How to do keyword research for small business owners: Powerful research methods

Do you know what words people are using to find your business online? If not, you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers. Keyword research is essential for small business owners who want to get the most out of their websites and sales funnels. In this blog post, we’ll explain what keyword research is and how you can use it to your advantage. We’ll also provide some tips for finding the right keywords for your business. So don’t miss out – read on!

What is keyword research and why is it important for small business owners?

Many small business owners are familiar with the concept of keyword research, but fewer understand its importance. 

Keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that potential customers are using to search for products or services like yours. By understanding what keywords people are using, you can improve your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), making it more likely that your target customers will find you when they’re looking for what you offer. 

In addition, keyword research can help you to understand your customers’ needs and desires, giving you insights that can help you to improve your products or services. Ultimately, keyword research is an essential tool for any small business owner who wants to succeed on the internet.

How to do keyword research for your business?

How to do keyword research for your business?

The goal is to find keywords that have a high search volume but are not too competitive. This will help you attract more visitors to your site and improve your chances of ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs). This is an important strategy if you are in a saturated market where your competitors have much larger marketing and advertising budgets that you simply cannot compete with directly. 

There are a number of different ways to do keyword research, but one of the most effective is to use a tool like Google Keyword Planner. This tool allows you to enter a seed word or phrase and get suggested keywords based on real-world data. You can then use these keywords as a starting point for your own research. 

Once you’ve identified some potential keywords, you’ll need to start creating content that includes them. This could be blog posts, website pages, or even social media posts. Remember to focus on creating quality content that is relevant and useful to your target audience. If you do this, you’ll be well on your way to driving more traffic and sales to your business.

Keyword research tips

Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your keyword research and how to identify profitable keywords:

1. Start with a seed list: brainstorm a list of terms and topics that are relevant to your business. This can be anything from product names to industry jargon.

2. Use keyword research tools: there are a number of free and paid tools available that will help you find related keywords and generate ideas for new content.

3. Look at your competitors: see what keywords they are targeting and how they are ranking for them. This can give you some insight into which keywords are most effective for your industry.

4. Prioritize long-tail keywords: these are phrases that are more specific and less common than short-tail keywords, but they can be more effective in driving traffic to your site.

5. Test and refine: once you have a list of potential keywords, test them out on your website and track your results. Continuously refine your keyword strategy based on what is working and what is not.

BONUS TIP: Think of queries and keywords your target audience might regularly type into their Google Search bars. Check out what People also ask and Related searches.

Search intent

Search intent

Not all keywords are created equal. Some keywords are more valuable than others because they have a higher likelihood of conversion. In other words, people who use these keywords are more likely to buy something from your website. To identify the most valuable keywords, you need to understand search intent.

Search intent is the reason someone is searching for something on the internet. There are four main types of search intent: 

  • Informational, 
  • Navigational, 
  • Transactional, 
  • and Commercial Investigation. 

Informational searches are when people are looking for information about a topic. Navigational searches are when people already know what they want and they are searching for a specific website or product. Transactional searches are when people are ready to make a purchase. Commercial Investigation searches are when people are considering making a purchase but they want to compare prices and options before they decide. 

As you can see, each type of search intent requires different keyword optimization strategies. If you want to rank higher in the search results, you need to identify the search intent for your target keywords. You’ll go on to create content, with keywords, that answer the different queries your target audience may have. You need to make sure you answer the search intent behind the searches.

A search for “How to make bread at home” on Google will bring up videos on how to make bread and blog posts filled with delicious bread recipes. That is appropriate for the search and Google will prioritize showing the searcher these kinds of search results and this type of content. If you’re selling a bread maker or bread-making recipes you should be making this type of content and targeting this search query, and the long tail version of these queries. 

Similarly, a search for “apartments in Cape Town” will bring up listings and property portals. Whereas a search for “how to buy property in Cape Town” will bring up informative blogs. These two searches indicate where a potential buyer or window shopper could be in their purchase journey. If you’re a realtor, developer or selling property in Cape Town targeting these keywords and their long tails will help you find leads. 

Keyword ranking check

Keyword ranking is an important metric to track for any small business with an online presence. By understanding where your website ranks for relevant keywords, you can gain insights into your organic search traffic and discover opportunities for optimization.

There are a number of different tools you can use to check keyword rankings, including Google Search Console and Moz Keyword Explorer. To get started, simply enter a keyword or phrase into the tool of your choice and see where your website ranks. Remember to track your rankings over time to spot any changes or trends. With regular keyword ranking checks, you can ensure that your small business is making the most of its online visibility.

What are some tools and techniques that can help you find the right keywords for your business?

Keyword research tools and techniques

We’ve covered quite a few of the tools and techniques you can use already but it’s worth listing these specific tools and concepts as they play an important part in understanding Keyword Research methods. 

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is the process of researching, choosing, and using keywords to improve the visibility of a website or web page in search engine results pages (SERPs). Keyword research is an essential first step in the keyword optimization process.

It involves identifying a small business’s target audience and understanding what kinds of search queries they are likely to use. Once the target audience and relevant keywords have been identified, they can be incorporated into the website’s title tags, meta descriptions, headings, and content. When done correctly, keyword optimization can help a small business attract qualified traffic and improve its chances of ranking highly in SERPs. Keyword optimization is part of on-page SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Long tail keyword examples

When it comes to SEO, long tail keywords are often seen as the Holy Grail. And for good reason – they can help you attract targeted traffic that is more likely to convert. But what exactly are long tail keywords? Put simply, long tail keywords are longer and more specific than traditional keywords. 

For example, instead of just “shoes”, a long tail keyword might be “mens size 12 black leather dress shoes”. Or maybe “Jordan 3 retro racer blue for sale cape town”. 


  • Plumber cape town –> 24 hour plumber cape town
  • Affordable medical aid –> Cheap medical aid with hospital cover

While long-tail keywords may not get as much search volume as traditional keywords, they can be much easier to rank for. And because they are more specific, long tail keywords are also more likely to lead to sales or conversions. So if you’re looking to drive targeted traffic to your website, long tail keywords are definitely worth considering.

Google keyword trends

If you’re curious about what people are searching for on Google, you can use the google trends keyword tool to get some insights. Just enter a keyword or phrase, and google trends will show you how often that term has been searched for over time. You can also compare multiple terms to see which is more popular. 

In addition, google trends can show you related keywords and phrases that people are also searching for. This can be helpful for coming up with new content ideas or finding new ways to market your products and services. So if you’re looking for some insights into what people are interested in, google trends is a great place to start.

Keyword planning tool

If you’re serious about SEO, keyword planning is essential. A keyword planning tool can help you research and select the right keywords for your website and content. It can also help you track your keyword rankings and monitor your competitor’s keyword strategies. There are a number of different keyword planning tools available, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for you. 

Some factors to consider include the size of your budget, the level of detail you need, and the features you’re looking for. Whichever keyword planning tool you choose, make sure it’s able to meet your needs and help you achieve your SEO goals.

Keyword clustering

What is keyword clustering? In a nutshell, keyword clustering is the process of organizing keywords into groups or “clusters” based on their meaning. This is typically done by creating a spreadsheet with all of your target keywords and then sorting them into different buckets based on themes. For example, let’s say you’re a florist. Some of the keyword clusters you might create could be “wedding flowers”, “sympathy flowers”, “office decor”, etc. 

Why is keyword clustering important for businesses? Because it helps you to organize your content in a way that makes sense to both your audience and the search engines. When you group together similar keywords, it becomes easier to create targeted, relevant content that appeals to people who are looking for what you have to offer. And when your content is tailored to specific keyword groups, it stands a better chance of ranking well in search results. 

There are a few different ways to go about keyword clustering. You can do it manually, by creating your own spreadsheet and sorting your keywords into different buckets. Or you can use some tools we’ve mentioned already like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer. Whichever method you choose, keyword clustering can be a helpful way to ensure that your content is relevant, targeted, and keyword-rich – all of which are essential for good search engine optimization.

How do you use keywords to improve your website’s search engine ranking and visibility?

Search engine ranking and visibility

By carefully using keyword optimization and selecting the keywords that are most relevant to your website’s content, you can improve your chances of appearing higher on search engine results pages. Remember that your content and headlines must also satisfy the user’s search intent for a search engine to place your website higher on SERPs. Using relevant keywords will help improve the visibility of your website by attracting more clicks from potential visitors. 

However, it’s important to strike a balance between using too many and too few keywords, as both can hurt your website’s ranking. Too many keywords can result in what is known as keyword stuffing, which can actually hurt your ranking, while too few keywords will make it difficult for people to find your site. Thus, it’s important to carefully select the keywords that you use on your website in order to improve both its ranking and visibility.

What are some other ways that keyword research can benefit small businesses?

Build your brand using keywords 

By carefully selecting keywords that reflect your brand, you can ensure that your website will be visible to potential customers when they search for terms related to your business. Mapping out your keywords can help you define your brand values and unique selling proposition. Words are powerful, use them to drive positive and meaningful associations between your brand and your target audience.

Keywords are not only important for boosting your visibility in search engines. They can also help to create a sense of cohesion and coherence in your branding message. By using keywords throughout your website, social media, and marketing material, you can create a consistent message that will resonate with your target audience. As a result, keywords are a powerful tool for building and maintaining a strong brand.

Using keywords on social media

Using keywords on social media is slightly different from how you use them on your website. The keywords used on your website will be targeting customers actively searching for information via a search engine. Keywords used on social media tend to target social conversations and interests people have.

The keywords your target audience uses may differ from platform to platform. Terms and topics that trend on Twitter may differ from those that trend on LinkedIn, Instagram, and Reddit. You must leverage this knowledge and target the keywords your targets are using on each respective platform. This will help you develop a robust keyword strategy across all your channels and it will help you find and join real conversations your targets are having on social media.

Final thoughts on keyword research for small business owners

Keyword research will always be a relevant marketing and branding activity for business owners. Even when you’re creating video content you must engage in keyword research to narrow down on topics. Using keywords in your video transcriptions, descriptions, and headings on YouTube is all part of SEO.

Keyword research will also be at the heart of your blog planning. It will drive your marketing promotions, email campaigns, and pretty much all other business communication for your business.

Fortunately, you decide how you do keyword research in your business. It’s an iterative process and like with most aspects of business you must engage in testing and split testing when it comes to finding tactics that work for you. Explore many tools and strategies. Document your learning and measure your efforts.

If you enjoyed this article check out our article What is copywriting? 1 powerful money-making skill to learn how you can use keywords and copywriting to make money!

Keyword research tips infographic
Keyword research tips infographic

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