Keyword research is a term that gets thrown around a lot in marketing, but getting started isn’t always straightforward. There are tons of methods and tools to do it, but many cost money that only big-time companies with big-time SEO budgets can handle. This covers the simplest and cheapest (free!) ways to cover the keyword research basics for small businesses.
Google’s Search Results
One of the quickest ways to see popular search results is to just type into Google’s search bar. As you type, a drop-down will appear with additional popular searches related to what you’re typing.
Tip: use incognito mode or a private browser so results aren’t skewed toward your specific preferences.
- Use the topic as the first keyword. For example, “small business marketing”
- Look at Google’s predictive suggestions
- Expand on your list based on those suggestions
Google’s Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is designed to help people determine the most effective keywords for their PPC campaigns. But the data is still useful for SEO purposes. You can see search volume, competition, related search terms, and forecasts.
Tip: Ignore costs, bids, and CPC metrics for now. Dive deeper if you want to start running ads.
- Set up a Google Ads account (free, no spend or credit card necessary)
- Click “Discover new keywords” – add keywords, then look for more with over 100 average monthly searches and low to medium competition
- Click “Get Search Volume and Forecasts” – add keywords, look at searches and competition
- Add your local area if applicable
- Look at “Historical Metrics” – average number of monthly searches and competition level (look for low or medium competition levels)
Build a Keyword List
Identify 10-20 of the most relevant keywords to your business and customers – then your basic keyword research is done! Put it to good use by using those keywords in blog topics and in your website content.
This covers the keyword research basics and should get you a good start on your SEO journey. But what if you want something more thorough? You can reach out to the team at TIC Digital to get more help and see how SEO can boost your business.