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The Basics of Keyword Research

Small businesses and nonprofit organizations can complete keyword research using these relatively simple steps:

Brainstorm Relevant Keywords: Start by brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases that are directly related to your business or nonprofit's mission, products, or services. Think about what terms potential visitors might use to find you.

Use Free Keyword Research Tools: There are several free keyword research tools available, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ubersuggest, and AnswerThePublic. These tools can help you expand your list of keywords and provide insights into search volume and competition.

Analyze Competitor Keywords: Look at your competitors' websites and see what keywords they are targeting. Tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs can help you identify your competitors' top-ranking keywords.

Long-Tail Keywords: Focus on long-tail keywords, which are longer and more specific phrases. They often have less competition and can attract highly targeted traffic. For example, instead of "shoes," consider "affordable running shoes for women."

Consider User Intent: Think about the intent behind the keywords. Are users looking for information, products, or services? Tailor your content to match their intent. Tools like Google's "People Also Ask" and "Searches related to" can provide insights into user intent.

Local Keywords: If you have a local presence, incorporate location-specific keywords. Include the name of your city or region in your keyword list to attract local searchers.

Prioritize and Organize: Once you have a list of keywords, prioritize them based on relevance and search volume. Create a spreadsheet to keep track of your keywords and their performance.

Regularly Review and Update: Keyword research is not a one-time task. The search landscape evolves, so it's essential to revisit your keyword list periodically and adjust your content and SEO strategy accordingly.

Keyword research is just the first step. The real value comes from creating high-quality content that aligns with these keywords and provides value to your audience. Additionally, monitor your website's performance using free tools like Google Analytics to see how well your chosen keywords are performing in terms of driving traffic and conversions.

And, as always, feel free to reach out and ask McCord and Cargile Marketing Resources if you have questions.


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