Google can be a major source of traffic for a small business’s website. In fact, ranking highly in Google for the right search terms, can make or break a business. Let’s say you run a sushi restaurant called Tokyo Royal in a hip little community in Atlanta. When people who frequent your restaurant are ready to order take-out or delivery, chances are they will go online and type in “Tokyo Royal in Atlanta”. Assuming your business has a website, it’s a good bet that you will rank in the top results for that search term.
This is fantastic, but you want to grow your business and draw customers that don’t know you as well. You want those folks who love sushi, but don’t know about your establishment. You need to know what would-be customers are typing into their search bars. Then you can create content that gets you found for those search terms.
Using the Google Keyword Planner to Find Out How Your Customers Search
Google Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps marketers plan content strategies, by providing estimates of the monthly search traffic for specific terms and phrases.
To gain access, register for a free Adwords account, click on “Tools” then “Keyword Planner” in the drop-down menu. A search box will show up on the left side of the screen where you will be able to type in a keyword or phrase. It looks like this:
Type in the phrase that you think people would search if they were looking for your business. That can be as broad as “auto dealerships” or it can be as targeted as “black ford F150 for sale” In this case, we’ll use the term “Atlanta sushi restaurant.”
Enter the search term, click “Get Ideas” and select the “keyword ideas” tab on the results page that appears. This will give you an estimate of the number of times people search Google for that keyword each month. It will also give you a large list of related keywords, along with their monthly search traffic estimates.
By reviewing the results, you will find some of the most frequently searched terms include:
- Top Atlanta restaurants, searched 1,300 times per month
- Atlanta seafood restaurants, 590 times
- Atlanta sushi, 320 times
- Sushi restaurants in Atlanta, 210 times
- Sushi restaurants Atlanta, 110 times
How To Get Local Search Engine Traffic Estimates
By default the estimates in the Google Keyword tool are for the number of people who have searched those terms, from anywhere in the US. For search terms that include your business’s location ie “Atlanta Sushi Restaurant”, this is not a problem. However, you are probably also interested in knowing how many people search for the term “sushi restaurant” that live within the vicinity of your business.
Lucky for you, Google knows where people who use their search engine are searching from. By using the targeting option I have highlighted below, you can get traffic estimates for searches that occur within a specific, state, city or zipcode.
Now that you know what keywords your potential customers are using, it’s time to integrate those terms into your website. You can see how I did this using my father’s real estate site as an example here.
About The Contributor – This article is provided by Fit Small Business, a publication that helps small businesses compete and succeed, both in the online and offline worlds.