Free Keyword Planner and How to Leverage It to Improve Your SEO

I’m sure at this point in your entrepreneurial career you have a handle on what keywords actually are. And if you’re brand new to the scene, this article will give you all the background details.

No doubt you use keywords and key phrases daily as both a human and a small business owner. The trick to keywords is finding a variety that are relevant for your target audience, specific to your business niche, and unique enough that the big time competitors haven’t monopolized them.

No big deal, right? It can get tricky, so to help you out I want to share a few pointers I use with my SEO and Coaching clients to help guide them into finding the right keywords.

Find a Keyword Sweet Spot

Your goal during the keyword research phase of SEO is not to find the most keywords or the ones with the absolutely most monthly traffic, rather you want to find those keywords that are hanging out in the intersection of high search volume and low competition.

In a perfect world, it would mean all your searches produce keywords that have a low competition and a high (10K+) monthly search volume. Unfortunately, like all things in life nothing ever works out exactly like we want it to.

So whatever your keyword sweet spot is, you need to find it out and search for keywords that rest in that intersection. For your business - maybe it’s wedding photography - you find many of the top keywords have a high competition and a medium search volume. Your goal would be to find keywords that might have a low competition and a medium search volume, or even medium competition and high search volume.

Sound confusing? Let’s try to change that. Check out the screenshot below and we’ll work this problem out.

keyword research and free planner

Using Google’s Keyword Planner - a free keyword program - I’m able to tell right away that some of the queries surrounding the keyword “wedding photographers” are just no good.

“Wedding photography prices” for example have a high competition and a mid-range search competition – unless you had a very specific page on your website talking about how to choose a wedding photographer based on prices it wouldn’t be the best keyword for your site.

“Wedding Photos” on the other hand has tons of possibility with a high search rate and a low competition.

Identify and Write Down Your Possibilities

Keyword research is a fairly easy task once you get the hang of it and you definitely want to start this process before you think about the optimization of your website.

Once you understand what a keyword sweet spot is, go ahead and identify a handful of these powerful keywords and key phrases that are relevant to your audience and your content.

I’ve created a handy little worksheet that will allow you to keep track of your keyword information in one place. Reference this worksheet when you’re optimizing the content and meta content of your site so you know exactly what keywords will help you stand out in Google!

Also, if you’re interested in learning how to optimize your website, how to exactly use these keywords to get you to rank higher in Google, check out my SEO for Small Business Owners and Bloggers e-book, Simply SEO.

It’s available on Amazon right now for just $9.99 and includes 11 chapters plus bonuses and worksheets.

Emily Campbell