Local SEO – Keyword Selection Strategies For Local SEO Success
By Kenton Newby
Many small businesses are realizing the growing importance of the Internet as a cost-effective way to attract new prospects and customers to their business. For local businesses, there is a large trend of customers now using the Internet as the first (and sometimes only) source of information to find companies in their local area that offer certain products or services.
With that in mind, many local businesses are investing in search engine optimization campaigns to improve their website rankings. However, before investing in SEO, it’s important to understand a little bit about keyword research and how people search online. That way you can be sure your site is optimized for the best terms to bring qualified traffic that responds to your offer, rather than generic traffic that might not convert into sales.
Use Caution When Choosing the Keywords You Want to Rank For
Recently I had the chance to review several requests for SEO services that came my way. One of the problems I saw with most of these requests is that the business owner had already decided on the exact keywords they wanted their website to rank for, prior to consulting an SEO expert. The main issue was that the keywords were way too generic, especially for a local business. Even most national-level businesses shouldn’t be trying to optimize for terms like “jobs”, “employment”, or similarly generic terms.
The Biggest Problem With Keywords That Are Too Generic
The reason for this is that these generic terms don’t indicate that the person searching that terms is looking to “buy”. I put “buy” in quotes because that could really be replaced with whatever action you want them to take (request a quote, call for a free consultation, come visit our store, etc).
Keywords Should Indicate the Searcher is Looking for a Solution or to Take Action
If your business sells a product or service, then instead of aiming to rank for super generic terms like the ones mentioned above, consider shooting for terms that indicate your prospect is looking to take action. Remember, unless you make all your money selling advertising from your site, the goal is not to just get as much traffic as you can. In fact, that can largely become a waste of money. The goal is really to get targeted traffic that’s receptive to the products or services your company offers.
A good SEO consultant can work with you to come up with these terms and help maximize the chance that your site ranks well for terms that actually help put money in your pocket, instead of simply spending too much money ranking for keywords that are based on vanity more than profitability.
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