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  1. #1
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    Question Noob question about local keywords

    If I was working on a blog post for my local business website, I should focus on combining the city and the keyword, correct?

    Example:

    "...Las Vegas Plumber."

    NOT just "...Plumber"

    If I just added the keyword "plumber", wouldn't I be competing with sites nationwide? Or does google know by my business address (I have it on every page in the footer) where I am I don't need to add "Las Vegas"?

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    If you are writing blog posts the primary keyword shouldn't be yours sites main keyword like "Las Vegas Plumber". It should be along the lines of the what question the blog post is trying to answer for the reader.

    You should also be conscious of what keywords your customers are searching for. There is no benefit in ranking first for "Las Vegas Plumber drain stoppage fixing" when most potential customers just type if "how to unclog my drain"

    In my opinion the primary reason to have a blog is to provide current relevant information that is of interest to your potential customers. This provides two main benefits, one it keeps you top of mind and second it shows you as an expert.

    My suggestion if you want to have some local content on your blog is review your lunch stops, i.e. restaurants. If you do it well you will build up a bit of a following and be top of mind. Or if you do commercial plumbing come up with 5 standard questions you use to interview the business owner. If you do residential give some insight into each neighborhood you to go into.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    You make good points Dusty.
    But what if I am trying to optimize my site for keywords?
    Should I focus on "Las Vegas Plumber"?

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    (oops! Sorry Linda, not sure how I got that doubled up... please feel free to delete the previous post)

    Hi Bishop,

    @Jamie is spot on.

    Customers don't think keywords, they think problems and questions. Answer their problems and questions.

    Here's a video from Matt Cutts, Head of Google's Webspam team, that might help (released in April this year) What are the top 3-5 SEO areas where webmasters make the most mistakes? - YouTube

    The mindset you're expressing with a keyword phrase "las vegas plumbers" (LVP) is from the bad old SEO days. Build your site for visitors, not for the search engines. As well LVP is very likely to be a highly competitive phrase - harder to rank for and missing out on opportunities in "the long tail".

    The next link takes you to a simple but powerful graph demonstrating the difference between keyword phrases such as LVP and other phrases such as "fix a clogged drain" http://d1avok0lzls2w.cloudfront.net/.../long-tail.gif

    It's not as simple as a single or multiple posts with the LVP in the title. Think of your website as an ecosystem. everything connects and creates an overall impression.

    I did a search for "fix a clogged drain las vegas". (The "how to" only told me how to do it myself. Yuck - might break a nail...) The first site that came up - that would be someone I'd call to fix my drain - shows good design in the underlying structure of the site. Nowhere do I find the phrase "las vegas plumbers" in the page. But you get the clear understanding they're a plumbing company in las vegas.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    You make good points Dusty.
    But what if I am trying to optimize my site for keywords?
    Should I focus on "Las Vegas Plumber"?
    @wonderwoman (I wonder what you will be for Halloween) is also spot on.

    If you try and focus on "Las Vegas Plumber" you will lose the forest for the trees.

    In other words focus on what your customers need and keep an eye to best practices you will do very well. Find out what people are searching for a give them what they want. But, when you start concerning yourself more with keyword density and word count then engagement and customer value you are headed in the wrong direction.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    Jamie & Wonder-

    Thank you for your insights, you are right, I am hung up on the "bad old days" of SEO. Things have definitely changed in the last year...even the last few months!

    So when writing a blog post, don't need to include any keywords at all?
    Does a blog post need to be a certain length (number of words)?

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    @Bishop
    Yes and no.
    Yes, keywords are always going to help. Natural language is going to help the most. If you're making up a sentence/title for the sole purpose of having the keyword in there, then it doesn't make sense to do it.

    Google does get that words and concepts are related - ie synonyms.

    Number of words - whatever it takes to get your point across. Short ones, if done well can be just a powerful as a novel.

    Think first about your reader.

    Write about plumbing, cleaning hair out of drains, feature a device that traps hair before it gets into the drain (and a link to the device on amazon so they can buy it and you can make 3 cents commission), discuss different types of DIY drain and pipe cleaners - which ones hurt your pipes, which ones work. Discuss tree roots in drains. Another post on what the environmental impact on the chemicals that kill the tree roots. Discuss septic systems. Write about which trees cause the most trouble with drains in the Las Vegas area. Write what special types of pipes are best for homes in Las Vegas. Write what might be unique about the plumbing industry in the Las Vegas area. Mix it all up, be consistent.

    All of the posts are designed to be useful someone looking for an expert.

    All these together will give search engines (esp the big G) the clear picture what your business is about, where you are.

    And remember, quality beats quantity. Write for your readers.

    Then tweet/FB/promote your blog posts.

    And most importantly, don't put all your marketing efforts into one basket. A blog, Adwords, G+, the web it's all only one channel - albeit an important one.

    Here endeth the sermon... (whew!)

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    Thank you Wonder!!

    Would it be helpful to write about the city I work in too? I think I'll get bored just writing about plumbing.

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    Here is a link to a decent video about keywords and how to organize them and use them on your site:

    Making Sense of Keywords in SEO - YouTube

    Also with regards to length it isn't important to be long but Google does pay attention to time on site and especially bounce rate. If someone is searching on Google for "fix a clogged drain" goes to your site then returns to Google quickly to do the same search again it won't matter the "SEO" strength, length, keyword density, meta tags, etc.. of your site Google will know your content wasn't that valuable for that search because the customer is still trying to find an answer to their question.

    Hope that helps.

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    Re: Noob question about local keywords

    Quote Originally Posted by Bishop View Post
    Thank you Wonder!!

    Would it be helpful to write about the city I work in too? I think I'll get bored just writing about plumbing.
    Your city is as important of a KW as plumbing KWs are.

    Even more so in a way. All your competitors have plumbing KWs naturally even if they don't know how to do SEO. But many are not well optimized for city.
    Linda Buquet .:. Forum Founder, Google Local Specialist

    If you benefit from advice here... Please pay the community back by sharing on social OR helping someone else at the forum. Thank you!

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    Note: Due to mulitple RSI injuries, pardon short replies. Typos? Blame it on "Dragon".

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