Keywords are the backbone of SEO. These are the words and phrases that will drive visitors to your website from search engines, like Google. As a small business owner, being proficient in SEO is a big bonus. Your proficiency can be measured by your ability to discover trending keywords and rank your website with them. In other words, an ability to perform successful keyword research for SEO.
Let’s explore the different types of keywords, how to get started, and top keyword research tools.
What Types of Keywords to Use
There are two types of keywords that you should consider during your keyword research:
- Those that can bring you gain (like “cash” or business keywords)
- Those that can bring you traffic and links (also called “informative keywords”)
Having a website is a profitable component for any small business. For many small businesses that heavily rely on their website for sales, it is essential to rank for keywords that boost sales and will lure customers.
When strategizing, you need to think about your potential clients when you create content. What keywords will they use when their searching for a product on a search engine. These keywords will usually include descriptive phrases, like “purchase”, “affordable”, “buy”, etc.
Unfortunately, since keywords like “buy” and “affordable” are becoming increasingly popular, ranking popular keywords on search engine has become more competitive. However, don’t let that stop you from attempting to rank them to earn extra profit. On the flip side, you can look for other keywords that will attract your targeted audience.
Why would you do that? Well, unless you have the money to build an aggressive marketing pay-per-click campaign, you will have to build your website from the ground up, which will ultimately generating a lot of organic traffic.
Generating organic traffic requires more links and shares and the best way to get them it by writing about things that will interest your audience.
You offer massage therapy services. By building webpages about your different massage packages, you’re attempting to advertise your massage therapy services. You could get links and a bunch of shares if the piece is amazing.
Or, you can create an article on the benefits of massage therapy. It might elaborate a popular search term and that’s going to help drive a lot of traffic to your website.
The drawback of the second method is that your site will not be making any profit. Yes, you’ll receive a great deal of visitors on your site but this won’t build a whole lot of leads. Your conversion rate also won’t be high. It’is just a good step towards building an online presence and awareness of your small business.
Money keywords should be prioritized. Although, you’ll want to use both types of keywords in the long run. Don’t skip out on using keywords or your website not rank and, in turn, will not generate you leads.
The structure and length of a keyword is one of the crucial things that are directly correlated to its difficulty and search volume.
There are specific types of keywords which are more challenging to rank for, as previously mentioned. There are those that have low or high volume or may fluctuate. A good example of a fluctuating phrase is “Summer Olympics”.
The length of a keyword is another component that’s essential for difficulty and volume. Volume gets lower for keywords that are longer and vice versa. According to their length, we can differentiate three types of keywords:
- Short-tail keywords (1 to 2 words)
- Medium-tail keywords (3 to 4 words)
- Long-tail keywords (more than 4)
Medium-tail keywords are what we’re searching for. Typically, people search 3 to 4 word phrases.
Long-tail keywords are phrases with more than four words. They are often neglected because of their volume despite the fact that they are easy to rank for. But, long-tails can be quite powerful when you rank a lot of them at the same time.
How To Find Keywords
Start with what you’re small business is selling, whether it’s a product or service. This called commercial keyword research. You also should keep in mind that besides your industry, it is also possible to tap into niche markets. They include all of the topics which are related to you but aren’t precisely what you’re currently offering.
Below are tools and resources we recommend for keyword research:
1) Google’s “auto-suggest” and “searches related to…”
Google can be used as a keyword suggestion tool. When you begin typing in a phrase, Google will begin finishing your paragraphs, with it’s suggestions.
At the bottom of the search results, you’ll see the “Searches related to…” section. Here, you will be given suggestions that are related to your keyword on Google.
However, should only be used to acquire the basic of your keywords… It’s just a starting point.
By entering your keyword in its search bar, you land on a page about the keyword. Also on this page is a table of contents which includes other relevant topics and sub-categories. Most of these sub-categories are really extensive and can be used for additional research.
3) Google Trends and Google Correlate
Search volume for keywords isn’t consistent- It fluctuates. Being proficient in SEO means being able to recognize rising and falling trends and act accordingly. This is why experts like to use Google Trends and Google Correlate as their main sources of keyword research.
Google Trends allows you to explore a search interest. So say you see the number of searches for a particular keyword is rising. This means you should go create valuable content before the topic becomes too popular and hard to rank for. Google Trends can also show you where the majority of the traffic is coming from and give you some additional keyword ideas.
Google Correlate is a part of Google Trends. This tool shows you the amount of correlation between your keyword and other phrases. In other words, it shows the search patterns where some keywords are likely to rise or fall together with your main keyword.
4) Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is one of the most frequently used tools and there’s an excellent reason for it. This tool is based on the Google AdWords system and is able to calculate volume, competitiveness and price for each keyword.
The unfortunate thing about it is that when it comes to volume and competition, it is based on paid search and not organic. Google primarily uses this tool for PPC purposes. So, this tool is best if you’re able to invest some money into a paid campaign.
However, don’t let that stop you from using the tool. It is a fantastic tool for getting keyword ideas. First, you want to go to the “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas” option.
Here, you will focus on two things:
- Ad group ideas (indicated keywords are categorized into prospective ad groups)
- Keyword thoughts (a list with keywords that are closely related to a primary keyword)
Although you can utilize Keyword Thoughts, we advise that you use Ad Group ideas. For example, if you search for “cat” and “food”, you’ll receive several suggested phrases comprising both “cat” and “food”. They are going to have volume, suggested bidding, other stats and competition. But if you use Advertisement group ideas, you will receive a list with all the other associated groups of keywords such as “cat toys” and “pet food”.
Another great free search engine optimization tool is Keyword.io. This tool is really powerful when it comes to extracting keyword from several sources, like Google, YouTube, Bing, and Amazon.
What makes this tool unique is how it suggests other words to include before and after your keyword. For example, if you search for the keyword “organic food”, Keyword.io will provide you ideas like “best organic food” or “organic food delivery” for each letter from A to Z.
At the end of your search, you can export your results to use later on in a tool like Google Keyword Planner.
Search engine optimization is definitely not black and white. It’s never been. It’s more like guessing and toying around with different keywords. However, if you follow this guide, know your target audience, and use keyword research tools, you’ll be generating traffic from search engines in no time!
Have a question about keyword research? Ask us and we’ll answer it during our next Live Webcast Wednesday.
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