We often get asked by business owners to offer advice on their existing website. The most common, obvious improvement that can be made to improve SEO (search engine optimisation) is the proper use of keywords. If you’re a beginner when it comes to SEO, you might not understand what that means. We’ll do our best to explain the importance of keywords for small business owners.

What are keywords and how do they relate to your business website?

When you have a business website, you want people to be able to find it easily when they search for things related to your business. To help with this, you can use keywords on your website.

Keywords are words or phrases that people might use to search for things on the internet. For example, if you have a dog grooming salon, some relevant keywords might be “dog groomer” “nail clipping for dogs,” and “dog wash”, with the inclusion of some suburbs of the geographical area that you cater to.

By using these keywords on your website, in things like the page titles, headings, and content, you can signal to search engines like Google that your website is relevant to those topics. This helps your website show up higher in search results when people type those search terms or keywords into a search engine.

It’s important not to overdo it, though, as using too many keywords in a way that seems unnatural can actually hurt your search engine rankings. Focus on using keywords in a way that makes sense and provides helpful information to your website visitors.

How do you know what keywords to use for your business website?

There are heaps of free and paid tools available that go into a lot of detail when it comes to keyword research and the rabbit hole goes deep if you want to dive right in!

However, since today we’re discussing the absolute basics of keywords for beginners, we’re going to keep it simple…

keywords for small business owners

Think about your main products or services. For example, if you’re a physiotherapist that specialises in treating chronic back pain, you should probably use “chronic back pain” in there. You might want to use flashy words like “Backs to the Future” or “Bring it Back”, but realistically, those terms mean nothing to search engines. Use branding elsewhere in your text, logos and images, but keep those focus keywords “chronic back pain” as a focus on your website. You might use them in sentences such as on “treat chronic back pain”, “chronic back pain specialist”, or “chronic back pain program” – there are so many options.

Try to have a focus keyword for each particular page on your website. If possible, include that keyword in the following places:

1. Try to get it in the url (example: www.greatphysiowollongong.com/chronic- back-pain)

2. Use it in the page title

3. Include it in a sentence in the introductory paragraph.

4. Try to make any subheadings related to your keyword.

How to find ideas for keywords:

As we mentioned earlier, there are lots of online tools available for doing in-depth keyword research when you get a little more advanced and/or adventurous. For an absolute beginner, the best place to start is good old Google.

Try typing in your main product or service and see what Google suggests. Here’s what came up when i started thinking about services a plumber might offer:

keywords for beginners

You can also look at the suggestions halfway down the search engine results page. These are commonly asked questions and can make great titles for blog articles, subheadings, or social media posts. Here’s an example below: 

finding keywords for your website

Keywords can be a big topic and form the backbone of SEO. If you’re building and managing your own business website, the best advice we have is to have a focus keyword per page. If you are thinking about keywords at all, you’re doing better than many other business websites out there.

If you are paying someone for “SEO services” and your website isn’t showing up in search results for relevant keywords, you need to ask why. Now, it’s important here to mention that SEO does not get instant results. Getting a website to rank naturally in search engines (not paid ads) takes anywhere from 3 to 18 months depending on the competition that you’re up against. It’s important to have a discussion with your SEO agency about their expectations and make sure you’re on the same page.

If, however, you’re paying monthly SEO fees and not seeing your website in the search engine results, it might be time to review whether you’re getting a good return on your investment. A second opinion never hurt anyone.