Keyword Research for Your Small Business Website: A Beginner’s Guide

keyword research

Keywords drive traffic to your small business blog and website. That’s good. But the right kind of keywords can drive the right kind of traffic, and that’s even better. Targeted keywords can spell the difference between browsers and buyers — but how do you come up with them?

Keyword research, of course!

To attract the right type of traffic, you have to know what real people are searching for — and while software like Google’s Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest can make your job a bit easier, they shouldn’t be your first stop. You’ll get much better results if you do your own legwork first.

Here’s how.

Start Brainstorming

Here’s a simple exercise. Grab a pen and paper and write down some topics that apply to your small business. If we were doing it for Mischa Communications, our list might look something like this:

– Small business marketing
– Blogging
– Website design
– Social media

These are all things we do, so they’re areas of our business that we want to concentrate on being ranked for. However, while they can all be considered keywords on their own, we can do better!

Flesh It Out

Now, give each of those five topics their own piece of paper and brainstorm keywords associated with each one. Try to think like your customers: If you were in the market for your products or services, how would you search for them? Would you type “small business marketing” or “marketers?” “SEO” or “SEO best practices?” “Blogging” or “how to drive traffic to your blog?”

There’s something to be said for one- and two-word foundational search terms — namely, a lot more people are looking for them on any given day. However, the more competitors want a piece of the same pie, the smaller the slices will be.

Long-tail keywords — like: “is blogging or social media best for small business marketing” — not only drive the specific traffic you’re looking for toward your site, they tend to bring in people who are ready to take action, whether that means making a purchase, learning more about a service or sharing your blog posts.

Do Some Market Research

You probably already have an extensive list of keywords by now, but there are more places you can check. Online forums and boards can tell you a lot about what real people are talking about.

Type in one of your main keywords + forum into your search engine. In no time at all, you’ll be browsing through plenty of topics that you may never have thought of.

When we tried it — typing in “small business marketing + forum,” we immediately found a board with posts like “marketing strategies,” “how can I promote my business” and “how to get likes on Facebook.” All these can become keywords — both foundational and long-tail.

Check Your Work

Remember those keyword planners from the beginning of this piece that we advised against starting with? Now it’s time for them to come into play. Run your newly created keywords through the suggestion tool of your choice. You’ll be able to see how many searches were performed for those keywords, and you may even find a few terms you hadn’t considered before.

Remember, your keywords aren’t set in stone, and you don’t need to stuff them haphazardly into a blog post for the sake of hits. In fact, you shouldn’t – the only “hit” you’ll get is the one Google will use to penalize you for trying to cheat the system.

When you’re just starting out, keyword research can seem overwhelming, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. If you’re looking for more targeted traffic and a better SEO strategy, keyword research is the way to go!

Do you need some help finding your words? Let Mischa Communications know! We’ll help you drive the right kind of traffic to your small business website or blog!