We understand that if you’re a small business owner, figuring out your own SEO and online marketing can feel like a tidal wave of information hitting you and after a short while, you haze over, unable to understand anything and you put it off for another few weeks. In the meantime your competitors are steaming ahead of you and dominating your market. We hope to change that in our first series of blog posts on SEO!
SEO mainly comes down to 4 things:
- Picking the right keywords for your site
- Getting your onsite SEO optimised well
- Optimise your local listings
- Gaining backlinks from high-value or high-traffic sites
In this post we’ll focus on how you can pick the right keywords for your business to help target as many people in Google, with as little competition and specifically to people as close to buying as possible.
Picking the right keywords
Picking the right keywords for your website is vitally important. While you may believe that Landscape Designs may be the best keyword for your landscaping company, as that’s what most people would say out loud, when searching, people may surprise you by inputting a different phrase.
The best way to find the right keywords is by using Google’s Keyword Planner tool available here: https://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner. For the above example, I’ve researched what the best keyword would be for a landscaping company in Surrey.
Notice how the original suggestion of Landscape Design has on average 10-100 searches and has high competition? However, Garden Design has the same amount of competition, but an average of 10X the amount of searches! Then you have the simple keyword of landscaping that has the same amount of searches but medium competition?
If you were a landscaping company in Surrey, then Garden Design or Landscaping would be what you want to go for. it’s also very important to think about the keywords people type when they’re just curious about a service and when they’re ready to buy a service.
Think about the difference between a person searching “Landscaping” and someone searching “Landscaping quotes in Surrey”. There’s a very big distinction in that the first searcher is just curious about designs, while the second searcher is actively looking for a company to work on their property. You want to be in front of the second searcher, who is on the verge of buying, but just need that extra little push from you and your website.
This comes down to what are called long-tail keywords; phrases that are 3-7 words long. You want to write content on your site that specifically deals with the keyword you want to rank the site for, but if you also drop a few longer-tail phrases in there, it will help your site reach more people that are inputting detailed searches.
Another good way of finding exact search phrases that people search for are by looking at Google Suggest. This is where if you are on Google’s search page, or Google Chrome, when you start typing a search, suggestions will pop up. If you start to type in “Landscaping in Surrey”, you will start to see suggestions pop up. These are what you want to look at, as Google doesn’t include them in its keyword planner since they’re longer-tail, but they are the most popular ‘real’ searches that people input, rather than abstract keywords.
The third way we would suggest you find great keywords is to steal your competitors’! Tools such as SEMRush, allow you to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for, and how much traffic they’re getting from each one per month. This is especially useful to find gaps in the market they haven’t targeted, keywords that you would find very difficult to rank for against them, and where you can take market share from them.
While there are more advanced tools, we would suggest you stay away from them as you can get all the data you need from those three places. Spend a few hours figuring out the best keywords for you, and build your site – and preferably buy a domain, around that keyword, and you’ll be well on your way to dominating your local market!
Other posts in this series: