SEO and Small Business Keywords

seo for small business

In this post we are going to be looking at SEO and small business keywords … and keyword phrases … so first, let’s look at a couple of definitions so we’re all on the same page.

Keywords are the words that people may type into Google when they are looking for you, the service you provide or the product you sell. In the early days of the Internet most searches were for single keywords but over the years people’s search habits have changed and now keyword phrases hae become important because most people search in two ways.

  1. They search for a keyword but add modifiers … e.g. ‘buses near me’ or ‘the best coffee in Hervey Bay’
  2. They search for a keyword phrase that helps narrow down the results they will get back … e.g. ‘black widgets or ‘budget home builders’ or ‘Australian native nurseries’.

Your customers can tell you

So how do you know what keywords people use when they search for your business?

Obviously they’re going to search for the products you sell or the services you provide so there are the keywords or keyword phrases that you should focus on … but if you’re still not sure then think about what people ask when they first contact your business by phone.

“Do you sell (insert the name of a product here)?”

“Do you provide (insert the name of a service here)?”

“Are you the local (whatever it is that the caller is looking for)?”

Those are the keywords and phrases that you should be targeting because those are the keywords and keyword phrases that you potential customers or clients are searching for.

Don’t pluck keywords out of the air

Don’t pluck keywords and phrases out of the air because you think that that’s what people might be searching for … that can quickly turn into a major waste of money. Just last week a client of ours who thinks that he knows all about keywords asked me to target a particular phrase by adding a new page to his website that focused on that phrase.

He had no evidence that people were searching for his services using that phrase but he was sure that it had to be popular and he was prepared to pay me to add a new page, write the appropriate text and do the SEO for the new page.

I’m always a little sceptical of his ideas so I did a little research of my own and discovered that no one was searching for that term at all. Sure there were some websites that were ranking for that term but there was absolutely no point in spending money to rank for a term that no one was looking for.

I pointed out that there were several other things that he could spend his money on that might provide a better return on his investment but he remains unconvinced and I don’t want to waste his money so we’re still discussing it.

Finding the right keywords

There are lots of very expensive tools out there that can help professionals, like me, find the right keywords for clients. But for you and your small business keywords there are a couple of simple tools that will give you the information you need … and they cost nothing.

If your website is hosted on an Apache server … and if you don’t know what that is then talk to your web designer or the company that hosts your website … there is a little programme running on the server called AWStats.

When you find your way into that you will be able to see the keywords and phrases that are bringing people to your website.

There is also an app out there that you can access online called Uberuggest and you will find it at You don’t have to sign up for an account but it will give your more information if you do.

A basic account is free and the basic account is all that most small businesses need.

One very important keyword phrase

There is one keyword phrase that I know is very important for your business without even knowing what you do … that is the name of your business.

People will search for the name of business because someone has told them about you … or they may have seen the name of your business in some advertising that you have done … or on the side of your van or truck.

They have seen your name but they don’t know the URL … the domain name … that will take them to your website so they search for your business name.

Make sure that you are targeting the name of your business on the front page of your website. If you don’t then people who search for your business name may never find you.

Getting the right small business keywords for your website is very important … getting them wrong can cost you a lot of money.