Today’s topic is picking the right keywords for a new business. If this is the first episode that you’ve been tuning in for quite some time, welcome. This is a continuation of a multi-part series launching a business marketing strategy from scratch, and the example that we’ve been using is making the assumption that you’re launching a childcare center. 

Either you’re moving into a new location, so you found a lease for example, and/or you are building a location from the ground up. We are using that example just to continue to make it more real versus just talking at a high level. 

Over the last couple of days, we’ve finally started talking about content. All of that great stuff I talked about the website, content, and all of that good stuff. One of the most important elements to your website and really, your content marketing strategy in general, as we start to build that out together is keywords. The reason that I do not like to address keywords before I talk to the strategy around creating website content is that often it pigeonholes people where they think that they just have to write for the search engines. 

The goal with figuring out what keywords your potential customers, and in this case potential parents and families would be searching for, is so that you can get your website, social media pages, and articles that you publish in videos that you produce, and all those different things ranking well in the Google search engine. Now, yes, there are other search engines as well, but Google is getting almost all of the traffic. So in a way, we’re kind of forgetting about the other tools, but I mean, candidly, we’re focusing on Google. There are two different ways to think about this—you just kind of produce content that comes to mind and you write the content as you see fit.

And, that’s what I want you to do initially. As you start to get more comfortable writing content, or as you start to get more comfortable producing videos, for example, I’m going to want you to start to intersperse other pieces of content that are more keyword-driven assets. For example, let’s say that you’re writing content on this new childcare website that you just built out. One of the pages is about preschool programs, and you’re writing the content, you’re talking about how great your preschool is, and again, really listen to the episode around building content. 

You’re going to make sure that it’s benefit-driven versus feature and all those good things. But, as you start to learn what people are searching for, what I would like to see is that you then start to work in those different keywords into your content, you then take some of those keywords, and you shoot a little video on them. Next, you deploy the strategy that I just taught you around videos. The reason that you would want to do this is that it makes a lot more sense to ensure that you’re using the languaging based on how your potential prospects are searching. So that’s the piece that I want you to pause and think about for just a second and we’ll talk through that. And then I’ll give you the tools and things like that as time in how you figure this stuff out. 

If you were a parent, and you were looking for, let’s stay on the example of pre-K or pre-school, you want to sit down and write down all the different things that as a parent, you might type into Google. I don’t want you to start typing things in, I want you just to list out all the different things. Preschool near me, best preschool, safe preschool, preschool cost, preschool curriculum, or what preschool is right for my child—those are the things you want to list out when you do your Google searches—the more the better. This is a numbers game if you want to make sure that you have all the possible variations and all the possible examples that you might need.

If I look at that, and I say, “Okay, great, I’ve got a list of 30.” What I’m going to do now is the easiest option and again, I’ll give you a couple of tools. But, the easiest option is to then go to Google and start typing in some of those different phrases. The reason that you want to do that is that you want to start to see if those are actually phrases that may make sense for you. What I mean by makes sense for you is that they are related to your industry? There are sometimes keywords that you might type in that actually are just a little bit different. If I were to type in a preschool near me, for example, I’m going to see a couple of ads or a few different links. 

However, the section that I really like is the section that says people also ask. And then if you scroll all the way down to the bottom, this is one of my favorite areas that Google gives you that a lot of people don’t even realize is there say searches related to preschool near me. So I’m sitting in Buffalo, New York, they’re going to show things that are geographically centered around me. So my related searches say pre-K near me, free preschools in Buffalo New York, or daycare in Hearst, New York. And then if I scroll back up to the people, they also ask,

  • At what age does preschool start? 
  • Does preschool cost money? 
  • What is the difference between preschool and pre-K?
  • How much is a daycare in Buffalo, New York?

Then start to find out all those different questions that people are asking. There’s a really good book called “They ask, you answer.” What you’ll find as you start to do this keyword research is that people natively type questions into Google rather than just a phrase. The other thing and this is not necessary for this episode, but if you start to think about how you would ask something to something like an Amazon Alexa—take advantage of the technology. Ask questions such as:

  • How much does preschool cost? 
  • Pre-k or preschools near me Alexa
  • What are the top-rated pre-school and you start to think about things more from a question standpoint?

I’m looking for you to start to make that list of all the different things people are searching for. Now, from a tool standpoint, you can use the Google free keyword tool. You can use another tool called keyword spy, and there are a lot of other tools that are more specific for digital agencies. 

Now, the reason that I would like you to start to do the keyword research yourself is just to start to get a flavor of what people are searching for. The whole piece behind this is to ensure that if you’re going down a certain rabbit hole with branding and languaging it if people are not typing that particular phrase in. So, if you’re branding yourself as the local childcare center, if no one is typing in childcare and everyone is typing in daycare, or preschool, you’re going to have a really hard time getting a lot of that free traffic from Google. The whole point is to start to work on these different keywords and your website content, which is what we’re going to talk about tomorrow—called search engine optimization. However, then to start to produce other content assets around what people are asking. If they’re asking how much does this costs I want a page on your website that goes through that exact keyword. How do I get child care assistance in New York? What can you do if you can’t afford preschool? Go through how long is a preschool day? All these different questions that you want to answer? That is how you start to do keyword research. 

Now there are a lot more technical elements. But I’m making the assumption that you’re not a marketing agency like mine. And you’re not going to need to know the really full-blown nitty-gritty. That gives you more than what 98% of people, not maybe even 99% of people would actually know—you want to start to build out that list. 

From there, you’re going to leverage the tools—the Google tool, keyword spy, for example, to start to tell you how many people are searching for that. That’s the other element of this as you want to then start to prioritize the keywords that you’re going after, based on how many people are searching. 

You might find that a lot of people are searching for a preschool, and they’re not using the phrase pre-K, well, then I want to make sure that you’re using the word pretty school on your website versus the abbreviation pre-K. You’re leveraging the tool to then validate. Are there enough people that are searching because if you optimize things and you start to target keywords that are getting five visitors a month, it’s great that you’re going to be number one in Google? If no one’s ever searching for that, it really doesn’t make a difference. The goal is that we’re going to aim to get you ranking for dozens and dozens, if not hundreds of different phrases over the coming months so that you start to build up a lot of free organic traffic, and all these free leads before you open up your child care center. 

Get out there. make a change, and take some action.