If you’re running a website for your personal enjoyment, how easy you are to find isn’t that important. If your site is a business venture, though, you have a vested interest in being very visible to potential customers! That’s what makes google places optimization (Google Local Optimization) important for commercial webmasters. You probably already understand some of the basic techniques you can use to optimize your site. This article will concentrate on teaching you how to select the best possible keywords for use in your Google Local Optimization efforts.
Google Local Optimization Efforts | Local Keywords
Research is the foundation of any effective optimization process. Get comfortable with the Google AdWords keyword tool; that’s where most good keyword hunts start. You can begin by writing up your own list of keywords that seem appropriate to you, based on the focus of your website. Feeding this list into the keyword tool will show you many similar alternatives. Expand your list freely!
Your research will also give you monthly traffic figures for the keywords you plug into the tool. Don’t expect to see traffic figures close to this in real life. The estimates the tool produces are seldom accurate. They are useful, though, for comparison. The ratio between two keywords’ traffic estimates is a pretty good indicator of which one is more popular.
In terms of traffic, you want to focus on keywords in the middle of the pack. Extremely popular keywords will be hard to optimize for due to lots of competition. In contrast, low-traffic keywords are easier to work on, but the impact of your optimization will be reduced. (It can also take a long time to tell whether or not you’re work is having an effect.) Note that there’s one exception to this rule: If your website is large and structured so that you can optimize for many keywords, going after a whole pack of low-traffic keywords may work.
Local Search Keywords
Avoid keywords that are single words. They tend to be overly generic, leading to the same competition problems you’d have with high-traffic terms. Additionally, short, generic keywords drag informational sites into the mix. If you try to optimize for “plumbing,” for example, you’ll find many search engine users who want to learn about plumbing, not hire a plumbing. You’ll never knock the Wikipedia page for plumbing off the results page. Instead, choose longer phrases that are more specific to your business. Optimize for “drain clearing service” or “video pipe inspection” instead of “plumbing,” for example.
Another way to add specificity to your keywords is to localize them. “Plumbers” is too generic, but “plumbers in Dubuque” isn’t. Just keep in mind that you’re looking for keywords that are easy to work into your website’s content in a logical way. Unfortunately, sometimes the best local search keywords are formatted in a way that’s difficult to use in ordinary writing, like “Dubuque IA plumbers.” Get creative if you decide to tackle these kinds of local keywords!
Learning how to pick the right keywords is a great way to prepare your next Google Local Optimization campaign for greater success. A little effort invested here, at the start of the process, can make a big difference in its final results. Use the advice you’ve just read to make wise choices when it comes to keywords, and your optimization will soon be pushing your site up the results pages.