Effective Keyword Research Strategies for Small Business SEO

As a small business owner, you may not have the financial muscle or time to devote to an SEO campaign. Therefore, the way you do keyword research is different from a big business. However, a small business can outrank the big ones with a good understanding of how to do your SEO. Here is our guide on how to do that.

Keyword Research For Small Businesses Guide

Here are the steps to follow when doing SEO keyword research for a small business.

Determine Your Seed Keywords

The first step in keyword research for small businesses is seed keyword generation. To get your seed keywords, you will need to determine the niche of your business and the terms that can be used to describe it. Here are a few tips for seed keyword generation:

  • Products and services provided by your business
  • Words that describe the niche and its ancillary
  • Words and phrases that your customers use to find your products

Ensure your list includes broad terms, specific terms, and long-tail keywords.

Perform Keyword Research

Now that you have seed keywords, you will dig deeper into them to find keywords that will work for your business. To do this, you can use various free and paid tools. Some of the best free keyword research tools are:

  • Google  Autocomplete
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Search Console
  • Quora
  • People Also Ask section on Google

Some of the paid tools that small businesses can use to perform keyword research are:

  • Ahref
  • Semrush
  • UberSuggest
  • Moz 
  • Answer the Public

Use these tools to get more keyword ideas from your seed keywords. The tools will also provide important data such as search volume, keyword difficulty, and search volumes. Consider adding long-tail keywords to your list. Such keywords usually have more than four words. They are more specific to the search intent and are more likely to convert.

Google auto-suggest is a good keyword research tool for small business

Analyze Your Keywords

Now that you have your keywords, it’s time to analyze them further. This is where you will do things differently from the large companies. Some of the key metrics to consider when doing keyword research for small businesses are:

  • Search volumes.Shows you the average number of searches entered for the search query.
  • Keyword difficulty. A metric ranging from 0 to 100 shows how hard or easy it is to rank for the keyword.
  • Search intent. The reason why someone is searching for that particular keyword.
  • SERP competition. It shows the competition you are likely to get from other results on the search engines besides organic searches.
  • Click-through rate. Refers to the possibility of someone clicking on your site when your site is shown on the search engines.

Refine Keywords

You can now refine your keyword data by:

High Volume, Low Competition

The most suitable keywords to target are those with a high search volume and low competition. When you target these keywords, you can rank easily and get more traffic to your site.

Your Area of Expertise

Ask yourself which area your business is an expert in. Even when terms in that area have a low search volume, they may be worth focusing on. Not only will you have a higher chance of ranking for such terms, but they can position you as an expert in that area.

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords often consist of over four words. They are an excellent choice for small businesses to target as they are a more relevant search phase and specific. The competition for such terms is also lower as most big businesses don’t go after them.

 For instance, targeting the keyword candles will make it very competitive if you have a business selling them. However, targeting a phrase like “hand-made soy wax candles” becomes easier and less competitive. You also get to reach your target audience.

Search Intent

Matching the user search intent is also very important. Therefore, consider what your small business wants to achieve and match the search query with the search intent.

Choose Your Keywords

It’s time to select the keywords to use on your site using the measures outlined above. Ensure that you choose a keyword for each page of your site. You should have one keyword for the homepage, one for the service page, one open for the blog posts, and one for the product pages.

For the product and service pages, focus on transactional keywords. You can also have informational keywords on your blog posts to bring traffic to your site and position yourself as an expert.

Choose the keyword to use for small business

 However, If you are a small business, it’s better to focus on transactional keywords to get the most out of your keywords. People using such keywords are the most potential customers visiting your site.

Localise your keywords

When running a small business, there are high chances that you are in a small geographical location. In this case, you should consider if it’s worth going after a national and international keyword that can be competitive to rank.

A good idea would be to localize your keyword. Include the location of the area you serve in your keywords. Since you will have a more specific keyword, it will be easier to rank for such keywords. This is also likely to cause an improvement in your website traffic, engagement, and conversion.

Optimize for the Keywords

Once you have the keywords you want to target in your blog posts, it’s time to optimize them for your webpage. You should create content targeting the main keywords for each of your pages. If there are closely related keywords, you can include them as secondary keywords on the same page.

You will also want to optimize these keywords for SEO. You can include them in key areas such as the title, subtitles, meta tags, and alt tags. However, ensure you do not overuse them, which may be seen as spamming. Instead, maintain a keyword density of 1-2%.

Brainstorming keyword research for small business

Final Thoughts

Implementing effective keyword research for your small business will enable you to rank highly on the SERPs. It will also help you improve your organic reach and increase your traffic. With the above measures, finding keywords you can easily rank for to grow your business reach will be possible.

Benjamin is a writer with over ten years of experience in the content writing field. He holds a Bachelor's degree in  Journalism from Strathmore University. He writes on various niches such as product reviews, self-improvement, and making mone online. You can find him curled on his couch with a self-improvement book when he is not blogging.
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