Keywords research is a ‘key’ part of SEO, excuse the pun. If no one is searching for the content you are writing about, you won't be driving traffic to your website from search engines. This traffic helps you increase brand awareness, drive sales, and much more.
So, we decided to write a simple guide to keyword research for small businesses. If you are a beginner at SEO, this is the guide for you, we will cover the basics and a simple 5 step process that will help you select the right keywords for your business.
What kind of business do you have? Start with a basic, general keyword that reflects your business. For example, here at Streams, we might use ‘content marketing.’
This general term is the foundation on which you will start the keyword research for your small business.
Using Moz’s free keyword research tool, we can see that the monthly search volume for our term is 1.7-2.9k.This topic therefore may be worth our time.
Depending on your search term and your location, your volume may vary. For example, if your term is ‘cars’ and you search in the US you will probably get a result in the hundreds of thousands.
So how do you know if a term is worth your time? Well, it's important to think about your industry, how large it is, how much competition there is, and how many people are in your audience location. However, as a good rule of thumb, anything with 1,000+ is worth looking into.
Learn more about the foundations of SEO in our post: Top SEO Tips For Small Businesses
Now we need to comprise a list of hundreds of keywords. Yes, you read that right – hundreds.
There are some great free tools such as Keyword Planner, Google Autocomplete and more that you can use. If you want to really go down the rabbit hole of keyword research there are also paid tools to consider such as AHrefs, Moz and more.
Using AHrefs free keyword tool, I can generate 100 keywords but the information you have is limited compared to the paid version. However, it's still a great place to start and as your business grows and your marketing gets bigger you can later invest in more in-depth tools.
You have hundreds or thousands of keywords. But which ones should you start with?
Most keyword tools will have a variety of filters you can apply to pick out the true gems that you want to focus on. The two main ones you need to understand are:
You are looking to find keywords in the sweet spot of having a good amount of search volume and a low level of competition.
Group your selected keywords into subtopics. If you have around 100 keywords you probably want around 10 subtopics.
For example with ‘content marketing,’ we could have a sub-topic of ‘content marketing strategy or ‘content marketing tools’.
These subgroups will provide you with a foundation for how to approach your content marketing strategy.
You’ve done it! Keyword research complete! The last step is for you to now create great content based on your keywords.
You can create a doc, or spreadsheet with all of your keywords in it, separated by subtopic. This will help you keep track of them and what content you have created for them.
Remember that even though you are using keywords to help you rank on search engines and to generate traffic, the content should still be written for your audience. Don't overuse the keyword, or create incoherent, or difficult to read content simply to get the keyword in there a few more times.
Keywords are important and a foundational part of SEO but you also need to create content your audience loves, and incorporate other aspects of SEO such as site speed, backlinks and more to have the best chance of ranking.
See inspirations here:
Need a hand getting the creative juices flowing and thinking up some content ideas? Streams is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to quickly discover, understand & publish the best performing content to drive engagement and business growth. Sign up for a 7 day free trial today!