Best Practices for Keyword Research for Small Business Owners

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Understanding the essentials of SEO and the importance of keyword research opens doors to vast organic traffic and connects small business owners directly with their potential customers. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a pivotal tool within your digital marketing strategy, and wielding this tool effectively can be made easier by mastering the art of keyword research. This process involves exploring keyword ideas, focusing on the right keyword strategy, understanding related keywords, and building a strong keyword list to drive content marketing efforts.

In a world where search engines like Google serve as the primary navigators of the vast realm of the internet, making your content visible and well-ranked is not just about the quality of content but also about understanding the search intent of your users, or potential customers. This understanding begins with identifying user search terms through keyword data. By conducting SEO keyword research and using efficient keyword tools, businesses have the power to create content that directly matches their audience’s search queries. Imagine focusing your SEO tool’s lens and zooming right into your potential customers’ needs. With this in mind, let’s dive into the world of SEO, armed with mighty keyword tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, Rank Tracker, the Google Search Console, and Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer.

What is Keyword Research and Why is it Crucial for Small Businesses?

Keyword research is a core SEO function that involves understanding and applying the language used by your potential customers in search engines like Google. Think of it as a bridge connecting what users want to your content. It goes beyond merely compiling a keyword list; it’s about discovering keyword ideas, digging deep into keyword data, and building a relevant keyword strategy that aligns with your business goals.

Why is keyword research so vital for small businesses? With the right keyword, your website and content can see a dramatic shift in visibility on Google Search results, leading to a significant increase in organic traffic. And it’s not just about driving any traffic—it’s about attracting the right kind of traffic. Traffic that is likely to convert because your content matches their search intent. It ultimately means more customers, sales, and growth for your business.

Remember, the goal here is to rank for any keywords and the right ones that signal a strong connection between the user’s search intent and your business offering. Thus, keyword research becomes a compass guiding your content creation and SEO strategy in the right direction, making it a crucial undertaking for small businesses in the digital landscape.

Keyword Research Best Practices for Small Businesses

Let’s break down the best practices for SEO keyword research:

Define Your Goals

Begin by determining the goals of your SEO strategy. For instance, do you aim to increase sales or sign-ups, or do you predominantly want to increase your organic traffic? Using a tool like Google Analytics can help track these goals.

Find Keyword Ideas

Brainstorm seed keywords related to your business and then run these through keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer. Remember to look for long-tail, short-tail, and location-specific keywords relevant to your small business.

Analyze Search Intent

Search intent is the ‘why’ behind a search query. It’s crucial to understand whether a user is looking for information, wants to purchase something, or is just browsing. Keyword phrases with commercial or transactional intent may be invaluable for your business.

Check Out the Competition

Free keyword research tools like Google Trends can show you what’s popular in your niche. Additionally, tools such as Moz’s ‘Keyword Explorer’ or SE Ranking’s ‘Keyword Difficulty’ can help gauge how competitive certain keywords are.

Prioritize by Relevance, Difficulty, and Search Volume

The best keyword research tool for you will depend on your needs and budget. Regardless of the tool, prioritize keywords relevant to your business, have a high search volume, and pose a keyword difficulty appropriate for your current website authority.

Essential Tools to Upgrade Your Keyword Research

Keyword research tools are your allies in your SEO journey. They provide crucial insights that can significantly enhance your keyword strategy. Here are some of the key tools, with a brief discussion of their strengths and limitations:

Google Ads Keyword Planner:

This free keyword research tool by Google provides a keyword idea based on your seed keyword. It furnishes useful data such as search volume, forecasted clicks, and estimated conversions. The tool also suggests related keywords and search terms that you might consider.


  • Free to use and integrated with Google Ads.
  • Provides a huge amount of data including trends, search volume, competitive metrics, and forecasting.


  • Requires a Google Ads account to access and use.
  • Data may be skewed towards paid search.

Google Search Console:

Google Search Console is a web service by Google that lets you check indexing status and optimize your website’s visibility. It provides you with your website’s performance report which includes the queries people typed into Google to visit your website.


  • A free tool that provides firsthand data directly from Google.
  • Get insights into how Google sees your site and optimize its performance in search results.


  • The tool can be overwhelming due to the amount of data and information.

Moz’s Keyword Explorer:

Moz Pro’s Keyword Explorer offers an all-in-one keyword research tool that provides keyword suggestions, SERP analysis, and a snapshot of your organic and paid rankings for specific keywords.


  • Provides a wealth of data including opportunity, importance, potential, and SERP analysis metrics.
  • Moz’s keyword difficulty score is considered reliable and accurate.


  • Limited queries on the free version; full access requires a Moz Pro subscription.

Amazon Keyword Tool:

If you run an e-commerce business, the Amazon Keyword Tool can be an excellent resource to find the best keywords for your product descriptions. It gives data about the most popular search terms in different Amazon categories.


  • Great tool for e-commerce businesses.
  • Provides a rich source of long-tail keyword ideas.


  • While extremely useful for Amazon sellers, it might be less beneficial for businesses not on the platform.

Google Trends:

Google Trends is a website by Google that analyzes the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages. It can be particularly useful for finding seasonal trends for keywords.


  • Offers geographic comparison data and related topics and queries.
  • It helps track keyword popularity over time.


  • Does not provide specific keyword volumes.

Rank Tracker:

Rank Tracker tracks national, regional, and local search engine positions for keywords. It proves beneficial in understanding which of your SEO efforts translate into better rankings.


  • Capable of tracking a large number of keywords across multiple search engines.
  • Provides insights on ranking fluctuations over time.


  • The free version has limited features. Full functionality requires a paid subscription.

While each tool offers unique features catering to different needs, using a combination to ensure a comprehensive understanding of your keyword landscape is typically the most beneficial. Maximizing these tools is the key to unlocking your small business’s SEO potential. As you familiarize yourself with these, don’t forget to factor in the cost, requirements, and learning curve when deciding the best keyword research tool for your business.

Implementing Keywords: Practical Tips

Successfully implementing keywords into your content for maximum SEO impact involves a carefully crafted approach. You need to ensure keywords are seamlessly incorporated in a manner that enhances user experience while ensuring search engine discoverability. Here are practical tips for keyword implementation:

Website Content

Remember that the key is subtle when integrating your keyword or phrase into your website’s content. Avoid unnecessary repetition, also known as keyword stuffing, which could lead to penalties from search engines. Strive for natural language that enriches the reader’s experience while satisfactorily addressing their search query. Use short-tail and long-tail keywords where they fit, consistent with content relevance and user search intent.

Meta Tags

Meta tags consist of title tags, meta descriptions, and header tags. They play an essential role in your website’s SEO as they help search engines understand the content of your webpage. Include your focus keyword in your title and tag the clickable headline in your search engine result. Your meta description should concisely summarise the webpage content and include relevant keywords. Header tags divide your content into sections for better readability and should also contain relevant keywords.


Including keywords in URLs is a straightforward, often overlooked, way to improve your SEO. Structure your URLs to be descriptive of the webpage content and add in pertinent keywords. This alteration provides a hint to the search engine about your page and makes the URL easier to comprehend for users.

Image ‘alt’ attributes

Search engines, unlike humans, can’t ‘read’ images, but they do read the alternative text (alt text). An image’s ‘alt’ attribute is used to describe the image’s content, and incorporating your keyword here boosts SEO. For example, if your keyword phrase is “vegan chocolate cake recipe,” and you have an image showing this cake, your ‘alt’ text could be, “A delicious vegan chocolate cake from our easy recipe.”

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are highly specific phrases with lower search volumes, but typically, higher conversion rates, as they align closely with a user’s search intent. Insert these into your content where they naturally fit. Long-tail keywords can often be great for blog posts or content marketing efforts, answering highly specific, niche industry questions relevant to your business.

Keyword Consistency:

SEO keyword research provides a foundation for your content creation. However, rather than viewing the task of implementing keywords as a solitary event, treat it as the guiding principle for developing future content. Consistency in keyword usage, focusing on your brand’s niche, helps to reinforce your authority on a given topic in the eyes of search engines.

Tracking Performance and Adapting Strategy

Adopting an ‘implement and forget’ philosophy won’t cut SEO. Regularly monitor your keywords’ performance through Google Analytics or SE Ranking. The world of SEO is constantly changing with shifting search engine algorithms and user behaviors, so be prepared to tweak your keyword strategy over time.

In conclusion, as a small business owner, conquering the field of SEO through effective keyword research is an endeavor that requires time, learning, and persistence. But the rewards of better website visibility, increased organic traffic, and ultimately, more business, are well worth the effort. So prepare your SEO tools, set your sights on climbing the ranks, and start with understanding your consumer’s search intent. SEO mastery is just a keyword away. 


Effective keyword research and implementation is a cornerstone in creating an impactful digital presence. With the right strategy and utilization of the tools at our disposal, ranging from Google Ads Keyword Planner, and Moz’s Keyword Explorer to the Rank Tracker, we can gracefully navigate the vast realm of SEO. As we continuously align our business offerings with the search intent of potential customers, we make our mark on the online platform.

As an aspiring entrepreneur, you understand that the journey to business success is paved with challenges, from standing out in a saturated market to connecting with your target audience. But you’re not alone. At Looptide Marketing Services, we specialize in transforming challenges into triumphs. 

Take the leap today and contact Looptide Marketing Services. This isn’t just an investment in keyword research; it’s a step towards securing your entrepreneurial future. Make the smart choice, and let’s create the online presence your business deserves.

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