Every business needs a web presence to stand out.

A well-designed website is the headquarters of that web presence. 

But small businesses need to present their website in the right way to attract customers and also to engage with their target audience.

Part of that marketing strategy comes from SEO, or search engine optimization. This occurs when someone intentionally helps a website appear in a search more readily when a potential customer tries to find products or services to solve a problem.

Small businesses can utilize SEO keywords to stand out from their competition by using keywords.

We explain how to do this, even if a business has a national scope.

What Is a Keyword?

A keyword is a single word or phrase that oversimplifies what a person searches for on the internet. The best keywords arise from a small business’ high-level services because those signify the type of audience they are trying to attract.

For example, someone wants to locate a CPA in a local area.

A simple search might include:

  • CPAs
  • Accountants
  • CPAs near me
  • CPA in Syracuse
  • Accountants in Syracuse
  • Tax accountant near me

As a general rule, Google fills in the “near me” in those keywords by understanding the location of a device, such as a smartphone.

Owners and marketers can think of a keyword somewhat like a broad topic or a theme.

High-Level Services for Small Businesses

For SEO keywords relating to small businesses, start with high-level services.

Back to the accountant example, this type of small business can assess what services they provide for clients and incorporate those into the website.

An accountant or accounting firm may provide several services to clients:

  • Bookkeeping
  • Financial Planning
  • Tax Planning
  • Business Planning
  • Wealth Management
  • Investing Strategies

Naturally, these keywords should appear throughout the website.

But small businesses just can’t post these keywords 1 million times. That doesn’t foster engagement with a target audience, and Google will understand what that website has done (the GoogleBot Overlords are very smart).

Note that these are non-branded keywords, meaning they aren’t tied to a formal name of a company that may not be tied to a particular service. For example, Acme is a branded keyword when someone would search for that term due to name recognition.

Small Businesses Must Be Strategic With SEO Keywords

Small businesses need an SEO strategy to create a brand that utilizes keywords for people to find their services.

One way to do this is to develop an overall branding that helps a company stand out when people search for it.

Google’s search algorithm recognizes the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (E-A-T) of web pages using its guidelines. 

Breaking these down, we can look at a few tactics small businesses can use to leverage their chosen keywords for SEO.

  1. URLs. The URL of a page, or the link, represents one major signal to Google that the web page is an authoritative source for a particular topic. If a small business wants to rank for a nonbranded keyword, it should highly consider a website that has the keyword in the URL. For example, the URL accounting.com would denote a website highly connected to that keyword. Even if a website isn’t fully immersed in that URL, even part of a URL with a keyword in it has value for SEO. Let’s suppose an accountant is named Acme and it has bookkeeping as a service. A great URL would be “acme.com/bookkeeping” for a web page.
  2. Page titles. Sometimes called an “H1” heading to tell Google the main topic of a page, a page title can be a great way to showcase a relevant keyword as a high-level service. For instance, “Financial Planning” as a landing page for Acme Accounting denotes an authoritative page for that keyword. (Examples aside, there actually is an Acme Accounting. It’s in York, Ontario, Canada.)
  3. Page subheadings. Also known as an “H2” heading, these are often shown as chapters of a page if you consider the page title to be an entire book. Subheadings further divide a page into other topics, and small businesses can use SEO keywords here. For a financial planning planning page, keywords for sections might say “Financial Planning for Small Businesses” and “Financial Planning for High Net-Worth Individuals” and so on.
  4. Blogs. While not as high-level as landing pages, blogs about various topics can enhance SEO keywords. Small businesses can write about “6 Reasons Why Financial Planning Is Vital for Manufacturers” or “Why Do I Need Financial Planning Services?” as ways to capture more keywords and searches for those topics. 
  5. Name of the company. A company name can provide SEO keywords. For example, a firm with the name Syracuse Accountants would create instant credibility for people searching for accounting or accountants in Syracuse. Even if the accounting firm still wants to maintain its original brand name, like Acme, it can create a website with the main URLs of “syracuseaccountants.com” to capture those highly valuable and relevant keywords.

There is one more way for small businesses to gain some leverage with SEO keywords, particularly if they serve a local area.

Location, Location, Location

A small business would do well to put a location in a URL or domain to go along with high-level service. We mentioned syracuseaccountants.com as one recommendation for an accounting firm in this city.

(If any Syracuse accountants are reading this blog, that domain is available. We can help with web design for that.)

Having the location-based keyword in page titles would help, too:

  • Financial Planning in Syracuse  (acme.com/financial-planning-in-syracuse)
  • Accounting in Syracuse
  • Business Planning in Syracuse

And so on.

We strongly recommend AGAINST putting the search term “near me” anywhere on a website. Google uses the “near me” search based on a smartphone’s or computer’s location.

Vervology Can Help Small Businesses With SEO

Vervology can help you develop a strong web presence by utilizing best SEO practices. We’ll also update your web presence as SEO evolves over the months and years.

Contact us for more information on what we can do for you!