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Keywords: The Key To SEO for Local Businesses

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to online visibility, and keywords are key to SEO.  With the huge number of internet users that utilize search engines such as Google, businesses with highly ranked websites receive significantly more web traffic than businesses with poor search engine rankings. This allows high-ranking businesses to gain more customers online compared to their competitors, making a keyword strategy an essential part of any online business growth.

Keywords in Your Marketing Plan

SEO needs to be a part of your business’ marketing plan, and keyword research should be the cornerstone of your strategy.  Customers turn to search engines frequently when they want to make a purchase, visit a store, or find a product locally. Without SEO, your business’ website will fall behind other websites within your industry, making it less likely that your customers will find you online.

Knowing which keywords your customers are searching online is crucial if you want to optimize your website to appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of your potential customers.  Keywords tell search engines what your web pages are about so that when customers include those words in their search terms, your website pops up as a result. Search engines are structured this way because it helps them achieve their purpose of providing relevant content to users. By including key words on your website, you are telling the search engine what your web pages are about, which will help it suggest your website to the right customers at the right time.


Keywords in Your Market

Learning your market’s keyword demand will not only increase the effectiveness of your SEO but will provide valuable insight into your target market as well.  What are your customers searching?  Are some of the most common search terms aspects of your industry that your business hasn’t capitalized yet?  Should you shift your branding or marketing focus?

These questions are just a few of the many ways in which you will gain insight into your target market when you conduct keyword research.  Understanding what it is specifically that your customers are looking for can help guide your business and advertising plans, while better meeting the needs of your potential market.  It’s a win-win situation.

Determine Your Market Keywords

To learn which keywords may be effective for your website, try out Google Keyword Planner. Google Keyword Planner will allow you to search for new keywords and see the average monthly searches for keywords that are relevant to your website.

Armed with the knowledge of what terms your customers are searching for, you can develop advertisements, blog posts and website copy that caters to these needs.

Be wary though: the keywords with the highest number of searches are not necessarily the best search terms for your business.  Sometimes it is more cost-efficient to choose a less frequently searched keyword because there will be less competition for that search term, making it easier for you to rank higher on the SERP at a lower cost. Find your keyword niche and reinforce it across your online presence.


Now that you know where to start when it comes to SEO, take a closer look at the keywords that you use on your business’ website. You may be able to find a more cost-efficient way to reach new customers online, and you will gain confidence in knowing which search terms your customers are using and where the primary interest lies within your market.

For more information on SEO strategy for small business, contact RTOWN.