You’re running your small business, your website is up and running, content is ticking over on social media and things are slowly growing. This is all good.
And mentioning that website that’s up and running, did you build it yourself? Did a designer or developer help you create it? The reason I am asking, Is I’d love to know how much you’re doing in the way of SEO?
*Cue small businesses owners the world over make excuses or explain they’re a bit too busy to think about things like SEO and it’s been on the back burner or the long-term to do list for some time to ‘get this done’.
But SEO is scary and boring
I get it, and I have been there too. SEO is a scary thing and one that so many business owner feel they need a degree in to get started. But, guess what. You really don’t. And like anything in your business, just start small but think big.
I want to simplify things here for you though. If you really want to get in to the nitty gritty with keywords you can have a look at this guide from SEO gurus Yeost. We won’t be going that techy today though, friends.
You have probably heard of keywords and how these are a good thing to use to to improve your SEO and they certainly are. When someone searches for keywords or key phrases on Google and these keywords are featured in your copy or blog posts, your website will show up in their searches. Simples.
When you’re thinking of what your keywords could be there is one main thing to bear in mind. One is to think of your ideal clients and what keywords or key terms would they search for to find your website? Because those are the people you want to visit your site, right?
Keywords or Key terms?
One thing to remember is that keywords are often actually ‘key terms’. Keywords aren’t just one word. A lot, in fact most of the time they’re actually terms or phrases. You might have even heard of long-tail keywords. Imagine what your clients might type into Google to find your product or service.
For my business, for example, they might type ‘website designer’. This is an example of a short-tail keyword. They might also type something more specific, like ‘website designer for creative businesses’. This would be an example of a long-tail keyword. And yes, you guessed it. If what they type into Google is somewhere in between, then that would be a medium-tail keyword.
Ok, before I lose you at this point, It’s so important with the SEO stuff to not get bogged down. But I have genuinely mentioned the length of these keywords for a reason, not just to send you off to sleep. Basically, the longer your keywords, the longer your keyword, the more targeted it will be to a specific topic or audience.
These terms typically have less competition making them easier to rank for. In other words, if what you think your ideal clients would type into Google to find you might be a long looking term, this is good. Use those!
Choosing your Keywords
There are a ton of guides out there telling you how to pick out the perfect keywords for your brand. I want to keep things simple for you here though and from now on I won’t be using any more jargon (promise!).
So, let’s have a look at a few examples of types of keywords you can go for.
Of course, you’ll want to feature on Google with your own brand and business name and any variations of these, so for example for my business, these would be:
- Studio Lago
- Studio Lago Design
- Katie Lake
- Katie Lake Volcof
You probably won’t be able to come up with many branded keywords, so if you just have two for this bit, that’s absolutely fine. I only have this many because of the variation in my business name which might not work for yours and because of my maiden name and married name being variations of each other.
This may or may not be important for your brand and business. If your business is solely based online or your one of those amazingly lucky people who works from anywhere you fancy in the world, location may not apply at all. For bricks and mortar businesses, of course location does apply. When thinking about any of your keywords, remember to bear in mind what your ideal clients might search for. If they’ll be looking for a business like yours even though you’re based online then location might also be important. This is how it works with my business. Looking at my business again for example:
Yes, these are the two keywords I could add to any key terms when people are searching for my brand. I am based in London and some of my ideal clients may want to work with someone mocal. Having said this, the majority of my clients are anywhere in the world, so ‘online’ is the location word in this instance.
Remember that if you have a shop or your ideal clients need to find where you work from, it’s important to focus on more specific locations. For example:
- North London
- Bounds Green
- Wood Green
- Muswell Hill
These are the specific geographic locations of where I am based and the smaller areas around them. If I had a bricks and mortar business, these would also be important keywords for my business.
What do you offer your ideal clients? What is your product and/or service? We can add a whole load of keywords here that describe what it is you do. You can be really specific here. For Studio Lago Design, the list looks like this:
- Web design
- Website design
- Branding design
- Logo design
- Social media
I have added some variations of website and branding design here based on what I think people might type into Google. Notice I have also added logo design. Whilst logo design isn’t something I offer exclusively outside of full branding design and you can read more about the reason for that here, it is something I think potential clients might search for.
If you are a product based business, then feel free to add in all the offerings you might have too.
You should be starting to see by now how we can use all these keywords to create different phrases that people would type into Google to find you.
You can now extent your list of keywords by creating other longer keywords (which will turn into phrases). Try to make up some combinations. For Studio Lago Design this would look a bit like this:
- web designer London
- website designer London
- branding designer online
- branding designer for creatives
- branding designer for small businesses
Your branded, location and product and/or service keywords shouldn’t change too much so once you have them, keep them stored somewhere safe to remember to use them on your website! That’s what we have worked on creating them for, of course.
Keywords for blog posts
Let’s have another look at those potential long tail keywords again shall we? Remember that they’re basically phrases or questions that your ideal client might type into Google to find an answer and then stumble upon your website.
This is where blogging comes in. A really great way of coming up with blog content that will not only help your potential customers find the answer to a question they have, but that will also lead them to your products/services, is thinking about what questions they might potentially ask you.
Do you ever find yourself typing questions into Google? I know I do. As I have mentioned in this blog post, blogging is a great way to grow your audience and get traffic to your website via Google. So here is an activity for you. Grab a bit of paper and write down every single question that a potential customer might ask you about your business/product or service. These can all be written up as blog posts. And for extra points you can use your keywords in thos blog posts too to make them extra ‘searchable’.
How to use your keywords
You didn’t think I would just leave you high and dry with a list of keywords and nowhere to go with them, did you?
Use your keywords everywhere. All over your site in all your copy and messaging. These are now the words your site should rank for.
If you already have a website up and running, no worries, you can add them in to your existing copy. Add them into all the pages you can, and create more copy on your site to accommodate them if necessary.
One thing you must always remember though, is to make sure your copy still sounds like it’s been written by a human.Google is now a pretty intelligent beast. It can spot keyword stuffing a mile off, and yes, that term is exactly what it sounds like it is. Keywords randomly stuffed into bits of your site and used over and over in one paragraph. It’s better to feature the keyword once in one chunk of text than sound like a robot bringing it up loads of times. So, you can see there is a fine balance here and that’s why website copywriters are a thing. But this guide is here to help you do this yourself.
So, I’d love to know how you get on with this. And don’t just add it to your ‘ongoing to do list’; again. The sooner you get it done, the sooner you’ll start ranking for these keywords and get word out there that you’re the absolute boss at what you do.
And, if you need more help with this and all this blog post has done is bring up more questions, then fire away with whatever it is you need to know about keywords, websites or branding.