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5 Ways Keywords Impact Content Management Marketing Effectiveness

Jun 15, 2016 2:27:17 PM by John Mancini

This post will be one in a series designed to share some of the lessons we’ve learned at AIIM about how to market content and information management solutions. The post is based on one of our “Marketing Clinic” webinars that we do monthly to share best practices and experiences. The next one is scheduled for Tuesday, July12 at 11 am -- it's free -- register HERE. The topic will be "Why are Inactive Prospects a Good Potential Source of Leads."  Save a spot HERE.

Note -- this is a new blog for Content Management Marketing Peeps.  Cast your eyes to the right, and you'll see a subscribe box.  Never miss a post, and you decide whether you want them instantly, daily, or weekly.

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5 Things We’ve Learned About Keywords, SEO, and ECM Marketing Effectiveness

A core assumption: When it comes to keywords, I really think that you have to be in the top three organic search results. If you imagine a Google search, you have three or four paid ads usually that are at the top. After that are the organic search results. 60-70% of Google traffic is built on the first three organic search results, so it’s pretty important to be positioned there. If you want to be a bit more generous, you can expand your focus to the top ten results -- essentially the first page of any Google search. Anything beyond that, you're really way, way off in the long tail, and not terribly relevant in answer the question of how to market content management solutions.

[An aside at this point -- we’re a Hubspot customer, so I guess you could say that I have a very “Hubspottian” view of the world. That doesn't mean that the concepts I’ll talk about in this article aren't extendable into other marketing platforms. But the screenshots I’ll use are from our Hubspot implementation.]

For those who don’t know us, we do content marketing at very, very large scale given that we are an industry association. We like to think that we've learned a lot, but we also realize that there's a ton of things that we still don't know. But these 5 strategies are a snapshot of what we've learned along the way.

#1 -- Start with Who.

Who are you trying to target and what are you actually trying to do?

It seems basic, but many organizations skip right over this stage. It’s one that I feel is critically important to aligning keyword tactics with your overall marketing strategy. In our work at AIIM, we focus on three main personas.

The first person we focus on is Consultant Chris


The second is Professional Development Pam


The third persona -- actually representing the group that's growing most quickly within the AIIM database -- is Project Pat


#2 -- Understand the Why.

All content strategy needs to start with the Buyer’s Journey. Consider this graphic from Hubspot:


It’s frankly taken us awhile, but one of the key things we’ve learned is that the kind of content a potential buyer needs -- and their willing to trade information about themselves in exchange for that content -- varies greatly depending on where you are in the Buyer’s Journey.

#3 -- Generic and Short Feels Good, But is Meaningless When it Comes to Keywords.

Is is tempting to hop immediately into a set of keywords that are as broad as possible in an attempt to grab as wide an audience as possible. Wrong move. In our case, a broad startegy leads to keywords like training, or OCR, or cloud, or big data, or mobile. [Analysis out of our Hubspot engine.]

Keyword Difficulty (out of 100) Rank
Training 97 100+
OCR 97 100+
Cloud 98 100+
Big Data 99 100+
Mobile 99 100+

These are very, very generic words. They are also very, very highly valued words. As you can see from this internal screenshot, they are also very difficult words around which to get any traction. Even though they feel good, they are pretty much useless keywords.

#4 -- Map Keywords to Buyer’s Journey Problems.

The Buyer’s Journey for AIIM ultimately leads to purchase of training, certification, or membership. So as we think about keywords, we try to focus on understanding how people “think” about a “content problem” before they even realize they have a content problem, how they eventually come to label and understand that problem, and then help them understand the training, education, and information resources that are available to help them along on their journey.

A examples will help you understand.

Samples of AWARENESS stage keywords -- What does the problem look/feel like?

Keyword Difficulty (out of 100) Rank
information chaos 87 1
managing information 89 3
management of information 84 3

Samples of CONSIDERATION stage keywords -- What is the problem called?

Keyword Difficult (out of 100) Rank
what is collaboration? 83 1
what is information management? 80 2
what is enterprise content management? 88 2

Samples of DECISION stage keywords -- What solutions exist to solve the problem?

Keyword Difficulty (out of 100) Rank
information governance training 20 1
ECM training 62 1
information management skills 78 1

#5 -- Integrate Keywords into Content.

You can have all the great keywords in the world that you want, very descriptive and matched to personas, very matched to the business journey that somebody is on, but if you're not disciplined about how you use them in your content, then you don't really accomplish much.

I'll be absolutely honest with you as someone who does a lot of blogging and does a lot of content creation, this is the piece that I often neglect. I get to the end of a blog post, I push publish, and out it goes. Relief spreads as I check another assignment off the list.

But all of a sudden I think, wait a minute. What exactly was this post designed to accomplish? Who is it targeted at? Does it have any of the keywords we spent some much time and effort developing? How is it positioned relative to those keywords? Oops. 

So a quick checklist with regards to keywords and ECM marketing effectiveness, and in particular, blog posts. In our case, our Hubspot engine helps keep me honest with regards to these:
  1. Are there keywords in the title?
  2. Is the title unique?
  3. Is the title the right length for discovery by Google?
  4. Does the title contain a URL (it shouldn’t!)
  5. Are there keywords in the content? (But not too many, or you’ll look spammy.)
  6. Is the meta description for the post different from the title, does it contain keywords, and is it the right length for Google?
  7. Do you have H1 tags in the post, and do they contain keywords?
  8. Does your post contain relevant (emphasis on “relevant”) external links?

Some additional resources that may be useful (all FREE):




Topics: keywords, content marketing, seo, content management marketing

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