How to Do Keyword Research for Your Small Business

September 16, 2021


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Article by Colette Nichol, Solo Filmmaker and Story Strategist

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Lately, I can’t stop thinking about this marketing question: What do you want to be known for?

—Really, what do YOU want to be KNOWN for?

So many small businesses and service providers never actually figure out what they want to be known for. Instead, they let everyone else decide what is arguably the MOST important thing in a business.

Another random thought: villains would be terrible at SEO.


Why’s that?

Aside from the fact that most villains are impatient and reactionary, they also don’t think about their people’s needs and wants too much (duh, that’s why they’re villains).


Putting yourself in your audience’s shoes IS the key to figuring out what you should be known for as well as how to create content that will help you grow your business.

Deciding what you want to be known for can be surprisingly tricky.

Even if you’re not a villain.

That’s because you need to take care of both yourself and your audience. Just because there are a lot of people who want you to write about a certain topic doesn’t mean you should.

You don’t want to get known for something that has nothing to do with what you’re passionate about and how you want to serve.

Likewise, it doesn’t make sense to try to become known for something that nobody talks about, searches, or cares about.

Or something that nobody will pay money for…

Deciding what you want to be known for is a Ven Diagram. (Obviously. Have you noticed that everything in business can be boiled down to a Ven diagram?)

—$$$ Equation: What you’re passionate about and an expert in + it aligns with what people need, want, and care about + your people search for it in Google = what you want to become known for.

I’ve created a video where I’m going to explain how to decide what you want to be known for.

Then I’ll share with you, roughly, how to use that information to create your newsletter topics, your email content, and your blogging calendar.

Because, we all know that now’s the time to wrap all our heads around our content plans and get them tight and right!

What you’ll learn in the video:

  • A step by step method for deciding what you want to be known for

  • How to do keyword research without spending a ton of money

  • How to pick your top keywords

  • Where you should use your keywords in your business

  • How to write content around the essential terms you use

Are you impatient? You can skip the video if you want. But it’s informative…so I wouldn’t.

Here are the steps you need to take to decide what you want to be known for + how to use that info for your content creation.


List everything you want to be known for.


Go into Keywords Anywhere or get a free trial of Mangools or UbberSuggest.

Type in all the keywords you wrote and see how they do in search.

Does anyone search for them?


Choose the top umbrella term you want to be known for.

Choose the next 3-5 terms you want to be known for.

Write this statement: I want to be known for helping XX with XX in a way that makes them feel XX.


Put those search terms in your Site Title, H1 Headings, and H2 Headings.


Write content around the most important terms you want to be known for. Make sure the keywords are in your blog post or page titles and at least one H2 title.

Here’s the thing: if you don’t decide what you want to be known for, other people will decide for you.

Like the villain of my client’s story, you might become known for something that has nothing to do with your most important goals.

The main focus of your business in the next six months is probably to grow and promote a particular offering. If that’s the case, we need to make sure you’re becoming known for that topic!

Meanwhile, if you never want to do another [INSERT THING YOU DON’T WANNA DO ANYMORE], then it doesn’t make sense to be known for that.

Right? Right!

Sometimes, it’s hard to reverse the thing you’ve become accidentally known for.

In which case, you just need to drown it out.

Well, that sounds creepy. But you know what I mean.

Eventually, as you shift your focus and create more content around the topics you really want to be known for, those other things will lose their power.

This isn’t an overnight process. But it’s a powerful one.

Becoming known for something is the key to wildfire word-of-mouth marketing. And, rather usefully, the key to being found on Google.

Win, win, double win!

Who To Learn SEO & Keyword Research From:

  1. I learned an absolute freaking ton about this topic from a workshop I took from Meg at Clapping Dog Media. She’s like an SEO’s Fairy Godmother. I don’t think she’s teaching any longer, but if you do have a chance to train with her, I do recommend it.

  2. I also learn a lot about creating pillar content from Rob Powell. His course is short, sweet, to-the-point. It’ll get you fired up about SEO and writing mega posts. His course is especially good if you want to learn more about how to write Pillar Posts.

  3. If you just need to sort out your Squarespace Website’s most basic SEO, then check out Kerstin Martin’s incredible and super simple SEO course.

  4. If you want to learn the ins and outs of Affiliate SEO, then Matt Diggity’s Affiliate Lab is a great option.

SEO Consultant

If you’re a business owner and want to work with an SEO consultant and expert, please schedule a 15-minute call with me.

The link to schedule the call is below. I work with local and global businesses in a growth cycle and want to increase their traffic. If you’re already spending money on advertising, but you’re not maximizing your online strategy with SEO, then you’re missing out on a major source of revenue.

There’s no better traffic than the people who are already looking to have their problems solved.

In most cases, SEO traffic beats all other forms of traffic and tends to have the highest ROI of all forms of online marketing. In other words, SEO is the best small business marketing strategy.

SEO Vancouver

Hi, I’m Colette Nichol! I’m a Vancouver SEO.

Whether you’re based in Vancouver or the middle of the Arctic circle, I can help you get found online. Typically, I work with clients who have growing businesses and want to add SEO into the mix. If you are open to combining high-end evergreen videos with traditional on-page SEO and a content strategy, you can expect to see massive results. I’d love to hear about your business goals to see if working together might be a fit.

Get in touch HERE to schedule a 15-minute introductory call.

About the Author

Hi! I’m Colette Nichol. I’m a solo filmmaker, SEO, story strategist, and digital marketer based out of rainy Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been helping small local businesses and global brands since 2014.

In 2017, I started applying SEO to my work with clients and in my own business. The results were extraordinary, and I got obsessed!

If you’re interested in working together, please reach out. I’d love to hear about your business goals to see how we can help.

We currently take on a maximum of one new client per month, so please schedule a call early to ensure we can help with your project.


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