We have been discussing local lead generation tips over the last few weeks in different forms to help small businesses grow. Many of the tips discussed can help businesses grow and increase their search rankings if done properly and today we will add to this knowledge base by discussing the importance of keyword research.
Keyword research is important to understanding your search engine rankings in your particular niche. Different articles you read will teach different methods for determining the keywords you should use for your business, but we will give you a guide for determining these keywords that work well for us and the clients we work with.
We will also include best practice information from the internet marketing industry so you can rest assured you will have a good foundation after reading this post. So below read the 5 tips to enhance keyword research results for your business to increase your search results.
Determine Your Own Keywords
At the beginning, you need to determine your keywords based on your particular niche. Every industry has different keywords that define their market and you should be familiar with what these are. Start with these keywords and use some of the other techniques discussed below to help you in the process.
For example, if you are a lawyer and you want to attract more customers through the internet and you should determine your niche specific keywords based on your niche. So depending on the type of law you practice these will be the beginning of your keywords. So you can have a divorce lawyer, estate lawyer, a defense lawyer, etc. All of these specific titles are keywords within your target market.
In addition to using your own knowledge of your industry, you should also make the keywords geo-targeted. The keywords should be relevant to your target market. Using the lawyer example again, if you are in Dallas, Texas you don’t want to promote your company in Miami, Florida (unless of course, you are a national firm). So you would further define your keywords as Dallas divorce attorney. These geo-specific keywords help make your business relevant to search results.
Use Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are a great way to further define your target market and stand out from the crowd. If you are an architect and you want to stand out from the crowd of other design professionals instead of saying Los Angeles Architect, you might say Los Angeles health care architect with 20 years experience. The addition of the specific niche and experience are great long-tail keywords that help you stand out and help the search engines identify you as a possible search result.
Long-tail keywords are also used to help you differentiate search keywords from buyer keywords. People search the internet all the time and there is a difference between people looking for information and people looking to purchase something. You need to differentiate your search terms/keywords based on this information. If you were looking for yellow sparkle shoes and you typed that into the search engine if you saw 8 of the 9 first page listing describing shoes in general, and then one show store talking about the yellow sparkle shoes and the variations available, more likely than not you just found the store you will visit to purchase the shoes or the place you will buy them online.
The better you get at defining your own long-tail keywords the better your conversions will be because you will be speaking to the people that are looking to be customers and buy from you not just get information from you. Determining the long-tail keywords does take some research and knowledge of the niche, but once you hit that sweet spot, your revenue will grow. Below in the other tips, we will discuss some ways to determine your long-tail keywords.
Use Search Engine Suggestions
One of the best ways to determine what people are searching for is to look at the suggestions provided by the search engines. When you begin typing something into the search field you will see the suggestions appear to try and figure out what you are typing. These suggestions are made because other people have entered these keywords in the past.
Looking at the example below for how to . . ., you see the search engine returns a few suggestions, lose weight, make money fast, fall asleep fast, get pregnant fast. Each of these suggestions has been entered in multiple times by people looking for this information. Understand that you need to target the pages on your website to this information because people are looking for this info.
Below is a list of search engines you should try this technique out on, and remember even though Google is the top dog at the moment, you should not forget the others. Some people do not like to use Google, as strange as that may sound. There are people that like to use the underdog or the item others are not using. Some people just like the user interface of the other search engines as well.
In addition to the search engine list above and the suggestions you get from them, don’t forget about the related searches that is usually supplied at the bottom of your search results. If you look at the example below you see additional keywords the search engines suggest for the how to keyword. Remember these related results appeared because people are typing in this information.
Use Search Engine Tools
Another good way to determine keywords for your business is to use some of the free tools that are available on the internet. The list of tools below have free and paid versions. Some are easier to use than others but each tool provides good quality information to use in your business. You can click on the tool in the list below to be taken to each individual website.
The most used tool of the list above is the Google Keyword Planner tool. This tools ties to the Google Adwords system which powers their marketing arm. This area of Google is where they make the majority of their money so you can trust the information given here is accurate since they want to provide you actionable information to use with their system when you decide to use pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.
Each tool offers pros and cons, but we are not here to be biased, but just give you the information to make an informed decision to help grow your business. Honestly, each tool mentioned above can help you determine good keywords to use for your business, just try them all and determine the tool that works best for you and is the easiest you use in your opinion.
Check Competitors Keyword Rankings
The last tip for doing good keyword research is to look at what your competitor is doing. It is never good to just copy the competitor because even in the same market different businesses may cater to different areas of the business. So your competition is not the end all be all of your specific keywords, but they will give you a good insight into possible ways to focus on the profitable keywords to use in your industry.
A good tool you can use to analyze the keywords your competitors are using is Spyfu. This is a great tool to investigate the keywords your competitor is using in their paid and organic traffic. The free version gives you just a few samples of the information and the paid version lets you see even more detailed information. There are other tools on the market that can do this as well, but we have found this is a great tool that offers good information at the free and paid level.
In addition to some tools to help you determine your competitor’s keywords, you can also monitor the blog post and articles written by your competition. Oftentimes information within these media forms can help a business determine good keywords to go after as well. Never underestimate what the competition is doing and how you can use some of their information to help grow your business as well. But like we said above never steal (the search engines hate duplicate content) just take cues from them and make it your own.
The tips above will help give you the foundation to approach keyword research with a goal in mind. Each business should also look at the keyword difficulty to determine if that particular keyword is even worth going after. Some keywords are just too difficult to waste valuable time on and many of the tools above can help you determine this as well. As a business owner only you can determine what type of time you can put into trying to dominate a specific keyword and the difficult ones can pay off in the end if you put in the time and effort.
Some business owners do not have the time to commit to learning the skills necessary to dominate their local markets, but for those that do or for consultants that want to add valuable information to their toolbox look at this local lead gen training to take your business to the next level. No matter what business you are in understanding keyword research is important to help you grow your business and becoming relevant on the internet.