This article is the second in a series written for small, local business owners about Do It Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  SEO is the art of getting your website on Page One of Google.  In this article, I’m going to discuss the basics behind creating your “ideal keyword phrase”.  In my next few articles, I’ll describe ways to strategically place this phrase on your website and other websites to get your business on Page One of Google.

For small, local businesses that want to be listed on Page One of Google, the “key to keywords” is selecting a good phrase that best describes your business AND your location.  Once you determine a good phrase for your business, you can start adding that phrase strategically throughout your website and other places on the internet.  This should dramatically increase your chances of being on Page One of Google when someone enters that phrase.

The ideal phrase for most local businesses should be a combination of two basic phrases – the “WHAT” phrase and the “WHERE” phrase.

  • The “WHAT” phrase is a keyword or phrase that accurately describes your best product or service.  By ‘best’, I mean your most profitable, most asked for, best selling or your customer’s favorite product or service.
  • The “WHERE” phrase is simply the city and state from the physical address of your store or office location.

First, let’s talk about the “WHERE” phrase.  Small businesses often find it difficult to compete with national companies or franchises.  These large companies often have large budgets, can afford the very best SEO guys and can dominate keywords on a national level.  For a small business with small budgets, the idea is to dominate the local level since most of your customers probably come from within 10 or 20 miles of your location.  By adding your business’s city and state to your “ideal keyword phrase”, your website can appear above the national companies on Page One of Google.  It is important to select your business’s location and make sure it’s the exact city in your physical location’s address.  In other words, if you are located in a suburb of a major city, don’t try to use the name of the major city.  I’ll discuss the reasons why this is important when I talk about how to optimize your Google Places page.

Now, let’s look at how to find good keywords for the “WHAT” phrase.  If you want to spend the money, most decent SEO companies can generate a list of keywords for you.  If you don’t want to spend the money, you can do it yourself.  Here’s how:

  • Make a list of 10 or so phrases that you think someone might enter into Google to find your products or service, other than your business name.
  • Circle the phrases that describe products and services that generate the most profit for you.
  • Circle the phrase or two that most prospect customers call about.
  • Circle the phrase or phrases that you would have been listed under in the Yellow Pages.
  • Ask several friends what they would enter into Google if they wanted to find a business like yours.  Circle or add any of their responses.

You should have a list of a few circled phrases.  If one or two stand out as clear winners, that’s your phrase.

If you want a more scientific way to determine your best WHAT phrase, ask us about Third Marble Marketing’s SEO Suggestion Report.

To finish, simply add the “WHAT” phrase to the “WHERE” phrase.  For example, if you own a pizza shop in Anytown, VA, your keyword phrase might be “pizza restaurant Anytown VA”.  If your pizza restaurant has a very profitable pizza delivery service, then your keyword phrase might be “pizza delivery Anytown, VA”.

In my next article, I’ll discuss what you should do with this keyword phrase to get your business exposure on Page One of Google.

I hope this helps – if it does, please leave a reply below, or click the “Like” button below.