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Keyword Research is Critical to Your Small Business Internet Marketing Plan

A critical component that must be included in the internet marketing plan for your small business is a dedicated and complete effort at keyword research. No matter whether you plan to use Pay-Per-Click, Search Engine Optimization, Local Search, or simply want your company to rise search engine rankings, you must be using the appropriate keywords to be successful.

Most people would normally assume that they know the best keyword for their specific niche. While that may be true, what they fail to understand is the competition that they are likely to face online using their selected word of phrase. That’s right, on the internet, a “keyword” is a word, a group of words, or a phrase that describes an item, industry, hobby, business, or whatever. For example, in the “Business” category, you will also find “Small Business Internet Marketing Plan”, which is a five word phrase that describes a very specific part of the category.

Most single word keywords will have loads of sites and pages on the Internet which will be competing with you for the attention of your target market. You can quickly see how broad that competition is by doing a Google search on the keyword and then checking out “results” at the top of the page. For, example, when searching on the keyword “business”, we get 1,600,000,000 places on the Internet where the term is used. It will be very difficult to get anyone’s attention when your entre’ on the Internet is one of a billion, six hundred million!

When searching on “small business Internet marketing plan”, however, there are only a mere 28,100,000 results. While that still seems like a big universe (and it is), this keyword is far more likely to provide a market in which I can gain some recognition and presence. You can certainly get “ranked” on the search engine using either keyword. Under the “business” keyword, an article or video or blog or website might appear several thousand pages deep in the search results. Chances are, nobody will ever see it. By using a coordinated effort, though, my site or blog or article can appear in the top ten search results for “small business Internet Marketing Plan”

There are many tools available on the Internet with which to research keywords. Most are free and some can be pretty expensive. When you are just starting out and trying to research your first keywords, you are directed to use the Keyword Tool provided free of charge by Google. Simply search Google on the term “Keyword Tool” and the first result will be their free keyword tool. Using this neat tool, you can enter a keyword (word or phrase) and Google will return to you the monthly volume of searches based on that keyword as well as an indicator of how competitive the word is. It will also provide many, many derivatives and permutations of you word or phrase and their relative results.

You can further research these words by downloading the results list to a comma separated value or CSV file that you can open in Excel. Then you can choose certain words or phrases that particularly fit your target niche or sub-niche and perform your own searches on those words in Google to learn more about your competition.

To embark on any sort of venture on the Internet without thoroughly doing your keyword research in advance, will surely meet with frustration and a waste of your time and energy. Good keyword research need not take an inordinate amount of time and it will greatly enhance the success of your small business internet marketing plan.