Are you a small business owner who’s trying to make a mark online?

Do you intend to grow it using search engine optimization (SEO)?

If your answer to both these questions is yes, then you need to take keyword research seriously. It’s the very first step of SEO and all the content you create will revolve around it.

Keyword research helps you build a solid SEO strategy for growing your website online and expanding your reach.

But before we dive into how you can do keyword research as a small business owner, let’s try to figure out what exactly keyword research is.

Let’s dig in.

Pro Tip: While keyword research is extremely important, it’s also crucial that you make sure that your keywords are used in a natural manner.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves finding major search queries pertaining to your business or niche. Using it, you can not only find keywords for your website but also discover new topics to write about.

What’s more, you ask?

During keyword research, you can sort and prioritize keywords based on their difficulty, volume, and other metrics too. Keywords with low search volume may not be of much use for your brand.

So, why is keyword research important?

Keywords are essential for understanding the searcher’s intent behind a particular search query. Not only that, but they help you improve the rankings of your content in search engine results as well.

By figuring out what the intent is behind every search query, you can figure out which questions and problems your content needs to address. These insights, in turn, can help you satisfy the search intent and improve your visitor’s experience.

As a result, they’ll find your website helpful and might stay on it for longer periods of time. This, in turn, can help improve your SEO.

Now that you know why keywords are important, let’s take a look at how you can do keyword research for small businesses.

How to Do Keyword Research for Small Businesses

Keyword research is a lot more than just using some powerful SEO tools and keying in random words to find keywords.

It involves gathering multiple variants of keywords that might be relevant to your business or niche. Based on these keywords, you can then start off your keyword research and discover the best keywords to incorporate into your content.

Let’s take a closer look at how you can research keywords effectively:

1. Brainstorming

The very first step of keyword research is to brainstorm and come up with a few primary keywords. These are the basic topics that you’ll use to start your keyword research for small businesses.

You should get your team involved in this process as well to increase the keyword pool. While the pool needn’t be massive, it helps to have as many different types of keywords as possible.

If you’ve got stakeholders other than yourself, you should involve them in these brainstorming sessions as well. This can help you get their perspective into the keyword research process.

2. Question Boards and Forums

Two of the best keyword research spots for brands are question boards and forums. You should look at websites such as Quora and Reddit to see if people are asking questions relevant to your business.

Additionally, you can search for forums in your niche. These are places where people will most likely ask questions that might be relevant to your business.

You should look for questions that might be related to your business. These are likely to be questions that your audience might use in search engines as well.

website traffic ebook

This can help you identify the themes based on which your audience searches online. Take note of these themes as they can help you find keywords for your brand.

For example, if you search using the keyword “keyword research,” you’ll get numerous answers from which you’ll be able to figure out other keywords. These include “keyword research tools”, “what is keyword research”, etc.

Quora Keyword Research for Small BusinessesImage via Quora

3. Google Search Suggested and Related Terms

One of the best places for conducting keyword research for small businesses is Google. Using the search engine can help you identify potential keywords for your brand with ease.

For this, you need to leverage its suggested and related search terms feature. To use this feature, all you need to do is enter a primary keyword in the search bar.

When you do this, Google will show a list of suggested keywords below it.

list of suggested keywords Keyword Research for Small BusinessesImage via Google

Alternatively, you can enter the primary keyword and search for it on Google. Once that’s done, you need to scroll below the organic search results to find related keywords. Many of these keywords may be relevant to your business.

These are potential long-tail keywords that you can use.

Google Keyword Research for Small BusinessesImage via Google

This is a cost-effective method for keyword research for small businesses and is pretty useful too.

4. Search Queries

If your website is already generating some traffic from search engines, one of the best keyword research methods is through search queries.

The Google Search Console gives you access to search queries that your audience has used to land on your website. These are keywords for which you already rank on Google and by finding them, you can put even more effort into boosting your search engine rankings for them.

Megalytic Keyword Research for Small BusinessesImage via Megalytic

You can access the search queries section from both Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

5. PPC Keywords

Yet another way of finding keywords is through PPC keyword research. If you’re running ads through Google AdWords, then you can look through the keywords that are driving a high click-through rate (CTR) for your website.

But how does this help?

While you’re currently paying to get traffic for those keywords, you can very well get that traffic organically for free too. Hence, these keywords should be on your radar too. You can prioritize the terms based on how much traffic you are getting through them.

So, how can you find these keywords?

To spot these keywords and analyze their performance, you can use PPC tools like Google Analytics. Next, navigate to Acquisition -> Google Ads -> Search Queries. There, you’ll get a list of all the search queries through which you’re getting traffic from Google Ads.

Ladderio Keyword Research for Small BusinessesImage via Ladder.io

From this list, you can then pick out those keywords that are driving high-quality traffic to your website. Also, check to make sure that the traffic doesn’t bounce away too quickly.

If your small business is an ecommerce business, you should look at the conversion rate of these keywords as well. That can help you figure out the quality of the traffic.

6. Google Keyword Planner

Once you have a list of primary keywords, you can head over to the Google Keyword Planner tool. This is a tool offered by Google that helps you find keywords relevant to your small business with ease. And the best part about this keyword tool is that it’s absolutely free to use.

To conduct keyword research for small businesses using this tool, you need to tap on “Discover New Keywords” and key in your primary keywords that you’ve listed.

Next, you need to select the location for which you want to find relevant keywords. After that, you need to click on “Get Results.”

Google Keyword Planner keyword research for small businessesImage via Google Keyword Planner

This will bring up a list of keywords that are relevant to your primary keyword. Along with the keywords, you’ll also get to see the average monthly searches, competition, and the bid ranges for the ads.

Google Keyword Planner2 keyword research for small businessesImage via Google Keyword Planner

Along with this, you will also get a few related keywords that you can use to broaden your search.

7. SEO Tools

One of the best ways of doing keyword research for small businesses is by using SEO tools. These tools are designed to help you conduct keyword research with ease along with a variety of other things related to SEO.

To improve your keyword research and SEO efforts, you should incorporate these keyword research tools into your SEO strategy.

One such keyword research tool is GrowthBar. This affordably-priced tool is a Google Chrome plugin that helps you with everything related to SEO and paid promotions.

Whenever you search for anything on Google, it’ll give you a list of additional suggested keywords along with their monthly search volumes. This list will be visible on your SERPs so you don’t even need to navigate to the tool for it.

The tool also shows you the keyword difficulty score so that you can figure out how difficult it might be to rank for that keyword.

Growth Marketing Pro keyword research for small businessesImage via Growth Marketing Pro

What’s more, you ask?

Using GrowthBar, you can see the word counts of all the pages on the SERPs along with the Facebook Ads run by them.

It’s also possible to export all of this data to a CSV file so that you can analyze it with ease. You can export a list of the top 200 results in each category with this feature.

Final Thoughts

Keyword research is an integral part of SEO for all businesses, including small businesses. If you don’t understand the search intent and try to optimize your content for irrelevant keywords, your audience will never find your brand.

What’s more?

Those who do end up finding your brand might not want to see your content and that can weaken your SEO.

So, you must put effort into finding the right keywords for your small business.

Conduct brainstorming sessions, leverage question boards and forums, and use Google Search to identify potential keywords.

You should also look into your PPC keywords and search queries to figure out which keywords to target. Lastly, leverage SEO tools like GrowthBar and Google Keyword Planner to dive deep into keyword research for small businesses.

Do you have any questions about conducting keyword research? Let us know in the comments.

Seo Marketing Consultant