Ok. So you want the easiest way to know what keywords to target for in the search engines. I am going to give you two ways of getting the information you want in the quickest and easiest ways possible. Small businesses do not have the luxury of a large staff or a large amount of time. Most times it is the business owner that is doing the work, so getting an idea of what terms to shoot for should be quick and easy.
Step 1: The traditional approach to Keyword Research
The easiest way to find some of the juicy keyword searches that your competitors are using is to see what people are advertising PPC (AdWords, Bing Ads, etc) for. If they are willing to PAY to advertise there, then you might want to add those terms to your list. 😉 The process is pretty simple.
Go to google and Google a number of the MAJOR terms that you KNOW competitors are using. So if you are a plumber in Louisville, then Louisville Plumber would be a good one. If you are a REALTOR in Detroit, Detroit Homes for Sale. Look who is at the TOP. Find the 5 most common people that are a) LOCAL and b) Have the most ads across a number of terms.
Go to Spyfu.com – Yes this next thing will cost you $79 buck or so, but if you are concerned about getting the best keywords, it is worth it.
Enter one of your competitors domains on their homepage. It will show you a FEW of the competitors keywords to see more, they will ask you to join. Sign up for their monthly lowest cost plan. You will discontinue it after month 1 anyway because you will have what you need.
Once you do it will show you a lot of the keywords that people are paying for. Go back and do the same thing with all 5 competitors now that you have paid. You will see that they target different things. Often completely different.
Make a list and target it. 😉
Step 2: The less traditional approach.
If you have a site that has been up for a while AND you have been running PPC for it, or have been getting SOME SEO traffic to it, then there are a couple of other options that you can use.
If you have been getting PPC traffic, you can pretty easily see which SPECIFIC keywords people are searching for on your site. Its REALLY easy.
Go to your Adwords Account. Click on your campaign and then click on your Adgroup. You will see something like this:
First click on the top tab (Keywords) that I circled. Then click on the next one. You will find ALL of the exact keywords that people have used to find your site on Google. So even if you used a “Broad Match” term when you bid for Keywords like Pueblo Carpet Cleaning…people could have searched for you using Cleaning my Carpet in Pueblo CO or Carpet Cleaning Specialistst in Pueblo..this method will tell you.
Bonus tip: If you have CONVERSION Tracking set you can see which terms actually brought people that turned into customers. And that is REALLY good information to know.