Proper keyword selection is perhaps the most important part of good local SEO. But many people see it as a magical process analogous to The Wizard of Oz: Google is the Great and Powerful one, a mysterious and impenetrable mastermind; the business owner is Dorothy, just looking for an answer. Surely there must be a single "yellow brick road" keyword out there! The truth may be as surprising as pulling back the curtain in the Emerald City palace.
The reality is that focusing on one target keyword is not the way to get found on page one of Google and other top search engines. At least not for long. Yet many businesses insist on pinning all their hopes and dreams on a single target word. Here's what happens if you do:
You're Not Alone - A target keyword may be too broad or too popular. Everyone is vying for the same word and the top spots. Remember that not everyone searches for a keyword (plumber, lawyer, roofer) the same way. An experienced local SEO company knows how to research variations of keywords, synonyms, longer phrases containing the keyword, and related modifiers.
Google constantly make updates (Penguin, Panda) to filter out spam. What works today might look like spam a month from now. A quality local SEO company keeps up with the changes. It carefully tracks both popular and emerging search terms, and how they are ranked.
Do you do one thing and only one thing? Probably not. If you are a plumber, do you just fix leaks or do you also install water heaters? If you're a house painter, you probably do both interior and exterior work. If you are a roofer, you might specialize in asphalt shingles, but can also fix more than one type. Think of the many ways that will draw people to your site.
Finally, don't make the mistake of thinking it's less expensive to focus on one keyword if you are thinking about outsourcing SEO services. And don't think you'll get faster results. It simply doesn't work that way.
If you create multiple pathways to multiple landing pages through a range of target keywords, you improve your odds of being found. Like the journey to Oz, you are the one with the power.