You know that driving traffic to your website is vital for success.

You also know that the right keywords can make a big difference in getting those visitors.

Creating an effective keyword strategy is vital to winning at SEO.

Keyword Strategies Banner

The best practice SEO basics are simple.

Choose words and phrases that best describe your offer and attract potential customers.

But there’s more to it than that. We had to discover that little tidbit at our SEO agency the hard way.

We learned that you must consider competition and search engine rankings with every keyword you target.

With a few tips, you can conquer the challenge of putting more profits in your pockets.

Keyword Strategies Defined

As a small business owner, you want to ensure your business is visible on the internet. 

This means having keyword strategies to ensure your business appears in search engine results. 

What are keywords? 

They are words people type into search engines when looking for something specific. 

These keywords should be related to what your small business does or provides. 

You’ll succeed more when using relevant and targeted keywords that align with your business. 

When choosing keywords, think of terms and phrases customers may use to search for businesses like yours. 

It’s best to stay narrower regarding keywords since they will be too vague and compete with too many websites. 

Research what other businesses in your industry use and identify terms potential customers may use to find your website. 

Examine competition and competitor websites to get ideas for what keywords they may use.

We’ll learn how to do all that and more in this post.

The Significance of Keyword Research for Small Business Owners

You know the importance of keyword research for small businesses. 

It’s essential for SEO success.

That data then drives traffic to online stores, websites, or services. 

You can help elevate your business’s visibility with the right keyword strategies. 

Keywords open the door to more opportunities for customers to find you. They also provide insights into what people are looking for and how they communicate. 

Adding keywords to your content boosts your business’s presence in Google.

These improved rankings then lead to more eyes on your products or services. 

So doing the proper keyword strategies allow you to compete and succeed.

User Intent

Successful SEO is about understanding what a user’s search query is on Google.

When you understand that, then you can create quality content optimized to meet those needs. 

As a small business owner, it’s crucial to figure out user intent if you want to succeed with SEO. 

Learning how your customers search and what they’re looking for will be huge for you.


It will allow you to create new content that answers their questions and meets their needs. 

You’ll also be able to optimize your content around specific keywords to capture more organic traffic from search engines. 

User intent research helps create content and understand the target keywords most relevant to your business. 

You need to know the right words and phrases people use when looking for businesses like yours. 

That way, you can target high-value keywords in your SEO strategy.

Figuring Out What Content Won’t Rank First

As a small business owner, you want your content to rank high on Google. 

The days of keyword optimization alone are over.

Remember, machine learning is in play in the new algorithm.

You must understand what users are searching for and create relevant content that matches the inquiry if you want it to have a shot at ranking. 

Start by seeing what the search engine features on page one when you google your keyword. 

Use this strategy to save time and money on efforts that may never get rewarded. 

You must get to know the user intent; this will help you produce content specific to their needs. 

When the content is optimized and aligned with keywords, and the user intent gets fulfilled something big will take place.

Google will show appreciation by raising your ranking. 

Higher rankings lead to more website visits since people tend to click on them.

Learning User Search Habits

You know your business. You know your product or service inside out. 

But what if you could get closer to understanding the people looking for it?

Understanding how potential customers search online is vital to helping them find what they’re looking for. 

To make sure you’re reaching the right people, it’s essential to understand their search behavior. These are the words and phrases they use when searching for your product or service.

It pays to create content that speaks to users’ needs and questions about your area of expertise. 

If you can guide visitors to your website meaningfully, you’ll be more likely to grow your business.

Understanding what drives search behaviors online can help you to generate the most value.  

Please get to know your customers’ language and use their language to ensure they find you.

How to Learn Your Customers’ Search Behaviors

Researching your potential customer’s search behavior is a vital step in growing your business. 

Here’s how to do it.

Start by understanding who your target customers are. What do they need and want? What SEO questions do they have?

Next, research what words and phrases they use when searching online. This will help you identify key terms for your website SEO campaigns.

Head to Google Trends and type your customers’ keywords when searching. 

You’ll be able to review patterns of monthly search volume over time. Use this data to craft content that speaks right to their needs.

Finally, check out your competitors. 

Look at their websites, social media pages, and advertising campaigns for cues to reach your target audience. 

See which messages resonate with customers and take note of their approach to marketing their product or service. 

These steps will help you understand your potential customer’s needs and serve content that meets those needs.

Doing this will give you an edge over the competition.

Define Your Target Audience

Defining your target audience is essential for any successful organic SEO campaign. 

Understanding who you’re targeting helps you choose the right keywords and optimize your content to reach them. 

Start by exploring questions about who’s interested in your product, who uses it, and who might need it. 

For example, consider age, gender, location, or income level. 

Also, ask yourself:

  • what language they use when searching, 
  • their needs, 
  • and even who they trust when buying products like yours. 

You can find this data in a variety of sources. 

Research rivals to:

  • get clues about audience desires, 
  • analyze traffic to your site, 
  • or look at social media metrics. 

Doing this research can help you create an ideal customer profile and define your target market more precisely.

Crafting Your Content to Reach the Right People

Crafting content for your small business website doesn’t have to be intimidating. 

You now know that keyword research is the first step in helping you reach the right customers. 

Once you’ve got a list of keywords, you can start developing content that speaks to them. 

Ensure each keyword finds its way into

  • page titles, 
  • content headings, 
  • anchor text, 
  • and meta descriptions. 

Break up paragraphs into easy-to-read chunks, and make sure your sentences are concise. 

Sprinkle some synonyms or related words to keep things exciting and draw readers in. 

You can also use keywords to decide which social media outlets your content should go on. 

Crafting content with the right keywords will help more people find you online. 

Put in the effort now, and you could see significant results in the future!

Keyword Research Strategies

Ready to drive more customers to your business? Keyword research is the key.

Find out which words and phrases resonate with your audience. After that, use them to create a powerful online presence.

Take charge of your search engine rankings and start boosting your visibility.

You can turn keyword research into a powerful marketing tool with what you learn in this section.

Unlock the power of keywords today – and watch your business thrive!

Long Tail vs. Short Tail Keywords

You’re looking to increase your visibility online, but you’re facing an important decision.

Should you focus on the short-tail or long-tail keywords?

You’ll have more competition and less precise results with short-tail keywords. But with long tail keywords, you can get more precise targeting and better results in less time.

Unlock the power of long-tail keywords and take control of your SEO campaign today.

Give your small business the edge it needs to succeed in the digital age.

Discover the power of long tail keywords – before your competition does!

How to Find Long Tail Keywords to Target

Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital for small business success.

To increase your visibility, find long-tail keywords your potential customers are searching for.

Start by brainstorming words and phrases related to your business. Doing this will create a great keyword strategy foundation.

Next, research these terms in Google and look at the search results.

See which terms are most popular with users. Then, add modifiers like “how to” or “for beginners” to make each keyword more specific.

This will help you hone in on what your customers are looking for.

Finally, use search engine tools to track how often people use each keyword. Then measure how well they drive traffic to your site.

With a little effort, long-tail keywords can be a great way to boost your SEO rankings.

Conducting a Competitor Analysis

Your organic SEO campaign needs a competitor analysis to succeed. It’s simple to do but essential to get right. 

Start by creating a list of your top rivals. Use search engines and online directories to find their websites and information. 

Once you have all the necessary details, write them down on paper or in a spreadsheet. 

Ensure you note each rivals’ critical services, products, target customer base, and pricing. 

Look at how they describe their business and the keywords they use. Check out their blog content, social media posts, and other marketing materials. 

Next, create a list of key performance indicators (KPIs). These should include website traffic and ranking, conversions, leads, and CPA. 

Use search engine analytics tools, like Google Analytics, to review and compare each competitor’s data. 

Doing this can help you understand their approach and identify potential strategies. It would help if you looked into potential gaps in the market. 

Finally, analyze the data collected from your competitors. 

Identify the areas where each competitor:

  • is doing well, 
  • where they could improve, 
  • and any chances available for you to use in your SEO efforts

That’s how you develop an effective SEO strategy for your small business.

Utilizing Tools and Software to Discover New Opportunities

Gain the upper hand over your competitors by utilizing tools to discover new gains in your organic SEO campaign. 

You can position your small business for success with the right combination of search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. 

Start with the basics: 

  • research relevant keywords,
  • optimize content for search engines,
  • track keyword rankings,
  • monitor backlinks,
  • and analyze your competition. 

To uncover more opportunities, consider leveraging advanced insights from specialized tools like 

You can stay ahead of the curve in organic SEO using these tools and other software. 

As a small business owner, you have everything to gain by staying ahead of the game.

Leveraging Google Ads to Improve Rankings

You’re looking to boost your website’s organic search rankings. And Google Ads is a great way to make that happen. 

Here’s how to get started:

Step 1: Choose the right keywords. Research relevant terms and phrases related to your business and consider how they’ll perform in ads.

Step 2: Create your ad campaigns. Set up your campaigns based on those keywords, including details like budget and targeting options.

Step 3: Monitor your results. Keep an eye on how your campaigns perform – and make adjustments as needed.

Your success with Google Ads will depend on how you use it. 


  • strategic keyword selection,
  • smart campaign setup,
  • and ongoing optimization,
  • you can leverage Google Ads to help boost your organic search rankings.

Checking Type of Content Currently Ranking for Keywords

As a small business owner, you know that organic SEO is vital to reaching your target customers. 

But what kind of content do they want? Here’s a tip: start by checking out the type of content already ranking for your chosen keywords. 

It’s an easy way to understand better the types of content that resonate with the people who use those search terms. 

With this knowledge, you’ll be able to get more out of your organic SEO campaign.

Analyzing Quality & Quantity of Information in Top Results

You have already checked Google to learn your keywords’ user intent.

Now you need to head back to Google and do it again. This time you’ll look for information other than user intent.

Analyzing the quality and quantity of info in top search slots is vital for you to win at SEO.

Start by assessing the types of content that appear on the top-ranking pages.

Do they have videos, pictures, or polls? 

Look at the purpose of each page. Are they informative pieces, or do they prompt users to take a specific action?

Next, look at how often the pages get updated.

Are they refreshed with new content often, or do you notice stale information on some parts of the site? 

Pay attention to the organizations producing the content; are they credible? 

Finally, try to gauge the level of engagement given to each page—are there comments, likes, or shares?

Reviewing this data will give you an idea of what’s working for other businesses in your industry. 

Compare it with your current organic SEO campaign. 

Then make any necessary tweaks to reach and engage with your customers better.

Identifying Structural Elements & Content Types

Checking the content ranking for your keywords is a vital part of running an SEO campaign. 

To get the most out of it, you must identify structural elements and content types in the top-ranking content. 

Start by looking at the titles. What kind of words get used? 

For example, are there numbers or lists? Are questions being asked? 

Do any of the titles contain a location or person’s name? All of these clues can help you identify the type of content. 

Next, look at what kind of information gets included in each article. 

Is it an expert opinion? A tutorial? A product review? Can pictures, videos, or other visuals support the written content? 

These elements will give you an idea of what kind of content is performing well for your keywords. 

Finally, consider the format – is it long-form content, multiple pages on a website, or something else? 

Understanding the layout can help you decide how best to present your content so it can perform well. 

By considering all these elements, you can gain valuable insights into why certain pieces of content rank higher than others.

Examining How & Why Content is Ranked High in SERPs

Figuring out why some content ranks higher than yours in SERPs is vital to improving your SEO

It helps you understand what kind of content works best for ranking and helps you take steps to rank higher.

Start by researching the websites that currently rank high when searching for keywords related to your business. 

Look at the type of content they’re posting, such as blog posts or videos. Take notes of any patterns or topics that appear frequently.

Next, check the length and quality of each piece of content. 

Quality means well-written, engaging, and structured correctly. You can determine a page’s loading speed using a website like Pingdom.

Also, see if the sites have backlinks to other pages or extensive social media presence. 

Good backlinks and a solid social media presence help boost rankings.

Finally, think about how you can use what you learned to improve your content. 

Can you add more visuals? Make it longer? Share on social media more often? Improve backlink quality? 

Keep in mind that small changes can make a big difference over time.


Keyword research strategies can give your small business a decisive competitive advantage. 

The benefits of keyword research are countless.

It includes

  1. optimizing your website content to improve SEO,
  2. and targeting ideal customers. 

Understanding your audience and their intentions can refine your marketing efforts. 

It also ensures you’re reaching the right people with the right message. 

Take the time to invest in keyword research for long-term success.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1: What is keyword research? A1: Keyword research identifies and analyzes specific search terms that people enter into search engines. The goal is to understand which words are most relevant to your content so you can rank higher in search results.

Q2: Why is keyword research necessary? A2: Keyword research is crucial because it helps you understand what your target audience is searching for online. By optimizing your content around these keywords, you increase your website’s visibility, drive more targeted traffic, and improve your chances of converting visitors into customers.

Q3: How often should I conduct keyword research? A3: While the foundational keywords of your industry might remain consistent, search trends can change. It’s advisable to conduct keyword research at least twice a year or whenever you’re planning new content or products. Additionally, updating industry news can alert you to potential new keywords.

Q4: Are long-tail keywords better than short-tail keywords? A4: Both have their advantages. Short-tail keywords are often more general and have higher search volumes but are also more competitive. Long-tail keywords are more specific and usually have lower search volumes but can lead to higher conversion rates as they’re more targeted. It’s best to have a mix of both in your SEO strategy.

Q5: How do I find the best keywords for my business? A5: Start with brainstorming and competitor analysis. Use keyword research tools to identify search volumes, competition, and relevance. Consider user intent and think about the questions or problems your audience might have that your product or service solves.

Q6: Should I focus only on high-volume keywords? A6: Not necessarily. While high-volume keywords can bring in a lot of traffic, they are often highly competitive. Sometimes, focusing on lower-volume but highly relevant keywords can bring more qualified traffic that’s likely to convert.

Q7: How do keyword research tools work? A7: Most tools pull data from search engines and other sources to provide insights on search volumes, keyword competition, related terms, and more. They often offer features like keyword suggestions, difficulty scores, and trend analyses.

Q8: What is keyword difficulty? A8: Keyword difficulty (often represented as KD) indicates how challenging it would be to rank for a particular keyword, given the current competition. A higher KD means more competition and potentially a tougher time ranking for that term.

Q9: Can I use the exact keywords as my competitors? A9: Yes, but it’s not just about using the exact keywords. It’s about creating more valuable, relevant, and optimized content than your competitors. While analyzing competitors’ keywords is a good starting point, aim to differentiate yourself and cater directly to your audience’s needs.

Q10: What are LSI keywords? A10: LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are semantically related to your primary keyword. They’re not synonyms but are closely aligned topics or terms. Incorporating LSI keywords can make your content more comprehensive and relevant, improving rankings.

Feel free to explore our page further for a deeper dive into these aspects of keyword research strategies. Remember, optimizing your content starts with understanding your audience’s search behavior!


Algorithm: A set of rules that search engines use to rank pages in search results. These algorithms consider numerous ranking factors to display the most relevant results.

Anchor Text: The clickable text in a hyperlink, often used by search engines to understand the context of the content it links to.

Backlink: A link from one website to another. Backlinks from authoritative and relevant sites can positively impact SEO.

Black Hat SEO: Unethical practices that aim to increase a page’s ranking in search engines. These methods violate search engine guidelines and can result in penalties.

Broad Match Keyword: A type of keyword match in which ads may show on searches that include misspellings, synonyms, related searches, and other relevant variations.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): The percentage of users who click on a particular link out of the total users who view the link (or ad).

Domain Authority (DA): A score (from 0 to 100) developed by Moz predicts how well a website will rank on search engine results pages.

Exact Match Keyword: A keyword match type that allows ads to be shown only when someone searches for the exact phrase of your keyword.

Keyword Density: The percentage of times a keyword or phrase appears on a web page compared to the total number of words on that page.

Keyword Difficulty: A metric that suggests how hard it would be to rank well for a particular keyword given the competition.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI): A method used by search engines to analyze the relationships between terms and concepts on web pages.

Long-Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase that contains at least three words. These are often more specific and less competitive than shorter keywords.

Meta Description: A brief description of a web page’s content in search engine results, typically under the clickable web page title.

Organic Search: Search results that are not paid advertisements. Organic search results are ranked according to their relevance to the search query.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC): An advertising model where advertisers pay a fee each time their ad is clicked.

Query: The word or phrase a user enters into a search engine.

Search Engine Results Page (SERP): The page displayed by a search engine in response to a user’s search query, consisting of organic search results, sponsored ads, featured snippets, and more.

Search Intent: The underlying purpose or goal a user has when making a search query, such as seeking information, wanting to make a purchase, or finding a particular website.

Search Volume: The average number of times a search term is entered into a search engine within a specific timeframe.

Short-Tail Keyword: A keyword phrase that contains one or two words, often very general and with high search volumes.

White Hat SEO: Ethical practices that align with search engine guidelines, focusing on providing value and relevancy to users.

This glossary is a foundational guide to some terms and concepts related to keyword research and SEO.

Dive deeper into each term for a comprehensive understanding and to enhance your keyword research strategies.

More Resources for Your Small Business

Fellow small business owners, our co-founder Matt LaClear has been providing SEO services since 2009, running over 13,277 successful campaigns. Over the years, he’s also created many helpful resources to support your online marketing efforts and growth.

Why My SEO Isn’t Working
Troubleshoot and fix common SEO issues impacting your website traffic and rankings.

SEO Company for Small Business
Discover custom SEO services scaled for small business budgets.

Keyword Research Services
Leverage expert keyword research and analysis to boost your online visibility.

Link Building Services
Build high-quality backlinks through ethical white hat tactics.

Algorithm Update Recovery Services
Regain lost rankings after Google algorithm updates.

Conversion Rate Optimization Services
Increase website conversions through proven CRO strategies.

SEO Audit Services
Receive detailed technical/on-page/off-page audits to optimize your website.

Link Building Tips
Learn insider link building strategies to earn authoritative backlinks.

SEO Low Hanging Fruit
Discover quick SEO wins to boost rankings fast.

Tech SEO Checklist
Audit your website against key technical SEO factors.

Local SEO
Increase visibility and rankings in local search results.

How to Get Traffic to Your Blog
Attract more visitors to your business blog.

SEO Case Studies
See real examples and results of our SEO campaigns.

White Label SEO Services
Outsource SEO under your brand as an agency.

We hope these resources empower your online marketing efforts and success! Let us know if you need any help improving your SEO and getting found.

A Special Offer from the Author

A friendly reminder that the SEO tips on this page were provided by our co-founder, Matt LaClear. Since 2009, he has worked on over 13,277 successful SEO campaigns for clients.

Matt wants to help fellow small business owners like you strengthen their online presence. That’s why he’s extending a special offer for a free customized SEO strategy call.

On this complimentary 45-minute phone consultation, Matt will assess your current website and SEO efforts. He’ll then suggest a tailored approach to reach your specific goals, whether that’s getting more traffic, leads, sales, or rankings.

With over a decade of experience optimizing websites, Matt has the expertise to evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and how to get your SEO on the right track.

Take advantage of this limited-time opportunity to gain personalized strategic insights from an industry leader without any commitment or charge.

If you’re ready to take your SEO to the next level, book your free call with Matt here:


Let his years of experience work for you!