As a small business owner in the digital era, one of your primary goals must be to attract more customers to your website. But with so many websites and businesses vying for attention, how can you ensure that your website ranks high on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo? The answer lies in using the best keywords for your website content.
What are keywords?
Keywords are words and phrases that describe the content on your website. They are the terms that people type into search engines when they are searching for something online. For instance, if you own a bakery in New York City, some of the keywords that people might use to find your business include “bakery in New York City,” “best cakes in NYC,” “cupcakes in New York,” and so on. Your goal is to include these keywords in relevant webpages on your site. It is important to note that we don’t optimize websites. We optimize separate webpages.
Why are keywords important?
Keywords are important because they help search engines understand what your website is about. When you use the right keywords on your website, search engines can crawl your website more easily, and your website can rank higher in search results. The higher your website ranks, the more likely it is that people will click on it and visit your website. This, in turn, can lead to more sales and revenue for your business.
How to choose the right keywords for your small business
Brainstorm relevant keywords.
The first step in choosing the right keywords for your small business is to brainstorm relevant keywords. Think about the products or services that your business offers and make a list of the words and phrases that people might use to find those products or services online. For instance, if you own a hair salon, some of the keywords that you might consider include “hair salon,” “haircuts,” “hairstyling,” “hair coloring,” “hair treatments,” and so on. It’s worth noting that you’re not looking for the words you would use to search for your services/products. You need to find the keywords your customers use. How?
Use keyword research tools.
After you’ve brainstormed a list of relevant keywords, the next step is to use keyword research tools to find more keywords that you might have missed. There are many keyword research tools available online. Some of the most popular ones include Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can help you find more keywords that people are actually using to search for business services and products:
Here are some of the most popular keyword research tools:
Google Keyword Planner: This tool is one of the most well-known and commonly used keyword research tools. It is a free tool provided by Google, and it helps you identify the search volume and competition for particular keywords. The tool is particularly useful for those looking to run Google Ads campaigns, but it can also be used for general keyword research.
SEMrush: SEMrush is a popular paid tool that provides comprehensive keyword research data. The tool helps you identify the search volume, competition, and trends for particular keywords, and also provides suggestions for related keywords. SEMrush is particularly useful for competitive research, as it allows you to analyze the keyword strategies of your competitors.
Ahrefs: Ahrefs is another popular paid tool that provides comprehensive keyword research data. It helps you identify the search volume, competition, and trends for particular keywords, and also provides suggestions for related keywords. Ahrefs is particularly useful for backlink analysis and competitive research.
Ubersuggest: Ubersuggest is a free tool that provides keyword research data. It helps you identify the search volume, competition, and trends for particular keywords, and also provides suggestions for related keywords. Ubersuggest is a great option for those just starting out with keyword research, as it provides basic data in an easy-to-understand format.
Moz Keyword Explorer: Moz Keyword Explorer is a paid tool that provides comprehensive keyword research data. It helps you identify the search volume, competition, and trends for particular keywords, and also provides suggestions for related keywords. Moz Keyword Explorer is particularly useful for identifying long-tail keywords and understanding searcher intent.
Focus on long-tail keywords.
Few people search online using one word. Instead, they use phrases called Long-tail Keywords. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that people use when they are searching for something online. While they may not have as many searches as shorter keywords phrases, they are often easier to rank for because they are more specific. For instance, instead of using a broad keyword like “bakery,” you might use a long-tail keyword like “gluten-free bakery in New York City.” This will help you attract more targeted traffic to your website.
Consider the competition.
When choosing keywords, it’s important to consider the competition. If you choose a keyword that is highly competitive, it will be more difficult to rank for that keyword. On the other hand, if you choose a keyword that has very little competition, it may be easier to rank for. You can use keyword research tools to determine the level of competition as well as the monthly volume for a particular keyword.
Use keywords naturally.
Once you’ve chosen the right keywords for your website, it’s important to use them naturally in your content. Don’t stuff (keyword stuffing) your content with keywords, as this can make it difficult to read and may even result in a penalty from search engines. Instead, use your keywords in a way that makes sense and is easy to read. This will help search engines understand what your website is about without turning off your visitors. Remember, search engines make their money by ranking website content that meets their customers intent and websites that deliver positive user experiences (UX).
If you run a small business that serves a specific geographic area, local SEO can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website. Local SEO involves optimizing your website and online presence to appear in local search results.
To optimize your website for local search, you should:
By optimizing your website for local search, you can attract more local customers and improve your chances of appearing in the top search results for your area.
Measuring Your SEO Success
To determine whether your SEO efforts are effective, it’s important to analyze your progress. There are a number of metrics you can use to track and determine the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, including:
Organic Traffic: This refers to the number of people who visit your website through organic search results. An increase in organic traffic is a clear indication that your SEO strategy is working. Tools such as Google Analytics can help you track your website’s organic traffic and identify which pages are driving the most traffic.
Keyword Rankings: Tracking your keyword rankings will give you an idea of how well your website is performing in search engine results pages (SERPs) for your target keywords. There are many tools available to help you track your keyword rankings, such as SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz.
Backlinks: Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site. The more high-quality backlinks you have, the more important, relevant, and trusted it seems and therefore the more likely your website is to rank higher in search engine results. You can use tools such as Ahrefs or Majestic to monitor your backlink profile and identify new opportunities to acquire backlinks.
Click-through Rate (CTR): Your CTR is the percentage of people who click through to your website after seeing it in the search results. A high CTR indicates that your meta descriptions and title tags are effective in attracting clicks. Google Search Console can help you track your CTR for each page on your website.
Bounce Rate: The bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after only viewing one page without having exercised a desired action (subscribe to an email, filled on a contact us form, etc.,). A high bounce rate may indicate that your website is not meeting visitors’ expectations or that your content is not relevant to their search queries.
Conversion Rate: The conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action on your website, such as filling out a form, making a purchase, or signing up for a newsletter. This metric is particularly important for small businesses that rely on their website to generate leads or sales.
Pages per Session: This metric refers to the number of pages that visitors view during a single session on your website. A high number of pages per session suggests that visitors are engaged with your content and finding it valuable.
Time on Site: This metric measures how long visitors spend on your website. A longer time on site generally indicates that visitors are finding your content useful and engaging.
When measuring your SEO and Digital Marketing success, it’s important to keep in mind that results may not be immediate. It can take weeks or even months to see the full impact of your SEO efforts. Additionally, search engines are constantly updating their algorithms, which can affect your rankings and traffic.
The Take-Home Message
SEO is an essential part of any small business’s digital marketing strategy. By optimizing your website for search engines, you can attract more organic traffic, generate leads and sales, and build your brand’s online presence. To get the most out of your SEO efforts, it’s important to conduct thorough keyword research, create high-quality content, optimize your website’s technical elements, and measure your success with the right metrics.
Remember, SEO is not a one-time task but an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and adjustments. By staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices, you can ensure that your website continues to rank well in search engine results and drive traffic to your business for years to come.