Choosing the Right Keywords: Start Small and Expand

SEO Choosing the Right Keywords

In this blog post, I want to share some tips we use when we select keywords with locations.

One of the very first steps you do in SEO is keyword research. This requires understanding of your industry and your market – how much competition you have in your space determines how much effort is needed to be on top of search pages.

But for most small businesses providing services in set geographic location(s), your keyword will likely include name of your town or city. For example, if you provide home improvement services in Ashburn, Virginia, your keywords will likely be something along following:

  • “home improvement in Ashburn”
  • “home improvement in Ashburn, Loudoun County”
  • “home improvement in Loudoun County”

You could also pick a more specific service line instead of or in addition to more generic “home improvement”:

  • “bedroom addition in Ashburn”
  • “bathroom remodeling Sterling”
  • “garage addition Reston”

You get the idea. You have to think of your industry, your services, and then what your market/customers are using to find vendor for those services in your area.

I sometime get asked “Can I put the word ‘best’ in front of my keywords?” First of all, keywords starting with ‘best’ are already used by big companies such as Yelp, Thumbtack, or HomeAdvisor depending on your industry and they will continue to own top positions for those keywords. Second, as a consumer, I would not trust a company that calls itself “best” at something but that’s just me.

However, when choosing a location for your keywords, always start small and then slowly expand. For example, LNI Digital Marketing is located in Ashburn, Loudoun County, Virginia. Ashburn is the smallest I would set the target because it has the least amount of competition compared to Loudoun County or Virginia when it comes to “digital marketing agency” which is one of keywords we want to rank for. So when you start with the smallest region, you are more likely to rank and show on top on search engines.

After Ashburn, I would expand the location to Loudoun County with more competition, and then eventually to the state of Virginia.

Additionally, you don’t want to limit yourself to just your town. Although we are located in Ashburn, we get leads from nearby towns including Reston, Sterling, Herndon, Chantilly, and Fairfax. So after focusing on Ashburn, you can expand to neighboring towns or move up to county or state, or maybe both. It all depends on amount of resources you have available, time, and your growth strategies.

That’s it for now. Please let me know if you have any questions!

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