Search engine optimisation is a necessary task for any business that offers a website. Driving traffic to the page through targeted and specific strategies requires some understanding of how search engines work and how rankings are delivered. Part of the SEO mix relies heavily on keywords and knowledge of what users online are searching relevant to specific topics, products, or services. For small businesses to stand out among the crowd, keyword research is a must.
Without a strong small business keyword research process, everything from a well-designed website to online ad campaigns are effectively a waste. However, according to a UK digital marketing agency, performing keyword research is not as easy as some may think. The most productive keywords used in search engine inquiries may not be all that intuitive to the business, and some of the most popular keywords may be overly used by competitors online. In order to create an effective keyword strategy for the purpose of SEO as a small business, it is crucial to recognise the steps in the process as well as how to integrate the right keywords into a marketing strategy.
The Steps to Keyword Research
When a person wants to find out more information about something or is looking for a specific product or service, their first instinct is to input some relevant keyword into an online search engine. Recent statistics point to the growing number of online searches, now coming in at more than 1.2 trillion searches each year. Results from a search engine inquiry are based on relevancy of the site information and authority of that site, making keyword research critical to small business page success. To ensure a small business is ranking for specific keywords relevant to user inquiries, the following steps need to be followed.
For nearly all small businesses, the first round of keyword research involves brainstorming what users may be looking for in relation to the products, services, or information that the company provides. Start by considering all the categories that may be correlated to the business, without getting bogged down in the details too quickly. Although there is more work to be done to get more strategic with keywords, this initial list helps inform the rest of the keyword research process for small businesses.
Use a Keyword Finder Tool
Next, utilising a keyword finder tool is often beneficial. Countless tools exist online to help with this endeavor, providing keyword research and, most importantly, volume of those keyword searches from multiple sources. Many small businesses overlook the importance of the volume of keywords in doing their research. It does not help much if keywords are relevant to a business, but a minimal number of search inquiries involve said keywords. Online keyword finders can help flesh out these nuances for small businesses.
Get Creative in the Search
After brainstorming ideas and using a keyword finder tool, small businesses can get even more creative in finding the right keywords to use in their SEO strategy. Millions of online boards and discussion forums exist for nearly all industries. These communities can be invaluable for determining what information users are seeking in relation to a specific topic. Businesses can simply type in a particular keyword and the word board or forum into a search engine to find the most relevant places people are talking about certain topics online.
Also, the search engine itself can be a helpful tool in building a small business keyword strategy. Taking broad keywords to a search engine and allowing the search engine to auto-complete or auto-suggest terms can be an easy way to gain more insight into keywords being used frequently online. These short- and long keywords can be powerful additions to a keyword list initially compiled through brainstorming or other keyword research tools.
Small businesses that take the time and put in the effort to go through these keyword research steps also need to implement their research throughout their marketing and SEO strategies.
Adding relevant keywords to content is the easiest way to accomplish this task, but small businesses that are the most successful get creative with their keyword placements. This means adding relevant keywords to specific blog posts or other online content, including them in URLs of webpages, and ensuring the titles of pages or posts include the right keywords. Having other authority websites link back to keyword-rich content is also beneficial as it helps build authority online.
These tactics can take time to improve SEO results, but they are well worth it as a small business.