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Understanding Keywords, Phrases, and Content Clusters for Local Businesses to Rank Higher on Google (Search Engines)

Last Updated 12/16/2021Posted in Marketing Fundamentals, SEO

Ranking prominently on Google (and other search engines) should be an important consideration for local businesses and represents one of the five ways people find your business.

However, most business owners are confused about what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is and what is achievable for their business (given limited time, money, and competition).

How can a small business or local business get started with SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?

Your best bet rank on Google and provide value to your website visitors is to identify 3-5 keywords or phrases that your ideal customer would use when looking for your services. Then, incorporate those phrases strategically into your website, calls-to-action, and titles.

Overcoming Common SEO Confusion

"I want to rank on the first page of Google" is a line we hear a lot however the immediate question that we ask is, "For what search intent (query, keyword or phrase)?"

Common-Question: How important is your website to ranking on Google? Do you even need a website? Short Answer - Yes!

SEO = Website + Blog

Blogging for your business is incredibly important but the word blog confuses business owners.

Some people don't have much time and miss out on many benefits of posting the right way while others put effort into creating and promoting content but make common mistakes.

Search Engine Optimization is a big topic so this post will be dedicated to quickly identifying keywords and phrases that you can use on your website and content to effectively communicate to visitors and rank better on Google.

Importance of Keywords, Phrases, and Cluster Content

First, Google attempts to determine "search intent" - which means they want to know what problem we're trying to solve based on a number of factors:

  • The search terms or question I enter
  • My search history and browsing history
  • Time of day, am I on mobile or desktop etc

This is one of the reasons Google now shows suggested search options below the search box.

Google views every search as an attempt to "a problem that needs solving".

As such, your website and content should provide the necessary 'solution' or answer.

Keyword research is incredibly valuable and there are a number of paid and free tools however most local businesses don't have the time to do much themselves nor the budget to hire an SEO agency.

Here are a few tips to identify Keywords, Phrases, and Content Clusters to Use on Your Website

  • Write a list of products and services you offer as well as problems your solve and benefits you deliver to customers and clients
  • Do a few Google searches using the list you just created but pay attention to the autocomplete as you type - this is a clue about what other people are searching for or what Google thinks is important
  • Think about how people search for things you offer and the phrases they use

Armed with these concepts and basic research, you're able to weave the most common phrases into your website content and create new webpage or blog posts to specifically address these needs.

Content Clusters is the idea that you would create multiple pieces of content about a given topic or related topics.

For instance, a local restaurant that wants to rank for catering-related searches may have a web page about catering that outlines their services, the customer experience, and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). There may also be blog posts about recent catering jobs, a testimonial from a catering client, upcoming catering offers or coupons etc. This creates a cluster around catering.

We followed a similar content cluster and keyword technique with Historic Folsom (Main Street) to help them consistently rank on the 1st page of Google when searching for local businesses.

When you combine interesting content that incorporates keywords or phrases related to your business with the location you serve (your town for instance) and content clusters you'll start to rank prominently on Google.

Are you interested in a website audit or help creating a more effective web presence?

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