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Starting Your Keyword Research for SEO

At the beginning of any SEO campaign, conducting thorough keyword research is essential. With a wealth of information available and a growing number of small business owners possessing some degree of familiarity with SEO, it is concerning to see common mistakes in keyword research. Frequently, the most obvious keywords are prioritized and long-tailed variations are often overlooked, yet they often yield quicker and better results. However, your competition plays a pivotal role when deciding where to focus your efforts and keyword list.

Evaluate the competition and update your keyword strategy

In the world of online search, it’s important to note that keywords with the highest search volume tend to be the most competitive and desired. As a small business owner venturing into the space of search engine optimization (SEO) to maximize your online exposure, it’s crucial to consider alternative approaches. Long-tailed variations of keywords, when combined strategically, can offer a less competitive landscape while still generating considerable search volume.

Suppose the root keyword is “organic skincare products,” which is a highly sought-after and competitive term in the beauty industry. However, instead of solely targeting this specific keyword, a small business owner could explore long-tailed variations that provide an more direct path to visibility and reaching potential customers.

For instance, a long-tailed variation like “best organic skincare products for sensitive skin” may possess similar search volume but with lower competition. By strategically combining multiple long-tailed variations, such as “top-rated organic skincare products for acne-prone skin” or “affordable organic skincare products for dry skin,” one can gradually up search volumes and build a robust online presence without directly competing against larger companies or well-established brands.

As a marketing agency that focuses on strategy, we understand the complexities involved in targeting competitive search terms. Our arsenal of tools and extensive industry knowledge enables us to navigate those challenges effectively. However, for businesses new to SEO, focusing on long-tailed variations presents a more accessible approach. It allows you to carve out a niche and generate valuable organic traffic without the need for extensive resources or a deep understanding of intricate SEO tactics.

For an SEO beginner, focusing on long-tailed variations can be a more approachable task compared to tackling highly competitive search terms. The latter requires extensive knowledge, specialized tools, and substantial financial resources to yield favorable search results elsewhere.

Finding ideas for keywords

There are multiple ways to research and create a list of keywords that you should target.

Keyword tools

Even as a small business there are options for keyword tools that you can use to help generate traffic to your website.

  1. Google Keyword Planner: This tool, provided by Google Ads, helps you discover keywords related to your industry, provides search volume data, and suggests bid estimates. It’s free to use but requires a Google Ads account.
  2. SEMrush: SEMrush offers a comprehensive suite of SEO tools, including a keyword research tool. It provides valuable insights into keyword volume, difficulty, competition, and related keywords. SEMrush offers both free and paid plans.
  3. Ahrefs: Ahrefs is a powerful SEO toolset that includes a keyword explorer. It provides keyword ideas, search volume, keyword difficulty scores, and detailed competitor analysis. Ahrefs offers a paid subscription model.
  4. Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz offers a keyword research tool that helps you find relevant keywords, analyze their difficulty, and uncover ranking opportunities. It also provides other SEO metrics and recommendations. Moz offers both free and paid plans.

Combining keyword tools with a more straightforward approach may provide the best option for you.

Optimize your keywords

To optimize your keywords for search engines and connect with your target audience, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Start by gaining a deep understanding of your ideal customers and their specific needs. By considering the problems they are trying to solve or the questions they may have regarding your products or services, you can begin to envision the best keywords that they would likely use when conducting online searches. This exercise in empathy allows you to align your keywords with your customers’ language and intentions.

Another valuable source of keyword inspiration lies in customer feedback and conversations. Actively listen to the feedback you receive from your customers and pay attention to the words and phrases they use to describe their experiences or express their needs. Engaging in conversations with your customers through various channels such as social media, email, or in-person interactions can provide valuable insights into their language preferences. By incorporating these customer-derived keywords into your research, you can better capture their attention and cater to their specific requirements.

Just to recap…

Starting your keyword research for SEO is a crucial step in any successful online marketing campaign. By understanding the common mistakes in keyword research and prioritizing long-tailed variations, you can achieve quicker and better results while avoiding direct competition with larger companies. Focusing on long-tailed keywords offers a more accessible approach for businesses new to SEO, allowing them to generate valuable organic traffic and carve out a niche without extensive resources or deep SEO knowledge. Additionally, combining keyword tools with an empathetic understanding of your target audience and incorporating customer feedback into your research can further enhance the effectiveness of your keyword strategy. By implementing these approaches, you can improve your online visibility, connect with your ideal customers, and drive meaningful results for your business.

Looking for help with organic SEO or local SEO?

Our digital marketing partner and SEO guru, Local Blitz is a pro with a wide variety of marketing strategies and game plans. If you’re looking for help with your local search engine optimization or want to dabble in Google Ads (or social media ads for that matter), Nick Bennett at Local Blitz is one of the co-founders and happens to be one of our fav people. Give Nick a shout and tell him we sent you.