You’ve heard that keywords are still important to Google’s search algorithms, but how do you know which words are the right ones? Is it just guesswork? Read on to find the best tips for finding the perfect keyword chain linking to your small business’ blog.

Who Are You Talking To?

Answering this question is one of the most important things you will do—not only for your blog’s customer reach but also for your business.

Your customer will not appear out of thin air. If you don’t aim for a target, you’ll never hit it. Marketing is about getting customers. There is action implied in that sentence. You can’t just wait for a random person from a random place with random interests to happen across your blog.

Who are you selling to? What do they like and what are their interests? Are they a morning person? This may seem silly, but these questions are key to building a buyer persona. This is the “character” of your buyer. If you’re the casting director for a screenplay about your business, who would fit the role of “My Customer #1”?

From this persona, you’ll be able to find what they’re searching for and cater to them at every stage of the buyer’s journey.

Finding Keywords

If you’re having trouble coming up with a list of keywords, try different combinations of [Business Name] + [Service] + [Location]. This will help you get a feel for the types of keywords you should be thinking of.

Make sure anything outside of those three fields is relevant to your business. If you’re a massage parlor in Chicago, don’t use the keywords “TipTop Nutrition Illinois”. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to move from “massage therapy” to the misleading “therapy” to find a broader audience.

Google is smart and appreciates relevant content. Only give searchers what they expect to find when clicking on your website.

As a general rule, try to keep your keywords between 3 and 5 words. If you have too many, you risk being too specific and lowering your volume. If you don’t have enough, you risk getting stomped on by big sites with imposing domain authority.

Analyzing Keywords

Let’s say you own a physical therapy clinic in Los Angeles. For Buyer Persona #1, you might say he or she is a young athlete looking for rehabilitation services. In this case, your keywords might be, “Athletic Rehab Center L.A..”

Check Google Planner to get more information about your keyword. You want something that has value (high CPC) and low competition. You also want it to have a high enough search volume to be worth your time, but not so much that you get drowned out by hefty competitors.

If you want a deeper look at your competitors’ keywords and strategies, check out Ahrefs’ tools. They have a keyword analyzer similar to Google’s, but with more depth and insights. Be prepared to pay for it, though.

Once you have your keywords chosen and analyzed, it’s time to put them to use and see how they perform. Good luck out there!