In Small Business SEO Part 2, we outlined some easy ways to make sure your website shows up in local search results. If you missed this, you can find it here.

keywordsSEO, in general, is all about making sure that when someone types in a keyword or keyphrase in google, your website is included in the search results. Research shows that 95% of the web traffic goes to websites that exist in the top 10 search results for any given query. For the Small Business, it is more important than ever to make sure that your site is in this top 10 list.

With Local Small Business SEO – we have an advantage that we don’t necessarily have to compete with big national brands that have big national budgets! For instance, if you are a pet grooming shop in Knoxville, it is easier to rank well for “Knoxville Pet Grooming” than it is “Pet Grooming” alone. This brings up a key point about keywords. You have to make sure you are trying to rank for the RIGHT keywords, and not wasting valuable time and money ranking for the wrong ones. There are two basic things you need to evaluate about each keyword. Scope and Volume.

The guys at SEOmoz have written an excellent piece on how to do keyword research in general terms.  Now, let’s continue the discussion on Scope and Volume for local . . .

1. Scope:

How narrow or broad is your keyword? If a visitor types in “Knoxville Veterinary Clinic” then we can assume, at the very least, that the user is from Knoxville and is interested in finding Veterinary services. All good information to have. On the flip side – if a user enters “Knoxville Vet”, we can assume the location, however, we don’t know if they are looking for animal care, or Veteran services. Big difference. Target keywords and phrases that you KNOW will bring you qualified results.

2. Popularity:

When doing keyword research, you will be presented with how many times that keyword is searched each month on average. In larger markets, these numbers can be fairly detailed. There are times, especially in smaller towns, where you won’t get a measurable record of how many times a particular keyword is searched. That’s OK.  However, if you are choosing between several options, make sure that there is actually some search volume for the keywords you choose. For instance – there may be an industry term for the services you provide that you know is correct, however, you also know that people rarely search for it and probably cannot spell it correctly. Those are terms to stay away from. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential client and imagine what they would type if YOU were searching for your services.

If you are interested in learning more about ITD Interactive’s Small Business SEO services, we have some affordable and straight-forward packages designed to increase your local visibility considerably.

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In our next installment of Small Business SEO, we will discuss the role your blog plays in generating quality traffic. Don’t miss this one – this is where everything we’ve talked about so far is all pulled together and put into action!