Digital Growth Marketing & Transformation for small businesses

3. Organic SEO

3.4 Keyword analysis to improve the organic SEO of your business

SEO is a crucial aspect of any online business, and keyword analysis plays a significant role in it. In this guide, we dive deep into the world of keyword analysis, providing insights and tips that will help small business owners maximise their online visibility and drive more traffic to their websites.

1. The Importance of Keyword Analysis

Keyword analysis is the process of examining and selecting the most suitable keywords to drive qualified traffic from search engines to your website. It involves studying the words and phrases potential customers use when searching for products, services, or information related to your business.

Keyword analysis helps you understand what your target audience is looking for and how they are searching for it. This information allows you to optimise your website and content to match their search behaviour, thereby increasing the likelihood of your website appearing in search results.

Once you have worked out the “high-intent” keywords that your potential customers are typing into Google you can then create an SEO strategy that combines content creation with offsite SEO activity to make your content appear prominently on Google for these terms. Creating high-quality content can be time-consuming, so it’s important to spend some time thinking about the keywords you want that content to rank for before plunging into the content creation process.

2. Understanding Different Types of Keywords

Different people categorise keywords in different ways, however, a common way of describing different types of keywords is to group them into three types: core, secondary, and long-tail keywords:

Core Keywords

Core keywords are the most basic, generic, and broad terms related to your business. For instance, if you run a beauty salon, your core keywords might be ‘beauty salon’, ‘beauty treatments’, ‘, or ‘beauty parlour’.

Secondary Keywords

Secondary keywords are more specific than core keywords. They often include additional details such as location or product features. For a beauty salon, secondary keywords could be ‘best beauty salon in London’, ‘beauty treatments in Soho’, or ‘beauty salon for hair styling’.

Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are highly specific, often containing three or more words. They typically have lower search volumes but higher conversion rates because they target users who are further along in the buyer’s journey. Examples include ‘award-winning beauty salon for manicures’ or ‘beauty salon offering LED Acne Therapy in West London’.

3. Discovering Keyword Opportunities

Finding the right keywords requires thorough research and analysis. Here are some strategies to help you uncover potential keyword opportunities:

Brainstorming Seed Keywords

Start with seed keywords, which are the basic terms that describe your product or service. These will form the foundation for your keyword research, for example, “Beauty Salon” or “Beauty Parlour”.

Analysing Competitors’ Keywords

Investigate the keywords your competitors are ranking for. This can provide a wealth of ideas and help you understand the kind of keywords you should be targeting.

Using Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools can generate a large number of keyword ideas based on your seed keywords. They also provide useful data such as search volume and keyword difficulty. Zephyr uses a tool called Ahrefs, however, there are others such as SEM Rush, MOZ and Majestic SEO. If you don’t have much budget, some tools such as Ubersuggest have a free tier, Ahrefs also has a free keyword tool:

It is also worth using the keyword planner tool Google provides within Adwords, this tool is also free and is provided by Google themselves so gives valuable insight, albeit within the context of paid search rather than organic search.

Studying Your Niche

Spend time on forums, social media, and other online platforms where your target audience hangs out. This can provide insight into the language they use and the topics they discuss. It might sound obvious, but googling the search terms that you think might be relevant and seeing the results that come up can be a helpful way of validating your thinking. However, if doing so, bear in mind that your search history, location and a range of other factors will influence the results you see at any point in time.

4. Keyword Clusters

Google’s web crawlers can understand when keywords are related or are synonymous with one another. These groups of similar keywords are often called keyword clusters. For example, Google will understand that a Beauty Salon is the same thing as a Beauty Parlour. As a result, it is worth grouping similar terms like this rather than planning to create separate content for these very similar terms. Doing so can provide a more structured approach to your keyword strategy and make it easier to create content that targets multiple related keywords.

5. Understanding Keyword Volumes

Keyword volumes refer to the estimated number of times a keyword is searched for within a specific period. On most 3rd party platforms volumes are shown as monthly volumes. This information can help gauge the potential traffic a keyword can drive to your website. However, high-volume keywords often have high competition. On platforms such as Ahrefs and SEM Rush, this is often reflected by a number from 0-100 referred to as Keyword difficulty.

Keyword difficulty is a metric that indicates how hard it would be to rank for a particular keyword. It takes into account factors like the number and quality of backlinks to the top-ranking pages for that keyword.

While it’s tempting to target high-volume keywords, they often have high keyword difficulty, making it harder to rank for them. Therefore, it’s crucial to find a balance between keyword difficulty and volume when choosing keywords to target.

6. Setting realistic goals

Trying to rank in the top 3 search results for Beauty Salons across the UK will take a lot of time and energy to do well. As a result, it is better to set realistic short-term goals for your keyword strategy:

  • Particularly for more “local searches” such as “Beauty Salon’s in Islington”. Google is providing more and more local results, as it understands this is what people are looking for. Take this into account and look for lower volume but higher intent keywords that will be more relevant for you.
  • Long tail keywords and service-related keywords can be a great place to start, building a content strategy that aims to pick off lower volume keywords first that then can make reference to an anchor piece of content designed to rank for a higher volume term can be a good way of structuring your approach.

6. Using Keyword Insights in Your Content

Once you’ve identified your target keywords, the next step is to incorporate them into your content strategically. This means using them in key areas such as the title, headers, and body of your content. The general rule is to have the keywords in mind when writing the content but to use them naturally, rather than going out of your way to add them to your content gratuitously. The latter is called keyword stuffing and it can lead to penalties from search engines. Instead, aim for a natural and reader-friendly use of keywords. Also, remember to focus on user intent and create high-quality, valuable content that meets your audience’s needs. We will cover this in more detail in another post.


Keyword analysis is a vital component of SEO that can significantly impact your website’s visibility and traffic. By understanding and implementing the concepts discussed in this guide, small business owners can effectively use keyword analysis to enhance their online presence and reach their target audience more efficiently.

Remember, the goal isn’t just to rank highly for any keyword but to rank for the right keywords that will drive qualified traffic and conversions for your business.


Writen by Nick