When you start using the Internet to advertise your business something that is very common is to start a blog. A blog is a great way to drive traffic to your site and keep your customers informed about what is happening.
For a small business owner, it’s easy to overlook keyword research and instead just jump right in to blogging. But without keywords, your post will have no focus, and any traffic you do get will not be targeted or very useful to you.
Keyword research can be a bit daunting for new bloggers – especially those with too little free time. But there are a few ways to speed up the process, so you’re not spending hours on research before you ever write a word.
You know your business – and your customers – better than anyone else. Make a quick list of all the phrases you can think of that your customers would use to find your site. It’s important to distinguish between words you would use, and those your customers would use. You may be familiar with industry jargon, but it’s unlikely they are. So rather than searching for “pret-a-porter,” she’ll search for “ready to wear” or “off the rack.”
Use a Keyword Suggestion Tool
Once you’ve brainstormed your keyword list, it’s time to feed them into a keyword suggestion tool like Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool. This will take your core keywords and offer up suggestions it feels are related to your search terms. You’ll probably discover more than a few you hadn’t considered. Add these to your list.
Scope out the Competition
One easy way to discover lots of new keywords is simply to spy on your competitors. Don’t feel bad about this, instead learn from them. You can do this using Google’s keyword tool as well. Instead of entering your base keyword in the “word or phrase” field, enter the URL of your competitor’s site in the field marked “website.” Google will return all the keywords it associates with that site.
Another way to see what your competition is up to is to check out the stats on the Webmaster Tools site . Just type in the site URL and WMTIPS will return a host of information, including what keywords the site ranks for in Google.
One thing new bloggers worry about a lot is the actual search volume, and you might be surprised to learn that by itself, search volume is not a very meaningful number. One reason is because the numbers are never exact. Even the best keyword research tools are returning only an estimated number. The numbers will also vary wildly from one tool to the next, so trying to compare Google’s numbers with those from WordTracker is pointless and frustrating.
Rather than looking at a single number, take note of how that number compares to other, related search terms. For example, if “Ohio body shop” has a search volume of 3,600, and “Ohio body shops” has a search volume of 4,800, then you probably want to use the plural. But again, don’t expect to get 4,800 clicks when you hit the number one spot on the SERPs. Just expect to get more clicks to that page than you do to the page you’ve optimized for “Ohio body shop.”
And that’s it! Doing the basics will get you a long way and keep you ahead of competition!