I talk to lots of local small business owners about their websites and web presence and very few of them give much consideration to keywords. They hire web developers to provide good looking sites with slick graphics and maybe some animation to dress things up, but the topic of keywords receives little if any attention. This is a huge mistake!
I work from a small town, Wharton, TX, located outside Houston, and some of my clients compete with other small businesses in small towns and some compete in large metro areas like Houston. However, for all of my clients, keyword research is a critical first step in building an effective web presence. If you don’t identify the keywords that your customers will use to search for your products and services on the web, you won’t build those keywords into your website and your online business listings, and your prospective customers will find and purchase from your better-informed competitors.
Here are three simple steps you can take as a business owner to ensure that your website performs well in search engine rankings.
- Insist that your web developer include keyword research as part of the development effort. Your developer should ask you questions about your business and then use that information to use one of the keyword analysis tools to generate a list of possible keywords for use in your website. That list, at a minimum, should include the keywords with recent monthly search volumes, plus a measure of the competition for each keyword.
- Use the keywords to design your website. I often see websites with the “template” approach to selecting web pages. There is a Home page, an About Us, Our Services, Contact Us, and so on. But nobody searches for “About Us Houston” or “Our Services Houston” or “Contact Us Houston TX”. You’re better off if you can identify several important keywords that would be great page topics and then use those keywords in the page titles and page navigation. Perhaps you should still have a Contact Us page, but remember that nobody will contact you if they don’t find your website.
- Build keyword-rich content for your website. This is hard to get done, but it’s absolutely essential. When I talk to web developers, every one of them tells me that they have a hard time getting the web page content from their clients. Someone needs to come up with the content and since the web developers are not experts in all of the areas covered by the websites they build, they can’t do it. The business owners often don’t see the importance of it so their efforts are minimal, and minimal content often ends up as the only content on their websites. Since the search engines look for keyword-rich content to rank websites, those websites don’t do well in search, even in small communities. Web developers and business owners have to work together to generate the keyword-rich content that is essential to a high-ranking website.
Certainly, there’s more to local search engine optimization than keyword research, but if good keyword research isn’t done, there’s no hope for great search engine rankings. If you need help improving your website’s search engine rankings with keyword research, please contact Rust Reviews, LLC!