Picking the right keywords is essential to getting the most out of your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts. However, it can be hard to know exactly what keywords you need to target in order to see the biggest return on your SEO budget. By following these tips, you can see your website rise in search engine ranking results for desired keywords, and gain even more visitors through expanding your targets.
Search Engine Optimization: The Key to Keywords
Localize Your Keywords
One of the most important things to do when you are developing a keyword list is to make at least some of them local, assuming you have a physical office or store. A print shop in Miami isn't going to care much about visitors researching "print shops" if they are from San Diego. By going after a phrase like "Miami print shops", you would be avoiding the pitfall of ranking highly for a generic (and therefore meaningless) keyword and actually reach your potential local customers.
This does not necessarily mean that all of your keywords need to be hyper-localized. In the above example, you could use the term "South Florida print shops" in order to pull in an even bigger crowd, while still not trying to outrank another generic term.
Use Longer Phrases
A single keyword, or a two to three word key-phrase (long-tail keyword), is what most people are going to be searching for online. Not everyone is going to be typing in just a couple of words however, if you target longer phrases that people might type into their search engine, there is a good chance you can rank well for it. The great thing about these long phrases is that you do not have to build content around it, you can just casually add the phrases in to your normal content.
Longer phrases are going to have fewer websites ranking for them, making it much easier for your own search engine optimization efforts to pay off quickly. Keep in mind that most of your visitors are not going to reach you through longer than normal phrases, but you should see enough of a bump in traffic to rationalize adding even just a few extra long phrases.
Do Keyword Research
Not all keywords are going to have the same level of difficulty dealing with getting near the top of the search engine ranking positions. If you are an insurance salesman in Louisville, Kentucky, you will probably never rank well for the term "car insurance". That term is extremely popular with very large insurance providers who will spend more on search engine optimization per month than most people make in a year. What you may be able to rank for is something like "Louisville car insurance broker", which has far fewer people trying to rank for the term.
Before targeting a new term, look it up yourself and see what kind of websites are in the top 4-5 positions. If you recognize the brands, chances are you probably will not be able to break into those positions. If you see even one brand or website that you do not immediately recognize though, you probably have a chance to gain a high ranking with enough SEO work.
Keeping these things in mind when you are picking your keywords will help your search engine optimization efforts. By spending the time to focus your content around the right keywords and key-phrases, you may be going above and beyond what your competition is doing and see the payoff as a result.
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