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Keyword Research for Small Business SEO: Finding the Right Keywords

by Triune Digitals

If you’ve ever been curious about how keyword research is important for small businesses to stand out online, the answer you can find in this article. We know how important keywords are for your online presence. In this article, you’ll find out why keywords matter in the online world and how they can help your small business in the constantly changing digital landscape. Discover how strategic keyword research can be crucial for your small business in the ever-evolving digital world.

Key Takeaways

Keyword research is essential for SEO and digital marketing, helping identify words and phrases users use in search engines.


Small businesses benefit significantly from keyword research. It aids in targeted marketing, cost-effectiveness, local SEO, understanding customer behavior, and measuring results.


Follow a structured approach, including understanding your business, using keyword tools, assessing competition, considering long-tail keywords, analyzing user intent, and regularly reviewing your strategy.


What Is Keyword Research?

Considering how to start a small business? Have you explored how keyword research can be your digital compass for your small business success? Keyword research is a crucial process in the world of digital marketing, designed to help you understand what your target audience is searching for online. By analyzing the specific words and phrases people use when conducting online searches, you gain valuable insights into their needs, preferences, and behaviors. This knowledge empowers you to create content and optimize your small business website to better align with user intent, ultimately boosting your website’s visibility and attracting more organic traffic.

For instance, suppose you run a travel blog. Effective keyword research can reveal popular search queries like “best vacation destinations for families” or “budget-friendly travel tips.” By strategically incorporating these keywords into your articles and guides, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This not only drives more visitors to your site but also positions your content as a valuable resource for those seeking travel advice.

The Importance of Keyword Research for Small Business SEO

Are you utilizing effective keyword research techniques for SEO for small business to boost your online presence? Keyword research is super important for your small business that wants to do well online. Here’s why it matters:

First, it helps you understand what words and phrases people use when they search for things related to your business. This means you can create content and set up your website in a way that matches what people are looking for. It’s like speaking the same language as your customers.

Second, it gives small businesses a fighting chance against bigger competitors. By picking the right keywords, you can focus on areas where there’s less competition. This makes it easier for your business to show up in search results and get noticed by the right people. So, even though you’re small, you can still do really well online with the right keywords.

Elements of Keyword Research

Keyword research involves three crucial elements that you should carefully consider:


Google prioritizes content that aligns with search intent. Your content will only rank well for a keyword if it effectively addresses what searchers are looking for. Moreover, your content must outshine competing resources in terms of quality and usefulness. Google rewards content that provides more value than other available options.


Google values authoritative sources and gives them higher rankings. To establish authority, you need to enrich your website with informative content and actively promote it to acquire social signals and backlinks. If your site isn’t seen as authoritative in your niche, or if the search engine results pages (SERPs) are dominated by well-established sources or authoritative institutions, it can be challenging to rank unless your content is exceptional.


While ranking on the first page for a keyword is great, it’s futile if nobody searches for that keyword. In essence, you’d be like a store in a deserted town. Keyword volume is typically measured in terms of Monthly Search Volume (MSV), which represents how often a keyword is searched each month across all users.

For example, if you want to target the keyword “antique coin collecting tips,” it’s important to ensure that there’s a reasonable search volume for this keyword. If only a handful of people search for it each month, it might not generate significant traffic to your site.

keyword research for small business SEO

How to Select the Right Keywords for Your Website?

When it comes to finding and selecting keywords for your website, follow these steps tailored to your strategy:

keyword research for small business SEO

Understand Your Business and Audience

Before diving into keyword research, gain a deep understanding of your business, its offerings, unique selling points (USPs), and your target audience. What problems do your products or services solve? Who are your ideal customers?

Refine Your List with Google Keyword Planner and Google Trends

Start by using Google’s Keyword Planner to gather insights on search volume and traffic estimates for the keywords you’re considering. Then, take the knowledge gained from the Keyword Planner and complement it with Google Trends to fill in the gaps.

Imagine you’re running a pet care blog. If Keyword Planner reveals low search volume for “exotic pet care tips,” Google Trends might show an upward trend, indicating growing interest in this topic.

Prioritize the Low-Hanging Fruit

Prioritizing “low-hanging fruit” means focusing on keywords where you have a realistic chance to rank based on your website’s authority. Large companies often chase high-search-volume keywords, but you can gain an edge by targeting keywords with less competition, particularly those not heavily contested.

Analyze Monthly Search Volume (MSV)

Check the monthly search volume (MSV) for the keywords you’ve chosen. MSV represents how often a keyword is searched monthly. Tools like searchvolume.io or Google Trends can help identify the most frequently searched keywords within related clusters.

Analyze User Intent

Understanding searcher intent is a critical aspect of effective keyword research. It helps you tailor your content to match how searchers want to consume information for a specific keyword. Google classifies these intents into categories such as “know” (find information), “do” (accomplish a goal), “website” (find a specific website), or “visit-in-person” (visit a local business), as outlined in their Quality Rater Guidelines.

While there’s a wide variety of search intents, let’s explore five primary categories:

Informational queries: Searchers seek information, like learning about a band or discovering the height of a famous building.

Navigational queries: Searchers intend to visit a specific place on the Internet, such as Facebook or a website’s homepage.

Transactional queries: Searchers want to take action, like buying plane tickets or listening to music.

Commercial investigation: Searchers aim to compare products and find the best fit for their needs.

Local queries: Searchers look for local businesses or services, like nearby coffee shops, doctors, or music venues.

keyword research for small business SEO

Image by Turbo Anchor

Consider SERP Features

One crucial step in keyword research is examining the search engine results page (SERP) for the target keyword. This allows you to gauge the searcher’s intent more accurately. For instance, if you’re curious about what content your target audience desires, analyzing the SERPs is key. Google assesses the behavior of countless searches to offer the most relevant content for each specific keyword search.

Achieve a Balance of Head Terms and Long-Tail Keywords

Ensure you have a mix of head terms and long-tail keywords in your strategy. Head terms are short and generic, while long-tail keywords are more specific. This balance offers a comprehensive keyword strategy with both short-term gains and long-term objectives.

Assess Competitor Rankings

Explore how your competitors are ranking for keywords. While you don’t need to mimic everything your competitors do, understanding their keyword strategies can provide valuable insights. Focus on keywords where you can outperform your competitors and aim to capture market share.

Develop Content Strategy Based on Chosen Keywords

Develop a well-rounded content strategy based on your chosen keywords, incorporating on-page SEO techniques. Create high-quality content for SEO around these keywords. This could include blog posts, product descriptions, landing pages, or even videos and infographics. Your content should not only incorporate keywords but also provide value and address the needs of your target audience.

Incorporate Local SEO Keywords

If your business caters to a specific geographic area, consider incorporating local SEO keywords. These might include location-based terms like “plumbing services in [city].” Optimizing for local keywords helps attract customers in your vicinity and improves your chances of appearing in local search results.

keyword research for small business SEO

Regular Review and Adjustment

Remember, keyword research for small business SEO is an ongoing process. Continuously monitor the performance of your keywords, track changes in user behavior, and be ready to adjust your strategy as needed. Search engine algorithms and user preferences evolve, so staying competitive and relevant requires regular review and adaptation of your keyword and content strategies.

See the Best Keyword Research Tools

Utilize keyword research tools to expand your list of potential keywords and gather data. Some popular keyword research tools include:

Google Keyword Planner: Provides keyword ideas, search volumes, and competition data.

Ubersuggest: Offers keyword suggestions and competitive analysis.

SEMrush: Provides comprehensive keyword data, including competitors and trends.

Ahrefs: Offers insights into keywords, high-quality backlinks, and content strategies.

Final Thoughts

In the fast-paced digital world, mastering keyword research for small business SEO is a crucial aspect of your digital success. By understanding its significance and implementing the right strategies, your small business can achieve remarkable results. Stay adaptable, prioritize, and remember that keyword research is an ongoing process towards digital success.

Does your small business need an SEO strategy that will have remarkable results? We offer top-notch SEO services to help your business improve online rankings.

Contact us to have the best SEO strategy for your small business success.



How can I ensure that the keywords I choose are relevant to my business?

To ensure keyword relevance, it’s crucial to select keywords that align with your business, products, or services. Avoid targeting keywords that are too broad or unrelated to what you offer. Irrelevant keywords can attract traffic that is unlikely to engage with your content or make purchases, negatively impacting your website’s performance. 

How do I prioritize keywords in my research?

Keywords should be prioritized based on a combination of factors, including search volume, competition, relevance to your business, and your specific goals. Some keywords may have high search volume but high competition, while others may be less competitive but highly relevant to your niche. Prioritizing keywords ensures you focus your efforts on those with the most potential for success.

How can I track the performance of keywords in my SEO strategy?

Tracking keyword performance involves monitoring metrics such as rankings, organic traffic, and conversions related to specific keywords. SEO tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush can help you gather and analyze this data to assess the effectiveness of your keyword strategy.

How to avoid keyword cannibalization?

Keyword cannibalization occurs when multiple pages on a website target the same keyword or phrase. This can confuse search engines and lead to a drop in rankings for those pages. To avoid it, ensure that each page on your site targets a unique set of keywords, and use internal linking strategically to guide users to relevant content.

Are there any ethical considerations when conducting keyword research and using keywords in content?

Yes, ethical considerations include avoiding keyword stuffing (overusing keywords unnaturally) and ensuring that keywords are used in a way that provides value to the user. Content should be genuine, informative, and not misleading.