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Keyword Research - A Foundation for Local SEO

Posted on 4.23.2008
Whether you’re new to local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or have added some localized SEO pages to your site, finding the right keywords to optimize will determine whether they help drive targeted traffic to your site effectively or not. For most any Internet marketing strategy, keyword research is the foundation for success! These tips will help you find the perfect keywords to help your business achieve results with local SEO.

Local SEO Keyword Research Tips

  • Plan and organize your research with research tools! – It bears repeating that the time you spend on keyword research and the quality of that research are the foundation for your success with SEO on a local as well as national and international scale. You can use keyword research tools like WordTracker and Google AdWords, and others that will tell you which terms people are actually using to find things online and you can modify the results in a number of ways.

    Since you’re after local SEO, look especially closely at keywords that contain references to your city, region, and nicknames that local people use in everyday language. Common abbreviations are often great local SEO modifiers also!
  • Make lists – Using the results from your research, make lists of your preferred primary and secondary keywords and make note of which terms are and are not highly competitive. Make sure to be objective instead of subjective on this as your preconceived notions on what keywords will be effective may lead you to choose search terms that will not achieve the best results!
  • Focus on one or two keywords or phrases per page – and use them in the title, subheads, meta tags, and copy of the page. Also use keyword variations in the text to enhance the keyword’s relevance.

    As an example, let’s say your business is called Las Vegas Floral Boutique. You could use your business’s name as one keyword phrase and ‘Las Vegas flowers’ as another. Since most people will be using ‘Las Vegas flowers’ rather than your business name in their searches, mention Las Vegas Floral Boutique occasionally but focus more on the more generic term and use variations like ‘Las Vegas flower shop’, ‘flower shop Las Vegas’, ‘affordable Vegas flowers”, etc.

Even under the best of circumstances, proper local SEO techniques take time to mature and achieve results. Be patient and create new pages, link your pages to each other, and be prepared to conduct ongoing keyword research so you can capitalize on new industry and search engine trends!

About the Author: Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing and Website Magazine's “Local Thursdays” weekly contributor.

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