The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Research for Small Business WebsitesMay132024

Categories: Digital Marketing
The Beginner's Guide to Keyword Research for Small Business Websites

In an Internet age that can feel slightly overwhelming, and yet one where every click online counts, getting keyword research just right can be hard to master. Especially for small business owners, who are already wearing so many hats to make their company successful. To help, HostingCT is sharing a beginner’s outline for keyword research. And if you’d like more help beyond the guide, contact us today to learn how HostingCT can help you with your SEO efforts.

What is Keyword Research?

First things first, what even is keyword research? First, think of your website. You put so much love and care into it, making sure it’s attractively designed and laid out correctly, but you need to find a way to get people to see it. That’s where keywords come to play. Keywords are what people are using in search engines like Google to find your site. Keyword research therefore, is the process of figuring out what those keywords are. By discovering what people are using to find you and your site, you can make adjustments to your site to be seen more frequently by searchers.

Why is Keyword Research Crucial for Small Businesses?

  1. Increased Visibility
    In a digital world where there is so much noise, ensuring your content is being seen is harder than it ever was. Effective keyword research helps your business standout among competitors. By deciding on a keyword strategy and incorporating relevant keywords into your site’s content, you increased your likelihood of appearing in search engines. And when you are ranking higher in search engines, more people are likely to come to your site.

  2. Understanding Your Audience
    Sure, keywords are just words, but it’s what those words mean that is important from a business perspective. The keywords searchers are using to find your site can give you valuable insight into how they find you, what pages are most resonating, and how they describe your products. When you are a business owner or professional, sometimes it gets hard to remember what terms and phrases someone less in the day to day would use to find your product. By observing the keyword research, you can meet your audience where they are at, tailoring content to meet their needs.

  3. A Leg Up in the Competition
    In the digital age, competition is fierce. No longer are you just competing with your physically near businesses - you now are competing against all businesses in the world for digital eyeballs. Keyword research provides you with opportunities you might have not previously thought of before, and helps you discover gaps in the market. By looking towards keywords with lower competition, you have the ability to outrank big competitors and carve out your own area of expertise. Keyword research helps you define your niche, which you can later use to grow.

  4. Maximize Your ROI
    Investing in keyword research and other SEO efforts will help continuously grow your business. Optimizing your website for relevant keywords allows you to increase the likelihood of attracting qualified leads and converting them into customers. By focusing on people who are already looking for you or a service like you, you’re able to connect with people who are that much more excited to be a potential customer. 

How to Perform Keyword Research Like an SEO Expert

  1. Brainstorm
    Start off by creating a list of potential keywords and phrases relevant to your business. If you already have a website, go page by page to create groupings that you can later expand on. Feel free to put as much variations are possible down during this step to expand upon the possibilities.

  2. Analyze Competitors
    Who else is in your space? How are they describing their products and services? What kinds of pages do they have that you don’t, and are there any keywords they are using that you are not? Add these variations to your brainstorm list.

  3. Use a Keyword Research Tool
    There are many different keyword research tools available for use, more often than not for a fee. Tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs can help you identify relevant keywords similar to the ones on your list, see how many monthly searches are populating for each keyword, and determine the competitiveness of the keywords.

  4. Add Long-Tail Keywords
    While it can be exciting to see tens of not hundreds of thousands of monthly searches for keywords, make sure you are looking to include longer tail (3+ word) keywords. These keywords normally have lower competition, and while they might have fewer people searching monthly, the more detailed the search the more likely it is a higher specific intent. The traffic coming in from these keywords could be more valuable, or more likely to make a purchase. 

  5. Choose Keywords & Implement Strategy
    Once you have your long list of keywords, decide on a few to focus on. This can be a few per site section or a few holistically, but have a set focus in mind. Then, go and optimize your pages for those keywords, updating meta data, headers, content on page, etc. The more ways you can naturally incorporate your keyword, the better.

  6. Report & Define
    As with everything in a digital marketing landscape, continuously monitor your approach. See what customers are responding to. Track rankings. Pay attention to industry trends and language changes. Lean into what works, and if certain keywords aren’t improving pages, consider starting the process again and seeing if something else would work better to entice customers.

In the constantly evolving world of digital marketing, becoming a keyword research expert is no small feat. For small business owners especially, investing time and resources into understanding and implementing effective keyword strategies can lead to impactful and lasting results. See increased traffic, higher conversion rates, and improved sales with a focus on SEO. So with this guide arm yourself with knowledge, embrace the wild world of keyword research, and watch your business soar.

For more about HostingCT’s keyword offerings, read more here.