7 Keyword Research Tips for Small Businesses

Modified date: September 11th, 2022

Keyword research can make or break the SEO results of your small business.

Keyword research is an essential component of small business SEO that leads to a better strategy and often results, as you become aware of the most relevant and profitable search queries that your potential customers are using on Google.

With keyword data, you'll know the topics, words, and phrases to create content that ranks, resonates with prospective customers, and leads to more business.

Small Business Keyword Research Tips

Here are 7 keyword research tips to improve your small business SEO efforts.

1. Create a List of the Primary Keywords for Your Niche

The first thing you'll want to do is create a list of keywords relevant to your business.

Consider all the words and phrases relevant to your business, including products or services, how-to guides and tips, and potentially other industry-related information.

While it's a good idea to have a set of primary keywords and related topics to create content around, you don't need many to start. You can always add to your list over time.

2. Use Keyword Search Tools to Expand Your List

To make sure that your keyword list is well sorted and includes terms that are searched and in demand, consider using keyword research tools for access to data like monthly search volume and how difficult each keyword is to rank based on the competition.

Paid keyword research tools like Semrush, SE Ranking, or Ahrefs include large databases of Google search term metrics that are inaccessible with free tools.

These keyword research tools can also help you find related keywords based on the initial search term you provide in the tool.

Here are some recommended SEO tools for keyword research:

  • Semrush: Premium SEO software platform with keyword research features.
  • SE Ranking: Inexpensive SEO platform with keyword research features.
  • Ahrefs: Competitor analysis SEO platform with keyword research features.
  • Mangools KWFinder: Beginner-friendly toolkit with a keyword research tool.
  • Google Search Console: Free keyword research tool based on existing content.
  • Google Keyword Planner: A free Google Ads tool for basic keyword research.

For the largest amount of continually updated keyword data, you can't go wrong with top-rated all-in-one SEO software like Semrush, SE Ranking, or Ahrefs.

Google Search Console is useful for optimizing or creating content based on the keywords Google detects over time from your existing site content.

Google Keyword Planner is useful for finding initial keyword ideas but is not as accurate as a paid tool with keyword research features when it comes to search volume and competitor-related keyword metrics. Unless you run a Google Ads campaign, you are only shown a range when it comes to keyword search volumes, such as 100-1000.

3. Consider Long-Tail Keywords

Now that you have the means and tools to find all the primary keywords to include in your content, you might want to take some time to analyze long-tail keywords as well.

What makes these keywords unique is that they’re far more specific and relevant search phrases. These are phrases that are generally 4+ words long.

By incorporating long-tail keywords into your content, you improve your chance of ranking at the top of the search engine results page for more highly-relevant terms, which can lead to an increase in search traffic to your site.

4. Give Pay-Per-Click Ads a Try

Pay-per-click ad campaigns like Google Ads (previously Google Adwords) can be very effective when it comes to driving targeted traffic to your website and collecting additional keyword research and visitor data.

However, this marketing strategy can add up in cost quickly, depending on the competition and bids for your target keywords. Google's Keyword Planner is useful for researching estimated costs-per-click for your target keywords, to estimate how many clicks you can afford each day, week, or month.

Even if you find Google Ads doesn't provide a suitable ROI, it can be worth it purely for the keyword research data, as you can see a search terms report inside the Google Ads interface after you've generated some ad clicks. The search terms report shows the search queries users searched to find and click on your ad.

5. Get More Specific with Google Suggestions

Google is the most dominating search engine out there with a market share of 92.47%, according to Statista’s latest reports.

This means that out of 100 potential customers that are searching for your niche, about 92 to 93 will come from google.

Google's related suggestions based on a search term you provide can help you perform free and effective keyword research and brainstorm topic ideas to write about. This is done by the use of Google Suggest, which is an algorithm developed by Google to find the most relevant matching phrases to the main seed keyword provided.

The best thing about these suggestions is that it’s exactly what the majority of search engine users are looking for based on a particular search query, and they’re usually ranked and displayed in terms of the frequency of searches.

Similarly, you can also use Google Trends, another free tool by Google in a similar way, that can help you get an idea of the popularity and interest of specific keywords searched in Google by location.

This can give you new insights and ideas for additional content to add to your website. Using keyword research software to your benefit will help you create the most helpful content for your target audience and potential customers. This can ultimately result in you ranking above the competition in the search engine results for more keywords relevant to your business.

6. Try to Localize Your Keywords

If you’re running a small business, there’s a good chance that you’ll be limited to your geographical presence.

For that reason, trying to rank high in global or national search results pages can be extremely challenging with all the corporations investing large amounts of money on content, SEO, and blogging. Also, more search queries today automatically surface local search results based on the searcher's browser settings and location.

For a small business, aim to localize your content and incorporate the location/s you serve with the keywords relevant to your business. Coupled with long-tail keywords that you use, your search results will be far more specific, and therefore, land more customers!

The best thing about localizing keywords and content is that your target audience will not only end up more specific, but you will likely find an improvement in website engagement and conversion rates due to improved search intent, as website visitors who find your page listings in local organic search results resonate and align better with your content.

Check out these local SEO tools which include excellent features to help you perform local keyword research and content optimization.

7. Keep the “People Also Ask” Section in Mind

Last but not least, you may also want to use the “People Also Ask” section in the Google search engine results to get more ideas about the type of content and questions you should write about on your business site.

By providing detailed content that answers these questions, you're bound to be seen as more helpful and worth potentially doing business with than competing site content.

Wrapping Up

There you have it! Seven keyword research tips for small businesses. As you can see, keyword research is an extremely valuable asset to improve your search engine ranking, online presence, organic traffic, and sales opportunities online.

Such tasks can feel a bit overwhelming in the beginning. However, in the long run, they’re extremely worth the time and effort.

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