Search Engine Optimization or SEO and keyword research are important things that you need to do for your website or online business.
If you run a small business, then you may not have access to professional SEO services to handle the different aspects of your online marketing efforts. Fortunately, there are certain tips and tools that can help you do SEO and keyword research on your own and for free!
Understand Your Target Audience
You need to understand and narrow down your target audience to ensure that your SEO works. Simply having “everyone” as your target audience will not cut it. So, check your customer results to see who is actually using your services or buying your products. Look for certain patterns, such as:
- Geographic details (neighborhoods, towns, or cities where you have the most customer engagement)
- Similarities with demographics (sex, age, etc.)
- Primary reasons customers are choosing your business (e.g. affordability, your experience with certain services, quality of service, etc.)
If you have not had any customers yet you can create a few made up profiles of who your ideal customers would be. Who would be interested in your business? To create these you just kind of make up a person on paper. Include things like:
- Interests and hobbies
- What they do with their time
- Worries and problems
You can add more information about these made up ideal customers if you like.
Knowing more about your customers or target audience will help you know how to present yourself or your business to them. It should also help you identify common problems your customers have that you can address and provide solutions for.
Know Your Competition
Perform an online search for the products and/or services you offer. Any business that shows up is your competitor. Itâ€™s a good idea to keep a list of your top competitors along with some notes you take as you research them.
Having a Google My Business account is a great way to keep up with your competitors. This free tool will also provide access to Google Maps, hence allowing you to help your customers easily find your business. Since most of the online searches have local intent, this will prove to be extremely useful for your SEO if you own a local business.
Another free tool you can use to gain information about your competition is call Similar Web. Similar Web lets you search any website to see where most of there traffic (people visiting the website) comes from and goes to. This will give you a better picture of what is working for them.
Perform Keyword Research
Now that you know about your target audience as well as your competitors, you will need to research keywords that are related to your services, products, industry, and location. You can carry out this task quite effectively with a free tool called the Google Keyword Planner. When performing keyword research, the following are what you should focus on:
- Long-tail keywords (group of various related search terms)
- Both specific and general terms related to your business and/or services
- Question-based keyword phrases because more and more customers are using voice search to find what they need
Keyword research has evolved over the years. There was a day when you could keyword stuff a website with a keyword and rank for it, those days are gone. What you should try to do is focus on a topic and then find the keywords that are related to it. Naturally work these topic related keywords into your content to improve your SEO.
Create a keyword list for later use. Keep track of topics and problems your audience is interested or searching for, as well as the keywords that are related to each topic.
Create Optimized, Relevant Content for Your Audience
After performing keyword research, the next thing you will need to do is generate relevant content that includes the keywords from your keyword list. It is recommended that you keep your content useful and relevant to your target audience as user experience is a big part of SEO. Some ways to use your content to increase visibility include:
- Optimizing your profiles on online directories and social media platforms
- Including links from your social media to blog posts on your website
- Using meta descriptions so that search engines and searchers have a better idea of what your webpages are about
- Using keywords in descriptions for images and videos (As well as ALT tags for images)
- Encouraging feedback and comments as it also shows up in search results
Keep Track of Your SEO Results
SEO is worthless unless you know where you stand. So, it is recommended that you use the free tool Google Search Console to track your search data such as what keywords your website is showing up for in search results.
Take advantage of Google Analytics, another free tool, to show you tons of useful SEO information e.g. what activities visitors are performing while on your site, where your online traffic is coming from, etc.
Small business owners have lots of things to do. They may understand the importance of Search Engine Optimization, but often assume that it is too time-consuming or expensive to implement. The fact is, you can do both SEO and keyword research quite easily with the help of the following free tools.
How To Use Answer The Public For Keyword Research
This is my Answer The Public Affiliate Link. While you can use this tool for free, if you sign up for a paid plan I will be paid a commission.