During your time as a business owner or entrepreneur, you’ve no doubt come across tons of information about keywords.
As we known, they’re the ‘secret sauce’ when it comes to building your online presence, sharing your message, getting more clients and of course, earning more money.
They say that you just can’t build a modern business without paying attention to these mysterious little words.
As SEO expert Neil Patel says, “You want to make sure you’re putting in a solid effort, taking time to find the right keywords, and setting yourself up for success.
But if you’ve never tried looking for keywords before or tried to use them in your small business, the whole thing can feel a little too techy, confusing and overwhelming.
So I’ve put together a quick guide that will explain just enough about keywords to get you started, including why they’re important and how they work.
Then we dive deeper and I’ll show you how you can find the most effective keywords for your niche business and also put them to work for you so you can make all that magic happen without any of the headaches.
Keep reading to find out more.
What are keywords?
Keywords are those words or short sentences that you type into Google (or another search engine like Pinterest) when you’re looking for information.
For example, if you’re looking for salsa dancing lessons in London, you’d probably search for something like ‘salsa dancing classes London’. These are your keywords.
Google uses these keywords to help understand and organise the information that’s out there on the web. It helps it to deliver the most relevant content to you so you can solve those problems and find what you’re looking for.
When it comes to running your own business and getting more clients, this means that you need to use the keywords to your advantage.
Why do keywords matter?
Most of the internet marketing gurus and SEO experts will focus on the fact that getting keywords in the right places on your website will help you get higher in the Google rankings so you appear on the first page when someone searches for their keywords.
But that’s not all that keywords do.
They also help you connect with potential clients who really need your help. They help boost your site authority and naturally help you to become more specific with the content you’re putting out there and nail your niche.
Yep, keywords are pretty important.
What are long-tail keywords?
It’s important to mention that when we use keywords, we don’t just use one word at a time as this wouldn’t be specific enough and we’d probably get lost under an ocean of other related content.
We need to use a string of several keywords together- four or more words is usually best. This is known as a long-tail keyword.
Let me give you an example…
If I was searching for some replacement running shoes, I wouldn’t just go any type ‘shoes’ into Google. That would be silly. Who knows what I might end up with!
I’d get more specific ‘running shoes’ and I might get closer to the kind of results I want.
‘Women’s running shoes’ might get me closer still ‘pink women’s running shoes’ are more likely to help me hit the jackpot.
Likewise, if I was searching for salsa dancing lessons in London, I wouldn’t just type in ‘salsa’.
By being specific, I’d stand a better chance of finding the salsa classes I wanted, instead of ending up with a tomato-based dip I can eat with my tortilla chips!
How to find keywords for your business
So far you’ve learned that keywords are those handy words (or short phrases) that people type into Google when they’re looking for solutions to their problems.
You’ve seen that they need to be specific to your niche and the precise needs of your clients and you’ve also seen how they can connect you to your ideal client so you can keep building your business and chase that six-figure income.
So how do you go about finding the right keywords for your niche market? Here are a few of the easiest ways.
1. Brainstorm keyword ideas
Start by grabbing a pen and paper, then write down the keywords that you think your clients might search for when looking for your help? What problems do they tell you they have?
Give yourself around 30 minutes to do this task and let your mind run wild- you’ll be surprised at what you might already know.
2. Head to Google
Next, we can expand on that list by heading to Google and searching for those terms. Simply type the keywords you’ve come up with into the search bar and see what comes up.
If you scroll right down to the bottom of the page, you’ll see a handy list of related search terms under the heading ‘Searches related to [keywords you’ve just searched for]’.
Sticking to the earlier example I gave you, this list looks like this:
- private salsa lessons london
- dance classes london
- latin dance classes near me
- salsa classes
- salsa classes near me
- salsa tropical
- beginner salsa classes london
- salsa classes london
These are the keywords that people have already searched for, so make sure you add them to the list.
When you first typed in those keywords, you might have noticed that Google auto-suggests the rest of your sentence. These are keywords too, so make sure you add them to your list too.
3. Explore Pinterest
What people often forget is that Pinterest isn’t just a social media website, it’s also a search engine of its very own. This means we can also use Pinterest to help feed our keyword ideas.
All you need to do is repeat the steps you took with Google: head to Pinterest, type in your keywords and see what comes up. Look at the posts themselves and be sure to click through to the descriptive text to see what other entrepreneurs are using.
Then add these keywords to your list.
Don’t forget to follow me whilst you’re there 😉
4. Visit Buzzsumo
Whilst Buzzsumo won’t immediately help you to identify keywords, the site will help you identify the niche topics and keywords that other people in your niche are writing about. This can give you even more ideas about what to focus your content around and so which keywords might work for you.
Just head to their website and type in your niche topic, then write down any relevant niche ideas or keywords that you find there.
5. Use Google Keyword Planner
The pros swear by a tool called Google Keyword Planner.
This is free to use and pretty simple too, provided you promise yourself you won’t panic and get overwhelmed with all the information on the page. Here’s how you use it:
Go to Google Adwords and open an account or log in.
Click on ‘keyword planner’ which you’ll find on the reporting and tools tab.
- Go to the ‘find new keywords’ tab.
- Type in the keyword you want to use (known as a ‘seed keyword’) and add any extra info about your audience into the boxes below, then hit the ‘get ideas’ button.
- Click on the ‘keywords ideas’ tab and have a look through the keywords that come up. This is the point where many newbies feel overwhelmed with all the info- don’t be, just follow my tips here :))
- Look for keywords with low to medium competition and medium to high monthly searches. This will help you discover the keywords that your niche audience are searching for but also that there’s not too much competition so you stand a better chance of getting discovered. Write these keywords on your list, or better still, open an Excel document to help you keep track. (You can also download a list of the keywords directly from Google if you’d prefer.)
- If you’re feeling comfortable with this site, you can repeat the process by plugging your newly-found keywords right back into Google Keyword Planner and seeing the new results.
- Repeat the search as often as you can bear, at least every six months is usually a good idea.
Got it? Great! Go make yourself a cup of tea (or something stronger!) to celebrate you getting through that bit. 🙂
How to use keywords on your website to get more traffic
Now you’re armed with these keywords, you’re probably asking yourself, “Thanks Charlotte. But what on earth do I do with these confusing keywords?“
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered.
1. Create content around these keywords
You’ve got a gem of information there because you know that your clients have these problems. All you need to do is create content which offers a solution. Simple, right?
Choose one of the keywords and create a blog post, YouTube video, podcast or social media post around one of these long-tail keywords. Resist the urge to share all of your knowledge and focus on answering the question.
2. Add these keywords to the content itself
Once you’ve created that content, you need to make sure it contains those keywords so that Google can direct your ideal client right to your doorstep.
For blogs and articles on your website, include those keywords:
- In the blog title (make sure you use H1 tags too)
- In your subheadings (make sure you use H2 tags too)
- In the URL
- In the first 200 words of your blog post, towards the beginning if you can.
- At least 3-4 more times through the body of your post. Find similar keywords to include if you can to stop your content looking like spam.
- In any links
- In the alt-text tags for your images
But, don’t be tempted to cram as many of your keywords into your post as you can. It will just look spammy and Google will actually penalise you for it.
It’s worth downloading a plugin like Yoast if your website supports it as it makes SEO so much easier.
For social media posts:
Keywords matter on social media too, but they work slightly differently to keywords in your blog posts.
Make sure you’re including a keyword in the title of your content whilst also keeping it completely natural-sounding. If you can, include a keyword once or twice more in the content itself. Then use hashtags to finish it off!
3. Add these keywords to your website
You should also include keywords throughout your website. For optimal results with your SEO, include them:
- In your title tag– This is the title that appears on the internet tab.
- In the meta description– A meta description is that little bit of text you get under each website heading when you search for something on Google. (Take a look at the image below to see what I mean).
- In your page headings- Whenever you can, include keywords in your page headings and titles throughout your website. Obviously, that’s not possible with pages such as ‘contact me’, but it’s worth bearing in mind for the rest.
- In your website copy– You should also include keywords in your general website copy wherever possible. Again, make sure you’re not ‘keyword stuffing’ but including them in a natural and helpful way.
Take action using keywords
If you’re new to using keywords, I highly encourage you to set aside some time to do some keyword research and start tailoring your content and website around these themes.
Doing this will help you become more productive, save money in the long run and build a solid core to your business that will help you attract more clients.
Now this might seem like a lot of information at first, but there’s no need to feel overwhelmed.
Take it slowly, follow my steps and reach out if you need some help– I’d be happy to help guide you through the wonderful world of keywords so you can take your brand or business to the next level.