Selecting Your Search Terms

Everyone who does a search online has a question or problem for which they want an answer. Your customer will enter a search looking for the answer and you want to be their answer. For the search engines to know what your site is about, you need to provide it with data. What’s the data you provide? The text on your site! Once you choose the proper search terms, you can integrate them into text to make your site more likely to achieve a high ranking in Google and the other search engines.

Unless you have the budget to hire a market research company, the place to begin when selecting your search terms is to ask yourself a question: How would my ideal customer search for what I offer? Once you have that answer, follow the steps below.

For the purpose of illustration, we will show you the three steps in involved in selecting search terms for a company that does commercial roofing repair. Once you grasp the basic idea, you can apply these concepts when writing the text for your website.

Step 1: Don’t be too generic

It will be next to impossible to rank highly for a single search term like “roofing.” One problem with single-word search terms is that they are used by many types of businesses. Any company that offers roofing supplies, roofing products, roofing installation, or other roofing services is going to be using and competing in the generic term, “roofing.” Secondly, it is often big corporations, who have huge link networks and large SEO/web development budgets that will have already firmly secured those highly-prized rank positions. Lost in a sea of irrelevant search results after inputting in a generic search, a consumer will eventually use a more specific search phrase when looking for a specific product or service. That’s where you try to capture them. If your company repairs roofs on commercial buildings, then the search phrase “commercial roof repair” is a much better search phrase to optimize because it is more specific to what you actually do (and you do not have to compete with websites that are not your true competitors.)

Step 2: Be regional if your business is regional

Because your services are location-specific (you don’t repair roofs in New York) your search phrase should also be location-specific. “Fort Worth Commercial Roof Repair” is even more specific to your audience and prevents you from having to compete with New York roof repair companies.

Step 3: Test Your Search Phrase

Put your search phrase into Google and look at your online competitors for this term. If the results are companies that do not offer the same kind of services you offer (where you offer it,) then maybe the search phrase is not specific enough to what you do. If the results are your local competitors, then you probably have it just right.

Each page on your site should have its own specific search terms.

Going with our theme of commercial roof repair, search phrases for different pages on your site might look something like this:

  • Fort Worth commercial flat roofs
  • Fort Worth flat roof repair
  • Fort Worth commercial roof installation
  • Fort Worth roof repair estimate

You get the picture!