As a small business owner, you must make the best use of your marketing budget for maximum results. There are several ways to do this, from running social media campaigns to collaborative events with like-minded businesses. But without a doubt, one of the best ways to increase your marketing potential is with a solid SEO strategy. And the backbone of your SEO strategy is an effective use of keywords, so it pays to research tips on making the most of them.
What Is SEO?
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Search Engine Optimization is the process of optimizing a webpage so that search engine crawlers will find it and return it high up relevant search results. You need to invest some time into setting up and maintaining this, but otherwise, it is a cost-effective tool to have in your marketing suite. Day-to-day SEO runs itself, ideal for letting you concentrate on the business side of things. SEO compliments other online marketing tools that small businesses are likely to use, making it perfect for maximizing results.
Take A Tutorial
If you’re new to SEO, taking a tutorial is an excellent starting point for learning how to choose and use keywords. A good tutorial will explain the importance of using keywords for attracting web crawlers to your page. It’ll then walk you step by step through choosing and implementing the ideal keyword selection for your selected product or service. There are many such tutorials available for free on the internet, and it’s only a matter of searching for them.
Once you understand the SEO process and the importance of keywords to the visibility of your web pages, you can look at other keyword research tips. The better your keyword selection game, the better your web page optimization. Considering that the end goal of SEO is to reach your target audience and increase traffic to your website, this is an important game to master.
Research Starts With You
The person who knows your product best is you, so put that knowledge to work by compiling a list of words you’d use when searching that product. Once you’ve done this, break it down further by taking your business apart, writing down all specialisms you cover and any defining characteristics of the company. Take it a step further by entering words off your list into the Google search bar and noting down autofill suggestions. You’re building an extensive list, much of which will end up discarded, but it’s essential to find the hidden gems that make your page stand out.
Use The Right Tool
Researching keywords for a product or service goes far beyond thinking of words to describe that item. Enlist the help of a keyword research template, such as a simple Google and Excel one, which will be plenty for your needs. Here you can organize your list of keywords into relevant categories and start merging words and identifying seed keywords. Having this information coherently laid out on a spreadsheet will be invaluable as you keep building your list.
Narrow The Field
Once you have a comprehensive list of up to one hundred words, it’s time to start cutting the irrelevant options. Consider the relevance of keywords to your needs, not just how it relates to the product you’re selling but also how your audience uses them in their searches. If you’re using Google Trends, look at the likelihood specific topics and related words will trend upwards in the next few weeks or months.
Seed words are vital at the keyword research stage as they open several options for additional words. Long-tail keywords are multiword phrases that are ideally natural-sounding and informative. For example, if you’re selling pineapples, your seed word is “pineapple,” a long-tail keyword could be “ripe tropical pineapples your location”. Doing so gives you a broad catchment range, especially while you’re finding your feet and unsure of niche or competitive keywords.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
While longtail-keywords are a solid strategy, you must avoid keyword stuffing when embedding keywords into your page. Your keyword research should throw this up as pages that use this tactic don’t do well in search result listings because the practice is frowned upon. The overload of information will also be off-putting for readers of your page, causing them to lose interest and move on. Regardless of what the internet suggests, it’s the human end users to whom you must appeal.
“Pristine ripe Costa Rica pineapples fruit-salad fresh no spiders beachside grove yummy yum green leaves.” Compared to “ripe tropical pineapples, your location,” you can see the problem with keyword stuffing. There are too many words; half of them are off-topic, and leaving out your sales location for product origin will confuse results further. Neither google nor potential customers will be happy.
As mentioned already, including your location is good practice with long-tail keywords, and as a small business owner, it’s vital. With most small businesses being locally focused, targeting your company to the local customer base is essential. A small business in Maryland showing up in Texas results may get traffic to its website, but those hits won’t convert to sales. The inclusion of your locale in embedded keywords will ensure google targets users looking in that area.
It Takes Time
It’s crucial to invest the time into research and start-up and maintaining your SEO once it’s up and running. Part of your maintenance schedule will be to continue keyword research tips and update pages as needed. As you become more confident, you will find more niche or market gap keywords to include. The reward for this investment of time is well worth the results, with your web pages rising in search result rankings and converting a higher rate of clicks into revenue.
SEO is an essential, low-cost part of your marketing strategy as a small business owner. And by investing the time to read and implement keyword research tips, your SEO game will go from strength to strength—an ideal investment for growing a healthy small business.