If you’ve done any search engine optimization at all for your small business website, you’re probably pretty familiar with keywords and how to use them to improve your SEO. However, there’s one type of keyword that many small business owners don’t pay enough attention to: geo-targeted keywords.
Geo-targeted, or geographically targeted, keywords help identify your business based on its location and the location of your desired customer base. Using geo-targeted keywords correctly is one of the best marketing strategies around for any small business that relies on local customers, such as a beauty salon, restaurant, retail store, dental office or auto repair shop.
For example, suppose you own a seafood restaurant in San Francisco. By including geo-targeted keywords in your business website’s content and tags, you can ensure that people who search for seafood restaurants in San Francisco, or just restaurants in San Francisco, see you in their search results.
In fact, thanks to updates to Google’s search algorithm, prospective customers don’t even have to type in “San Francisco” as part of their search. If they search for “seafood restaurant near me” or “seafood restaurant” and they’re in San Francisco, Google will automatically deliver search results based on their location.
So how can you ensure that your business shows up in those search results? Always include your geographical area in your list of keywords. Then go one step beyond and use your geographical area to modify your other keywords. For the example above, the regular keyword would be seafood restaurant, the geographical keyword would be San Francisco, and a geographically modified keyword would be seafood restaurant in San Francisco.
Google’s Keyword Planner can give you some suggestions for geo-targeted keywords once you input your location. In addition to the obvious ones, like San Francisco in the example above, you might also want to add geo-targeted keywords for areas nearby where you’re trying to attract customers. For example, the San Francisco seafood restaurant could incorporate the names of nearby suburbs as geo-targeted keywords.
The restaurant could also go more granular and include the names of specific neighborhoods, such as “North Beach” or “Pacific Heights” as geo-targeted keywords. This can be a good way to improve your search results if your business targets a customer base that is located in certain neighborhoods and not others.
Once you’ve chosen some geo-targeted keywords to use, incorporate them into your website content, including headings, subheadings, captions, tags and other metadata. It’s also a good idea to create new content using those geo-targeted keywords from time to time.
Still confused about how to use geo-targeted keywords for best results? You don’t have to do it yourself: Just enlist a service like Web.com that helps maximize your business’s local SEO.
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Karen Axelton is Chief Content Officer of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Visit her company’s blog at SmallBizDaily.com.