Choosing the best SEO keywords for a local business


Choosing the right keywords to target on your website or blog post is likely the most important aspect of any Search Engine Optimization initiative. I believe this process is what divides traditional blogs from business-oriented websites. The reason for this is because the keywords you choose are the foundation of your work and everything else from optimization to promotion will be built upon the keywords.

Why is keyword research important?

The major reason to do proper keyword research while you are building or optimizing a website is so you learn how your customers are searching for your products and services online. You can stop the guess work and learn the exact keywords they are using to find you – they may be different than you thought. Having this information allows you to better tailor your content to attract these searchers without having to pay for them.

Using the Google Keyword Tool

There are a lot of paid keyword research tools out there that do an excellent job at finding you excellent keywords. For the sake of this lesson, I wanted to assume that most local businesses wanted to operate on an extremely tight budget when it comes to Search Engine Optimization (read: no budget).

The best place to start your keyword research is with the Google Keyword Tool. This tool gives you a variety of information on keywords such as global and local search volumes and the cost to advertisers.

How many keywords should I target?

This really depends on how much content your website has, how many pages and articles you may be creating, and much more. To keep things simple, we recommend 2 core keywords for your main home page and just one search phrase per page or post generally. Most of the time, these are city keyword + keyword city (eg. Halifax web design and web design halifax).

For your product and service pages, you may want to target a service-specific or product-specific keyword such as “buy keyword in city” or just “buy keyword” (eg. buy fishing rod in Halifax).

Every blog post you write on your website, should also be somewhat targeted toward a keyword. Even if that keyword only has a dozen or so searches per month, it is beneficial to capture those visitors with your blog post and have the opportunity to convert them with your website. Without proper keyword research, they wouldn’t have found your site in the first place.

If your keyword research on the GKT reveals more frequently searched phrases than you have pages or posts to pair, then that provides you with avenues for future content marketing.

Need some help?

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Adam Bate

Adam is a former owner of Websavers Inc. He departed in 2014 to focus his time on online marketing. Adam currently owns and operates a business-to-business SEO agency.

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