A website that shows up high in search results pleases both people and search engine robots. And your website is the one thing you have full control over when trying to rank well. Google practically tells you what pages need written with their Google Keyword Planner.
Keywords + Locality
In webinar 1 we use Google’s Ad Planner to mine all the words people are searching online that we want to get business from. We call them keywords and keyword phrases. However, when your business is local, most of those findings are missing the last ingredient of success: where the service will be offered. We’ve all seen the generic website copy that doesn’t help anyone.
If I’m a plumber and the word plumber is searched on average 500k a month across the entire internet, I only want to be advertised to the searches from nearby potential customers. And the best way to do that is pair the keyword plumber with the metro I am targeting, such as “Boise”.
“Plumber Boise” would then be the new keyword phrase to be used. It’s also known as the exact match keyword, and should be used at least once on a page. This works for your main pages and is always best to pick a city over something too large, like a regional term. So I would go with Minneapolis over Twin Cities. Better to be a little too specific than too broad and get nothing.
Simply put, the most common mistakes businesses make
- Not pairing their keywords with locality
- Thinking people actually search by: zip codes, nick names, counties, state, and broad terms. It’s fine to mention them sometimes but it’s not what you need to target.
- Going too broad
Keywords can also have modifiers
When reordering or adding conjoining words (words like ‘in’, ‘around’ or ‘near’), one conjoining word in the mix it typically okay. So “plumbers in Boise” is just fine. My rule of thumb is three instances of a keyword with a conjoining word, and only one of it exactly without the conjoining word.
The fact is Ad planner will tell you what people are searching most, and that is typically the nearest big city/metro name. So if you are 10 miles out from Atlanta then you would still use Atlanta for the majority of your optimization because that is how the people are searching. Feel free to test this for yourself, but trust me. I’ve done it and it stinks waiting for customers that will never come unless you change your targeting. We’ll discuss what to do about nearby towns when we cover locations pages.
In the next few sections you should apply this location and keyword matching as you handle each type of page you need on your website.
What web pages you’ll need
- Home page
- Service pages
- Location pages
- If applicable (contact us, testimonials, gallery, etc…)