Ultimate Guide to finding winning keywords for Small Businesses

Are you a Small business owner?

Do you own a website and looking to boost traffic?

Do you prepare high-quality content for your target market yet not getting the desired results?

Then this article is for you.

A beautiful looking website with quality content is great to have. But Google evaluates the quality of content through Keywords and how well it has been utilised in the landing page.

Relevancy between the content and search term used is key here.

Keywords are nothing but the ‘words’ or ‘phrases’ people use in Google in order to search for something.

A keyword is the most critical factor in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and PPC (Pay-per-click or paid ads) and any digital marketing campaign for that matter.

Step 1 – Understanding Keywords

The first thing to do before performing keyword research is to analyze the intent of the searcher in terms of what they are trying to achieve through that search they perform. Are they looking to buy a product or service or just looking for information?

Before we jump on to the key tactics of Keywords, lets first find out the various types of Keywords. There are 4 different types of it namely,

  1. Conversive or Commercial — the terms used to find the best available product in the market or the best place to buy the desired product
  2. Navigational — the search performed to identify a website just to navigate. For eg, “facebook” or “BBC”
  3. Informational —  the phrase used to find certain information or answer to a particular question. People use this when they are in the research phase before making a buying decision.
  4. Long tail keywords – having more than 4 to 5 words in the Keywords
  5. Transactional – the type that people use once they’ve made the buying decision but unsure where to buy. This type of search is most likely to result in sales.

Alright, now that we know the different types of Keywords, let us dive deep into the concepts behind Keyword research and how to plan and optimize them for your website.

Step 2 – Finding and choosing the right keywords

This is the most crucial part of any digital marketing campaign. It decides your path to success in the online space.

Like we mentioned in the previous section, analyze the searcher intent through research and identify the right words and phrases people use on the search engine to look for your service.

The very next step is to create content around those terms and then optimizing them in such a way that the article reflects what the searcher intended to see in the landing page.

If they don’t find the content to be relevant to what they searched for, they are highly likely to bounce back. Bounce rate is a bad thing for SEO and as the rate increases, Google is likely to mark your website as an irrelevant page and weigh you down the ranking page over time, irrespective of your other efforts.

Okay, but wait! How does a Keyword look like and where should I begin the process of acquiring them! Yes, that’s where we are heading to now but in order to do that, let’s take an example and consider a type of small business, say, Accountants or Accountancy firms.

What do people search for when they are looking for Accountancy services or some information regarding Accountancy?

Few Keyword Examples for Accountants:

  1. Common search engine keywords
    1. Accountants near me
    2. <location> accountants
    3. Contractor accountants
    4. Local accountants for small businesses
    5. Startup accountants
  2. Voice search keywords / Longtail Keywords
    1. Find a tax accountant near me
    2. What are chartered accountants
  3. Content creation keywords
    1. Making Tax Digital (MTD) corporation tax
    2. Personal tax advisor
    3. How to choose the right accountants
    4. HMRC personal tax account

It is also a good practice to rank your website for as many relevant Keywords as you can. The more the keywords you rank for, the better it is. But it is essential to ensure the content reflects the search terms used.

Step 3 – Making the best use of Keyword Research tools

Performing Keyword research is a critical and time-consuming process.

Thankfully, there are quite a number of free and paid Keyword Research tools available online including Google that facilitates the process.

Google Keyword Research tool:

It is recommended to read about the tips and tricks to use the keyword research tools like Google suggest or google keyword planner tool, as we may not be covering them in detail here.

Firstly, open up a spreadsheet and copy + paste the keywords that you come across from the below exercise. Remember the more you have, the better it is.

  • Google suggestion is the best place to start. When you type in a word or phrase in the search bar, you would have noticed Google suggesting the rest of the phrase. They are all Keywords people have been searching for. They are hence a very valid Keywords to note down.

  • Also, look at the bottom of the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page) for “Searches related to” where you can find 8 more Keywords that are closely related to your search term

  • Next step is to click on one of the phrases in there and the next page will offer more closely related Keywords. You can repeat the process over and over again to find more and more valuable keywords

Other Free Keyword research tools to consider are,

Other paid tools

In some cases, you can also make use of the below external sources for your search term research:

  • Reddit
  • Wikipedia
  • Quora

One thing to remember is, if your search phrase like “VAT Registration” results in high authority sites like HMRC, any Government website or even Wikipedia then it is better to avoid them and remove them from the list. Simply because they are high ranking websites and any effort to compete with them will not be fruitful.

How to Filter the right Keywords from the list?

So once the list of keywords is generated – say a list of 1k – 5k keywords, the next step is to filter them down based on low competition and high search volume.

List out the KW and choose the right ones based on a number of factors and best fit for your business

  • Search volume – high and low, high gets searched by more ppl and so it gets more traffic
  • Organic CTR – so search for the KW in SERP and if you see a featured snippet for the long tail KW, then you wont get more traffic from it even if you got to page 1.
  • Difficulty – start with low competition and once your site authority increases over time, target more competitive KW
  • CPC – if CPC is high, you’ll get more traffic even if the search volume is low
  • Business specific

Using low competition keywords is one way to attain #1 rank quickly and easily but it takes effort to identify the relevant, low comp KW and optimizing content for that.

It is quite easy to identify long tail keywords (4+ word phrases) as they are less competitive (as of now). Then sort the phrases by monthly search volume and keyword difficulty.

There you go! You now have a list of hugely relevant Keywords which you know, can do wonders when implemented well through the content.

Step 4 – Develop Keyword-optimized Content

Now that your Keywords are ready, head over to content writing and make the best use of the keywords you have just acquired and filtered from various sources. Keyword-optimized content is what you need to boost traffic and reduce bounce rate. Tools like Google search console enhances the keyword research process and enable us to sort the list by impressions and click-through rates.

Also, it’s worth noting that Google understands the synonyms of your keywords and approves of any closely related terms. The LSI (latent semantic Indexing) are words that are closely knitted around a common topic. So, the usage of such words in place of the target keyword is a good practice.

There are free tools available to identify such terms like LSI Graph and LSI keywords. The below screenshot will give you a rough idea about what LSI long-tail keywords are.

Long-tail Keywords are the best approach going forward as more and more people get accustomed to using voice assistants for information and location-based searches.

One key thing to remember is always to focus only on keywords that improve your bottom line. Your target audience goes through various phases before they buy a product or service. So, while developing the content, always remember where you think your visitor is in the marketing funnel and think over what prompted them to read this article.

Empathy is key when it comes to digital marketing and the closer you get to your target market, the better it is for your campaign.

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