Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed how to generate keywords, the tools that can help you do so, and some ways to take your keyword research to the next level. Today, we’ll explore the relationship between keywords and topics, and how they work together to create content that addresses your customers’ needs and signals your authority to Google by building on your keyword with the right topic.
When it comes to writing content, you can think of keywords as the chassis of a car and topics as the body; your keyword determines the foundational structure of the vehicle, and choosing a topic for your keyword allows you to decide the form and function of the finished product. In this case, we want to make sure that the finished product is something that brings value to your customers and gives Google a reason to show it to them.
Understand Your Audience
Just as getting to know your audience was fundamental to your initial keyword research, it will also serve as your compass when selecting topics to match those keywords. At the most basic level, you should already know the demographics (age, gender, income, etc) of your customer base or target audience so that you can understand their interests, values, and motivations. Once you know who your customers are, one way to generate topic ideas for a keyword is by considering some of the challenges they may face when buying, financing, or maintaining a car.
Many searches begin with the need to solve a problem or answer a question, and creating content with that in mind positions your site (and your business) as a trustworthy source of information. As a car dealership, the fundamental problem or question your customers face is likely related to vehicle acquisition or service and maintenance. That is not to say that there are not many other problems they might face or questions they’ll ask, but for simplicity’s sake, these are the two main things you will target.
With that being the case, let’s say your customer is in search of a truck, and you want to sell Ford F-150s. You pick the keyword “Ford F-150 for sale,” and you know your target customers live near the water. Your target buyer may be looking for a truck with the power to tow their boat on the weekends and the flexibility to fulfill other needs during the week. Given that, the topic of your blog might be “Why the Ford F-150 is the Right Truck for Weekend Boaters,” allowing you to write about something that’s relevant to your audience and easily incorporates your keyword.
Know Your Competition
Even once you understand how keywords and topics work together, it can be hard to know where to start. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, analyzing your competitors’ content can be a valuable source of inspiration for potential topics. It provides insights into what works (and what doesn’t) for your region and brand. Performing a competitive analysis with a tool like SEMrush can highlight gaps in your local market that you can fill with your unique insights. You might be targeting the same keyword as your competitors, but the resulting content can be very different, simply based on what topic you choose.
For this example, let us say you are trying to sell Toyota Highlander models. When targeting the keyword “Toyota Highlander SUV,” your competitors may opt for a broad topic, focusing on the same repetitive specs and information that can already be found elsewhere on the internet. By contrast, you can choose a topic that will truly resonate with your audience, like “Three-Row SUVs for a Family Beach Day,” including the Highlander in your list of suggestions. A refined topic like this offers far more value to your customers and signals to Google that your site is an authoritative local resource.
Beyond revealing opportunities for untapped topics, keeping an eye on your competition is crucial in order to benchmark your own performance, understand audience interest in different topics, and adapt your strategies to stay ahead. By monitoring your competitors’ performance, you can keep your finger on the pulse of the industry, ensuring that your content remains appealing and relevant to your target audience.
Pay Attention to Trends and Seasonality
In selecting the topics that will give shape to your keywords, staying up to date with industry trends is vital. Fresh, relevant content not only captures the attention of your audience but also can boost your SEO efforts and help establish your authority in the field. One way to accomplish this is by identifying topics that fluctuate seasonally. Certain subjects will naturally be more relevant during specific times of the year, like battery care tips in the winter or AC repair in the spring/summer. Create an editorial calendar so that you can plan ahead for upcoming events, holidays, and trends while maintaining a consistent presence online.
Major updates or developments within your brand or the industry at large can also provide important leads for topic generation. This includes new model releases, new model generations, and more. Keep in mind that while it may be tempting to jump on the latest viral phenomenon in order to cash in on all the attention, the effects of such topics are likely to be short-lived. Instead, focus on more substantive trends or important industry-wide changes to create content that is perennially relevant.
As much as timely topics help to keep your content fresh, it’s also important to build a solid base of evergreen content, which will stay relevant and timeless regardless of the trends that come and go. Evergreen topics are wide-ranging and can cover everything from oil change recommendations to editorial retrospectives on a brand’s history. Regardless of whether you choose an evergreen topic or something that speaks to current events, there are many ways to build high-quality content around your chosen keyword.
The Big Picture
The ability to generate engaging topics that build upon your keywords is a skill that can transform your dealership’s online presence. Understanding your audience, conducting competitive analysis, and planning for upcoming trends are all crucial elements of this process that we encourage car dealers to get familiar with. By doing so, you’ll unlock the long-term benefits of effective content marketing.
However, if you have questions, need some reinforcement, or just don’t have the time to do it all on your own, Wikimotive is here for you. All of our plans are tailor-made for your needs, and with the right strategies and dedication, your dealership can drive ahead of the competition and accelerate toward online marketing excellence.