, I’m going to focus on how to determine the potential size and reach of your content marketing opportunity.

One way to accomplish this is to see if readers are already displaying a passion for your space. Are they looking for the type of content you’re producing, or want to produce? Are they sharing it? If you create the right content, is there evidence that they would be willing to do so?

Don’t leap to early conclusions just because you think your space is not sexy.

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A 3-Step Process for Painless Keyword Research

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Keyword research is one of the most important types of research you’ll do throughout your content marketing career. It’s also one of the most difficult.

In this series, we’ve already discussed the fact that research isn’t sexy, glamorous, or fun. We’ve also talked about how you need to do research consistently — just like you need to work out in a consistent manner in order to see the real physical fitness results you want.

But there’s something particularly arduous about conducting keyword research. Many of the tools available are confusing and counter-intuitive. We don’t know what we’re supposed to be looking for, and we often don’t have a system in place for how to do keyword research effectively.

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