Tips for Small Business Blogs: Understanding Keywords

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So you’ve decided to start a blog for your small business. Many small business blogs fall short of their original purpose because they don’t have the ability to reach their intended audience. To make sure that you get the most out of your blog, you should have a good understanding of keywords and how they can work to bring your site more traffic and, more specifically, the right traffic.

What Keywords Do

When a person searches for something in a search engine, Google uses keywords as a factor in the process of determining which websites to display as the results for their query. Keywords tell search engines what your site content is about. When you include keywords in a blog post and then write about that topic and include supporting and relevant information, it indicates to the search engine that your site should be included in the search results for that keyword.

Which Keywords Should I Target?

Your goal is to find keywords that your target audience would search for in the process of trying to locate someone who provides your products or services. Think about the language that your customers would use if they needed the products or services that you provide. Remember that your perspective will differ immensely from someone who is searching for your company’s services. Small business blogs, and their websites in general, should avoid targeting industry-specific jargon that your customers may not be familiar with.

Be More Specific

Small business blogs often make the mistake of casting their net too wide, when it comes to keyword strategy. If you own a small business in Dallas that makes “widgets” (assuming that national e-commerce is not the backbone of your small business model) you probably need to target more specific keywords than just “widget” or “widgets” to see any meaningful results. In your case, “widgets in Dallas” or “affordable widgets in Texas” might be better keywords to target because they will have a better chance of being displayed to people searching for your product in your area.

Keywords like “widgets in Dallas” (which are more specific and descriptive) are called long-tail keywords. By continuing beyond their main subject (widgets), they will provide you with traffic that is more representative of your actual audience. Rather than people who are looking any and all information about widgets, people looking for widgets specifically in your area visit your page. Not only do you have a much better chance to rank higher in search engine results, they are more qualified leads than you would have gotten by simply targeting “widgets.”

Implementing long-tail keyword strategies like this will set your blog apart from competitors. You can avoid the wasted efforts that many small business blogs endure by trying to target keywords that are too general.