Keyword research is arguably one of the most important aspects of an SEO campaign. Without targeting the appropriate keywords, understanding search intent and competition, and selecting a balance of short and long-tail keywords with varying conversion rates, it’s difficult to know what direction to steer your website and its associated content in.
Similarly, you also need to think carefully about geo-targeted keywords. For example, which businesses can benefit the most from targeting state-wide keywords? Read on and we’ll explore the subject further.
What is a state-wide keyword?
A state-wide keyword is a geo-targeted keyword that focuses on an entire state in the US, as opposed to a specific city or neighbourhood (e.g., “Pest Control in Texas” or “Divorce Lawyers Michigan”, etc.).
Geo-targeted keywords with US States tend to have much higher organic search volumes and are typically more competitive. For example, “BBQ Ribs in Texas” is an incredibly broad term, given just how many BBQ restaurants there are throughout the state – and indeed how massive the state itself is.
The purpose of targeting state-wide keywords is to let your audience and Google know that you offer your products or services state-wide. But, which businesses do such keywords apply to?
Which businesses can benefit from state-wide keywords?
As you can imagine, for a restaurant or a local bar to focus on a state-wide keyword, it would largely be a waste of time. Geo-targeted keywords do apply, but on a much smaller scale (e.g., “Best BBQ Ribs in Downtown Houston.”).
Here are a few examples of businesses that can benefit from state-wide keywords:
- House moving / removals companies
- Construction companies
- Digital marketing agencies
- IT / internet security firms
- Web design
- Language translation
- App developers
As you can see, the main thing that these businesses have in common is the fact that they can service anyone. House moving / removals companies tend to operate on a state-wide basis and help their customers relocate from one side of the state to the other – often further afield. An SEO expert in Texas on the other hand, can service their customers remotely. As such, focusing on one specific city when they can broaden their horizons much further certainly has its benefits.
Some pros and cons of using short-tail state-wide keywords
- You can appeal to a wider target audience.
- They’re easy to determine and don’t require much in the way of audience research.
- They’re easy to use and can offer great variety in content creation.
- The competition is typically much higher.
- They are often too general and can attract irrelevant traffic.
- The conversion rates are much lower.
Why it’s important to focus on short-tail state-wide keywords and long-tail
For the best results you should find a balance between the two:
- Short-tail keywords help build a strong foundation for long-tail keywords.
- You can avoid keyword stuffing by using short-tail to dilute long-tail keywords.
- Short-tail keywords target the very top of the sales funnel, while your long-tail keywords work much closer to the bottom. As such, short-tail keywords can be great for brand discovery and getting colder prospects into the marketing funnel earlier for nurturing and building trust.
In conclusion, state-wide keywords can be great for businesses that are able to facilitate customers across a much larger geographical location. However, it is important to find a healthy balance and focus on some more specific keywords as well.
If you are struggling to understand the fundamentals of keyword research and need help formulating a plan, we highly recommend outsourcing these tasks to the experts.