keyword-research-strategy-small-business

SEO Keyword Research Strategy For Small Businesses

At this point, you probably know what SEO and keywords are. We’ll give you a small recap. Basically, SEO is one of the most effective marketing tools that mankind has at it’s disposal. It’s productive, affordable and extremely efficient at drawing traffic to your website. The general idea behind SEO is pretty simple. All you need to do is incorporate some highly searched keywords in your website’s content and you’re good to go. Well, it’s not as simple as it sounds. The incorporation part is pretty simple, but where are you going to find the keywords that you’re going to incorporate?

Keyword researching is something that can be done is like fifty different ways. Most people just know a couple of them and that is good enough. And, we are here to teach you those two or three technique or steps you need to follow in order to generate a operative list of keywords. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Step 1: Come Up With the Topics for Keywords

This is a pretty simple step. All you need to do is come up with the ideas that your keywords should closely circulate. You should have at least five ideas before you move on to the next step.

If you’re a business that’s providing a set of services, your job is pretty easy. Consider yourself as a company that designs websites which includes everything from SEO and content to templates and graphics. These services (SEO, Content Creation, Graphics) are your topics. Write down each of them and find keywords related to these niches.

If you’re more of a casual blogger or running an informative site, then it’s better to use keywords that relate to your industry. For instance, if you’re writing a tech blog, stick to keywords specific to that industry. If you run a highly diverse blog that posts a lot about a lot of different things, then you could categorize your niches and research keywords accordingly.

Step 2: Think of Phrases that Could be Good Keywords

As of now, we’re not even going to go on the internet. We’re just going to stick to the old pen and paper before we get all modern about it. The second step you need to do is use the topics that you came up with in step one and start making keywords out of them. These keywords don’t need to a 100% accurate. They just need to a rough estimation of what people will search when they’re looking for the services you provide. For instance, if you’re a company that’s selling mailing lists, you could use the following list of keywords.

  • Cheap mailing lists
  • Targeted mailing lists
  • Mailing lists rented
  • Free mailing lists
  • How to create a mailing list

These are just basic level keywords. We didn’t use any tools or do any research, we just put ourselves in the shoes of a company that sells mailing lists and came up with five keywords off the top of our head. You don’t need to be an SEO expert to do this, you just need detailed knowledge of your business or niche. If you’re hitting dead ends and can’t figure out phrases, ask a friend or colleague for help. This usually provides some pretty decent results.

Step 3: Using the Internet

Now, it’s time to use those inaccurate keywords you can up with and create something more usable. The create part of keyword researching is over and now all that is left is using the internet and generating more precise keywords. Doing this is fairly simple, all you need to do is use Google! Type in each of the keywords you made up and scroll all the way down to the bottom of the results page. You’ll see a section titled “Searches related to …” and these are your keywords!

This is just one way to create a more refined keyword list. You could even use online keyword generator tools. Put in the your phrases and they’ll usually give a decent list of keywords. However, don’t think that these keywords are good enough to be the final list. Phrases from online tools aren’t that accurate and will have millions of people using them which will make ranking up nearly impossible.

Step 4: Come Up With Longtail Keywords

If you’re not familiar with the terminology, longtail keywords are the ones that consist of about three to four words in a single keyword. Longtail keywords are particularly helpful when you’re looking to target a certain demographic like a city or a country. But, it also helps when you’re trying to make your keywords slightly more user friendly. For example, a keyword “mailing list creation” is good, but when compared to the longtail keyword “how to create a mailing list”, that keyword is totally mediocre.

The second type of longtail keywords help you target a certain audience. Consider this scenario. You’re a dog walker that operates in Washington. Do you really need to advertise your dog walking services in Germany? You don’t, so instead of using the common phrase dog walking service, use the keyword “dog walking services in Washington”. Sure, you’ll get lesser traffic, but the small traffic that you do get will be perfectly tailored to your requirement with a really high conversion rate.

The fact that longtail keywords have the potential to be much more effective than your regular keywords doesn’t mean that you should spam your content with just longtail keywords. The key to make longtail keywords work is by having a healthy ratio of both regular and longtail keywords. This ratio is extremely important to make the most out of both categories.

Step 5: Analyze Your Competitors

So, usually when you’re making a website, people tell you to get inspiration from popular vendors of the same service and follow their footsteps. For instance, if you’re an ecommerce site looking for a template, you could look at what Amazon is doing and try to do the same. However, when it comes to keyword, you want to do the exact opposite. If Amazon is targeting a certain keyword, it’s better if you ignore that keyword altogether. The reason behind this is that your competitor isn’t just an ecommerce site, it’s the biggest online store the world will ever see. How are you supposed to compete with that as a small business looking to sell a few objects here and there? So, instead of going against the big boys, completely ignore the keywords that they’re using. High competition is one thing, standing in front of the biggest rival you have is just foolish. Work around the gaps, use the keywords that they miss and you have a shot at someday becoming as big as them. And, who knows, one day you could advertise with those very keywords that you felt scared to use.

Step 6: Narrowing Down the List

At this point, you’re probably going to have a long list of keywords. If you came up with five topics in step one, you probably have about 50 keywords right now. Obviously, you can’t use all of them, you need to cut this list down to less than a dozen. And, doing so will require you to use a tool called Google Adwords. There’s various ways of doing this but we personally prefer Adwords. You’re going to need to make an according to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends. A while back, you didn’t need to use Google Trends. However, Google made some serious changes to the Adwords algorithm that took away a decent part of its functionality. So, in order to compensate for that, we need to use Google Trends.

So, the first thing you need to do is start flagging out the lesser-searched keywords in your list. You can do this by manually feeding Adwords your list of keywords and it’ll return the search history of that word. If that word is rarely search, you can just remove it from your list. However, before you do that, enter that keyword into Trends and check it’s history and future projections. For example, if you have a seasonal business and you’re selling something like tees for the Olympics, your business is only going to boom every four years. And, advertising with the name of Olympics might not work right now, but it might work a couple years from now. Trends will help you decide whether a declining keyword is expected to take a rise in the near future.

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