Best Practice

Keywords to Success!

As a small business owner, you’ve most likely heard the term “keyword'' - but are you aware of just how important they are? Or how to use them? Let us help!

A keyword is simply a word (or phrase) that people type into search engines to find what they are searching for. 

Keywords are crucial in helping your potential customers find your business on the internet. Without keywords, potential customers wouldn’t be able to find your website on any search engine, including Google.

Search engines like Google “crawl” the internet continuously, and visit each and every website to find the keyword that the user is searching for. When the crawlers visit a website, they crawl every link on the website and determine the meaning and intent of each page. They then record that page’s URL and associated keywords in their databases. This is called “indexing” the page. 

When an internet user uses Google to search something, Google looks up those search words in their databases, and determines which of the URLs collected from all the websites on the internet best satisfies the users search intent. Google then presents the URLs on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). It’s important to note that Google ranks web pages for SERP, not websites. 

Given how search engines work, business owners need to ensure their websites efficiently communicate with search engines crawlers. This process of making the website visible to search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). 

To effectively optimize your website to appear on top of SERPs and receive more traffic, a keyword analysis and strategy is required. 

Website Structure and  Keywords 

Website structure can dictate your keyword groupings. An effective keyword analysis can provide insights to website structure changes that you may want to make. For example, a salon owner may offer hair styling and massages. There are numerous types of hairstyling services, and a number of different types of massages - meaning your website needs to effectively differentiate and communicate between the different services that you offer.

 If a salon owner didn’t have an individual page for each type of service, your keyword analysis would suggest that you spend the time to create individual pages. One of the initial steps in a keyword analysis is generating a list of keyword suggestions using a tool like Google’s Keyword Planner. You will get hundreds of suggestions, including recommendations on how to group similar terms together, and how those groupings should influence your website structure. 


SEO versus PPC  

Keywords are not used exclusively for SEO—they also play a role in pay-per-click advertising (PPC). The most common example of PPC is Google Adwords.

We’ve all seen a PPC ad. Whether it’s at the top of a SERP or in the middle of an article ,you can find PPC ads most places on the internet. How do keywords for SEO and PPC relate to each other? Take for instance, the owner of a brewery. There are several keywords that they could use to optimize their site.

Using Google’s Keyword Planner, you would see that the monthly search volume for the keyword “beer” is 100K to 1M and “ brewery” has 1M to 10M monthly searches.  Using the “Discover New Keywords” function using beer and brewery as seed words, you get 1,834 suggestions. Out of all these keywords, how do they decide which ones to use for SEO?

Search Intent 

Now let's think about the user's search intent.  If a user types “beer” into the search bar, the results page shows three places to buy beer - a bottle shop, a tap room and a brewery - at the top of the page.  However, the rest of the page consists of 38 more links, but you do not see more breweries listed until the very end of the page under Related Searches. The reason, Google has determined that many of the users who search “beer” are not looking for a brewery, but information about beer and beer related topics.  

“Beer” may make a good SEO keyword if you have a content plan that generates pieces of content that educates and entertains your customers and prospects on the various aspects of beer tasting, types of beers, history, and your unique approach to brewing. This allows you to drive awareness and build online relationships with future customers.   

A better keyword for a PPC ad would be more focused and closer to buying intent such as “beer near me” or “where to buy beer”.  Users typing these keywords are more likely to take action.  

Another important difference between SEO keywords and PPC keywords is that SEO is free and PPC advertising costs money.  SEO keywords are broader and engage prospects when in the interest and discovery mode versus the narrower and ready to purchase PPC words.  

Optimizing for SEO and PPC

SEO and PPC keywords may have some overlap, but the optimization of each would many times result in a different set of keywords.  

Given 1,834 suggested keyword phrases means you need to determine the best set of keywords for your SEO plan and PPC plan.   

Looking back at the Keyword Planner results, the cost of a top-of-the-page bid for “beer” is $2 to $7.   

“Beer” may make a great SEO keyword, depending on factors such as competitiveness, current rank, and your content plan.  

With 1,834 suggested keywords, which ones should be SEO and PPC, how and when should they be implemented on your website?  It’s recommended to utilize the services of an SEO expert or specialist. But you should have access to all the deliverables and reporting that is not dependent on the SEO specialist.


At Cruxdata you will get and retain all the insights and key steps of our search engine optimization process. So, if you decide to switch up your processes, hire a new specialist, or launch a new campaign, you don’t have to start from scratch. Digital marketing is a continuous journey, and refining your SEO strategy over time is a core component.

Like all aspects of digital marketing, there are countless agencies and consultants that can help you in the process of finding and implementing the right keywords for your website.- Whether you’re looking to completely outsource your SEO, conduct  a complete keyword analysis, or generate a keyword strategy for both SEO and PPC,, you can find professionals to perform any one of these, and if you want, a completely separate expert to implement and execute your strategy.  .

Many small business owners utilize freelancers to achieve the results at a lower cost than retaining a full service SEO agency. Cruxdata partners with freelancers that have proven track records, and manages the scope of work and payment processes for you. Moreover,  the owner retains all the analysis data, reports and ongoing reporting in the Cruxdata platform.

Preston Derrick