Value of Local SEO for Small Businesses | Keyword Research Tips
SEO for Small Businesses
SEO can be challenging for small businesses. They must compete for market share against larger brands that often have more prestige, brand recognition, and consumer affinity on both global and local search. They have to have a SEO strategy that will outdo the competition for them to bring their website more traffic to increase possible conversion and improve their Google SERP ranking. This can be difficult, especially when the average marketing budget for small business campaigns is smaller than their larger company counterparts. In this article, we will provide you with some keyword research tips and tricks for small businesses and explain why local SEO is so important.
Competing Against Large Brands
Despite having touch composition, this doesn’t mean that organic search with high return potential is out of reach for small businesses. In order to compete with large brands, small business owners must do proper research and have an SEO strategy that offsets the often large difference in marketing budget. As small businesses are less likely to outspend their larger counterparts on media acquisition, they must take a much more targeted and refined approach when it comes to keyword targeting.
This can be tricky for most small companies as they can find it hard to balance their day-to-day tasks with creating and executing a SEO strategy due to how time-consuming it can be. This is why most small companies decide to collaborate with an SEO professional who specializes in local SEO for small businesses who can help them improve their site to rank better in SERPs.
Local SEO for Small Businesses
Most small business owners like working with a local SEO specialist as they find it easier to communicate and coordinate with them. As well as this, specialists who specialize in research and SEO services for local business and companies are more knowledgeable about the trends in your particular location, allowing your SEO to become more effective and impactful in attracting your desired target audience.
Local SEO Optimization and Keyword Research Tips
Before working with a local SEO specialist, it is also advisable to first do some of your own research to understand some basic SEO methods and techniques that are essential for small business SEO to succeed. Here are some local SEO optimization and keyword research tips for your small business!
1. Low Competition
Our first tip is that small businesses should focus on using keywords with less competition. You can see how high the competition of your keywords is by using Keyword Planner on Google Ads. By focusing on lower competition keywords, you can ensure that your website is seen and listed on the SERP.
Our second tip is to use local search engine marketing. Using local search engine marketing and SEO allows you the opportunity to utilize geo-modified search queries. Geo-targeted search phrases are typically very low in competition and are often searched at the purchase stage of the buying cycle, which means they carry high-conversion rates. Focusing on consumers looking for products and services in specific locales is a great way to limit the competition and give small businesses the ability to gain valuable real estate on search engine results pages. When geography is taken into account, there is often a much smaller big-brand presence in search results. That opens a window of opportunity for small businesses to gain useful organic search visibility.
Example of Geo-Modified Keyword Targeting
Let’s use the keyword “home security” as an example. There are 22,200 Google searches for “home security” each month in the U.S. according to AdWords. However, a small business would typically not have enough budget allocated to SEO to rank on page 1 for that query. When the geo-modifier “miami” is added to the query, the monthly search volume drops to 210. This is still a decent amount of search volume and can certainly lead to secure leads and sales.
The interesting part of this example comes when we look at competition. Examining the number of online pages that have each of these phrases in both the title tag of the page and the anchor text of an inbound link (this metric is known as “in anchor and title”) offers a picture of the relative competition for each phrase. This data can be pulled from MajesticSEO’s Keyword Checker tool.
As seen above, the “in anchor and title” data shows that this particular business will compete with approximately 51 other pages for the phrase “home security miami” as opposed to the 248,328 pages that are competing for the more generic “home security” keyword that is not geo-modified.
Multiple Geographic Areas
A successful SEO strategy should work towards expanding the reach and traffic of its website. As a result, the strategy of using geo-modified keyword targeting should be implemented at scale in locations where the company does business. Businesses should build geo-targeted content on their site for multiple geographic areas that the company does business in in order to accumulate the effects of using geo-modified keywords and to get several page 1 rankings within a specific budget.
Marketers should start by optimizing for the geographic areas where they have the highest demand and business activity. These areas can be identified by looking at the location tab in the Google Analytics report of their site to see where the majority of their existing customers are coming from. You can also use keyword suggestion tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner or Wordtracker to see the demand of various geo-modified phrases.
3. Local Search
Our third tip is that if the small business has a physical location(s) that consumers can visit, applying local search is an absolute must. Local campaigns are ideal for capturing consumers searching on mobile devices because they can get directions and call the business with a simple click. There is no excuse for any local business to not have an optimized presence in local search engines, particularly within the major ones (Google, Yahoo Local, and Bing Local). By creating and optimizing listings in local search engines, small businesses can get a great deal of search engine presence with a limited budget while also increasing their rankings within a specific region.