Small business SEO step by step – Part 1: Keyword Research

SEO Keyword research

If you’re a business owner and looking to grow your business online then this step by step series will help get you started. The first and one of the most important steps for internet marketing is to find out what your potential clients are searching for that relates to your product or service. These are called keywords. The idea is to do keyword research and then use the keyword phrases on your website so you’ll show up in the search results when people search using those phrases.

Try to think of what a person might type into the search box when looking for your product or services. If you’re a dentist then a popular search term might be “Dentist in Columbia MO” or “Columbia MO Dentists”. You don’t want to pick terms that are too general such as “Dentists” because the competition is very high and plus it’s more effective to target people in your area searching for your services.

A free tool you can use for this process is called the Google keyword tool. Type in a search related to your business and the tool will show you the volume (searches per month) and also give you some related suggested search terms. You can find the tool by searching “google keyword tool” in Google or you can visit the link above.

On the left you’ll see a check box with 3 search options; Broad, Exact, and Phrase. It’s a good idea to use the “exact” option until you become familiar with the tool.

Make a list of a few keywords that have some volume and that target your specific audience. As a general rule you’ll want to use 1-3 keywords per page of your website. So your home page would focus on a few of your main keywords and then internal pages of your site will be optimized for other keywords. In Part 2 we’ll go into more detail on how to use these keywords when optimizing your site.

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