What Business Owners Need to Know About SEO: The Key to Keyword Research

As we talk about the importance of SEO, we mention what might be the most important SEO strategy of all: speaking your customers’ language. That’s when keyword research becomes the shiny new tool in your marketing toolbelt.

“It wasn’t what you said. It was how you said it.” 

We all know that communication can be tricky, especially with technology as an ever-growing medium. Just a few short words carry a message, a tone, and an underlying meaning. We even created emojis for the gaps that only facepalm 🤦🏻‍♂️can fill. 

In the same way, keyword research isn’t just about a string of words typed into a search engine. Keyword research is about understanding what the searcher is trying to accomplish.

As we talk about the importance of SEO (see this previous blog for how it works and why it matters), we mention what might be the most important SEO strategy of all: speaking your customers’ language. 

That’s when keyword research becomes the shiny new tool in your marketing toolbelt. 

Already done your research and just need a little bit of help? We’d love to talk. 

How Does Keyword Research Work?

Say you are researching the keyword “social media for business.” Is the searcher trying to create a social media page for their business? Are they trying to find out how to write social media posts for their business pages? Do they want to hire a marketing team to run their social media?

When you use keyword research to find out what your potential customers are searching for and the words they use in their searches, you get an inside look into how they think. With this information, you can strategically align your content and offerings to meet their needs. 

Easy Keyword Research For Normal People (And Even Business Owners) 

To get started with keyword research, ask yourself a few questions to help you see your products and services from your client's point of view. 

We have found that most businesses have a secret weapon that can help them at this stage: their best salesperson. Great salespeople are great because they understand your clients. Salespeople may be the single most underutilized source of expertise in the marketing world. They have the keenest insight into the actual questions your clients are asking.  

Let's Look At Some Keywords!

Now that you've taken some time to understand your client's perspective start creating lists of relevant topics, phrases, and questions. When creating these lists, don't get stuck in the details. Google is good at recognizing when very similar keywords mean essentially the same thing. This frees you up to focus on the big picture.  

Let's use the term "lawn care" as an example. Imagine you have a business that provides residential weed control and fertilizer services. 

There are a lot of free tools that can help as you develop these lists. Search your terms in Google, and scroll to the bottom of the page to find “searches related to ______.” Goggle searches are a never-ending rabbit hole that can be a tremendous help in coming up with keyword ideas. You can also use tools like the Keyword Explorer at moz.com/free-seo-tools to get suggestions. A login is required, but you get up to 10 searches per month for free. That’s not a bad deal. 

We started with the phrase "preventing weeds in my lawn" to develop these lists. Don't get stuck worrying about whether something is a "key phrase" or a "topic." It doesn't matter! Those are just different ways of thinking about searches to help you develop ideas. 

Key Words And Phrases

Topics

Relevant Questions

Here is an exciting little tip for the Moz Keyword Explorer! There is a box that says, "Display keyword suggestions that…" In the dropdown, select "are questions," and you will get a list of relevant questions.  

You are now officially a keyword researcher! Just repeat the process for other relevant terms and phrases representing different perspectives on your solution. You can use keywords and phrases you discover in your research as a jumping-off point for more inquiries.

We want to share two quick tips as you start your journey. 

What’s Next?

If you’re excited about this newfound knowledge and are ready to put it to good use, it’s time to talk about SEO again. 

Do you have your ideas for key phrases, topics, and questions? Great. The next step is simple: start writing. 

“Write what?” you say. How about a product page that shows your reader there IS a solution for their problem. Or a blog that answers the questions your keyword research has so kindly told you that your readers are asking. 

SEO is much bigger than updating your web pages based on a few minutes of keyword research, but it’s a great start. 

To learn more about what you need to know about SEO, check out our previous blog on this topic! You can’t have SEO without keyword research, and keyword research is moot without the need for SEO. 

If we’ve convinced you this is super important, but you just feel like you don't have the time, we have answers for that too. Reach out to us! We’d love to help you find the marketing solutions to help your business thrive.

Writer: Gabrielle Mingus
Editor: SK Vaugn

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