Everyone who sets up a website and tries to get traffic knows that SEO is key to finding yourself atop the search engine rankings. Picking the right keyword can make all the difference between your business battling for scraps and establishing itself as a powerhouse.
The ideal keyword is usually one that sums up your content well, is popular enough to get searched frequently, but is unique enough that you won’t be competing for a sliver of a market that’s already well-spoken for by big companies.
But SEO optimization isn’t as simple as picking one keyword and slotting it in all your content. The best companies know how to target their keywords to specific locations and market themselves differently based on region.
Having more than one keyword can help your company compete in different markets, and location-based keywords can be essential to breaking into new areas of your industry. Here’s what you need to know about this important element of SEO optimization.
What Are Localized Keywords?
When SEO first started becoming a go-to technique to drive traffic to websites, broad keywords were commonly used. The goal was to be on the radar of anyone who was interested in a related topic, but this often led to small sites competing with massive conglomerates who offered a small section of their website related to the same topic — and the massive company usually won.
That’s why SEO has evolved to be more specific and include elements like localized keywords. Localized keywords can be as simple as putting your location in front of the keyword you’re emphasizing. After all, if someone in Nashville is searching for a barbecue restaurant, it doesn’t help them much to find out about the best barbecue in St. Louis.
Getting to the top of the rankings for the much smaller category of “Nashville barbecue” is more helpful than competing for a slot in the top tier of the overall Google search rankings about barbecue.
Today, almost all searches are location-based, and having access to a good search engine with accurate results has become an essential part of travel. Being able to pull a key location out of a hat in seconds has made people more mobile.
To base, your marketing around your location rather than your general focus will help you stand out from the crowd and make it easier to outpace your bigger competition. The biggest companies usually rely on the sheer volume of searches to push them to the top.
There are also more specific ways to take advantage of location-based keywords, but they take a little more research. Make sure to understand your local market and find out the top searches in the area. You may find some key trends you’re missing out on.
To take advantage of them, you may want to invest in a content-explorer tool that can help you learn more about your competition and the types of contextual backlinks you should work into your website.
Broad keywords make you a small fish in a very big pond. Not only will you be competing with the biggest chains in your field, but you’ll be competing with big-box stores and sites like Amazon that don’t specialize in your product but carry your competitors.
If you want to stand out, targeted marketing is essential. Localized keywords make it easier to tailor your marketing to the people who are most likely to click and make a purchase while avoiding the biggest competition.
This also helps reduce the frustration of overly-broad searches, which is critical for searches where the person is likely to hurry. For instance, if you run a ride-share service or a 24-hour pharmacy, you don’t want people to search for your store and wind up with it buried under hundreds of options hundreds of miles away. A happy customer is a customer who is likely to return, and targeting your search results can result in encouraging word of mouth.
If you’re looking to improve your local ranking, there are a few simple steps you can take. First, make sure your business info is complete and up to date. Check that your website content mentions the location regularly and on all site pages when relevant.
Finally, include media that reflects the location to ensure that Google picks up the video and photos and places them in the thumbnail, so people have a clear idea of where you’re located.
Secure Your Local Success
It’s time to become a big fish in your very own small pond. There is no better path to success than building a base of loyal and local customers.
Using location-based keywords to optimize your website can help establish your business and boost your reputation long-term.