Latest posts by Brian Plant (see all)
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Search Engine Optimization (SEO) sounds like something a bit unnerving – but the first step to SEO success does not involve your computer at all. It actually starts with your customers, and how THEY think about security systems and alarm services in YOUR service area.
And guess what, the SEO keywords you think are obvious choices may not be. You know the security business too well, and you may be tempted to use industry jargon over words that an average potential client would use. Think like a potential searcher for a security solution with real needs and you’ll see SEO differently.
You may be tempted to use industry jargon over words that an average potential client would use to look for you like “commercial security” vs. “business security”, which on a national level gets 45% more searches. Or, “alarm company in (city name)” vs. “security company in (city name)”. “Security Company” typically generates results for guard, patrol and private security rather than an alarm company.
Also, don’t think of keywords as individual words. Think about how you approach a search. Suppose you’re going out to dinner in Boston and want to find the right restaurant. Do you type in “restaurant” and sort through the hundreds of thousands of responses? No, you might type in “top-rated seafood restaurant in Boston area.” There will still be lots of choices, but you’ve eliminated all of the chains and restaurants not within driving distance. Your potential clients approach a search the same way.
List Your Potential Keywords
Every geographical area is different in terms of how people search for services. We can help with this data, but first – talk to your clients. Pick a couple of clients that you feel particularly comfortable asking, and find out what words key phrases that they used to find your company. Ask friends and family members for ideas.
Next, survey your employees. What words or phrases do they use to describe your business to potential clients, friends and family members? What words have they heard from clients when they ask questions?
SEO starts with choosing the right keywords. There’s no point in making sure you’re at the top of a search if no one uses your words to find a company like yours. So for example if your website ranks #1 for Anytown USA Home Security but no one is searching using that keyword, then what is the point? No searches = no website visits = zero leads.
Check with your sales team. What makes your company special? What words do they use to separate you from the competition? Keywords are about more than definitions, they also represent what your potential clients want in a security company. Be sure those important adjectives are represented.
Which products or services do you want to sell the most? Take a look at your highest profit margin areas or those items that get you in the door with a new client. Add these to the list of potential keywords.
Sort Your List
Keep a running list: you’re looking for repetition. The more often a word or phrase crops up, the more likely people are to use it in a search.
Avoid words with more than one meaning. For example, siren can be a loud security option, a police or fire sound, or some mermaid-type with a harp and a very compelling voice. This makes it a bad choice. With limited keywords, don’t waste them on words or phrases that could be confusing.
Think about your perfect customers. Do your keywords appeal to them? It’s not just about what the keywords say about your company, it’s also about how they fit with the clients you want to reach.
Pro tip: A Google search for “Security Company” typically generates results for guard, patrol and private security rather than an alarm company.
Pick Your Top 15
This is too many keywords, but you can trim them using these tactics. Check for redundancies. Are some of these keywords saying the same thing? Choose the best one by looking at the sorting suggestions above.
Make sure you’re covering the waterfront. Does the list include all critical aspects of your company? Think of your competitive advantages as well as all of your products and services. You don’t want to lose a potential client because you didn’t have a complete list.
Determine your reasoning behind each keyword. Why is a specific phrase on your list? If you don’t have an answer, maybe it doesn’t belong there.
Narrow Your List
Aim for a list of 9-12 keywords. Once again, you may want to go back to your best clients and see which choices they would be most likely to use. Then try those keywords in a search of your own. Who appears? Are your competitors there? Who else? Not to worry. Once you have your keywords in place, you can optimize everyone else right off the first page!
We’re Here to Help
As always, Ignite Security Marketing is here to help. Contact us today for a free marketing analysis to see which keywords your security business should be targeting. We’ve been helping alarm companies succeed online since 2009.