Is your website optimized for the right keywords?

The only way to know if your website is optimized for the right keywords is to know what the right keywords are for your business.

This article is going to focus on a San Diego, CA-based web designer. The same keyword research tactics can be used for any other business.

Step #1 – Brainstorm

Start by making a list of the various services your business offers. Web design firms also offer related services from graphic design to SEO services.

This is what the list would look like for the San Diego web designer:

  • Website design
  • Web design
  • Web developer
  • Web page design
  • Web design firm
  • Design firm
  • Web company
  • Web marketing company
  • Web design company
  • Small business website design
  • Hire web designer
  • How to design a website
  • Ecommerce website
  • Business website
  • Web design cost
  • Custom website design

Your list should also include related services such as:

Next focus on industry specialized services:

  • Biotech web design
  • Websites for dentists
  • Lawyer or attorney web design
  • Church website design
  • Real estate agent website designer

We are talking about a local business based in San Diego. Therefore, we need to combine our target keywords with our geo-target area. It is also easier to rank for geo-target keywords. It is going to be a lot easier to rank your website for “San Diego web designer” than “web designer.” Using the keyword “web designer,” you are competing with the whole world of web designers. When you optimize for a city you are competing with a much smaller number of competitors.

Here are few examples:

  • San Diego web designer
  • Website designer in San Diego
  • San Diego website designer
  • Web designer company in San Diego

Just because your web design firm is located in San Diego, it doesn’t mean that you can’t also market to surrounding cities.

Make a list of keyword phrases, including the surrounding cities:

  • Carlsbad web designer
  • Chula Vista web designer
  • Web designer in Oceanside
  • Carlsbad web developer
  • Escondido SEO company

It is very important to have a long list of target keywords for your website. It is also important to remember that many people don’t just type in keywords. They search by typing complete sentences. For example, someone could type in “I need a new website” or “need new business website” or “I need help with my website.”

Step #2 – Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner is a free tool to find the right keywords for your website. As you can see in the image below, the tool allows you to enter your core keyword “web designer,” to find relevant keywords.


On the next page, you can look at the “Keyword ideas” generated. You can also see the average monthly searches. You can also find out about the level of competition for each keyword.


Step #3 – Competitors

If you are going to move up in the search engines, you have to outrank your competitors.

After you have made a list of potential keywords, it is time to check the competition. If you don’t already have one, make a list the websites of your competitors.

Check the websites that rank on the first page for your target keywords:

  • What is the website content about? The content you see on the sites should have been optimized for their target keywords.
  • What page titles do they use?
  • What meta descriptions do they have?
  • Study their headlines. What keywords are included?
  • What websites to link to them? If a competitor was able to get a link from a site, you should be able to get one too.
  • What anchor text is used for the links?
  • What anchor text do they use for their internal links?

Step #4 – Use The Search Engines

If you do a Google search with your core keyword “web designer,” you will find related searches at the bottom.

san diego web designer

Step #5 – Use Your Keywords

Once you have a list of keywords, it is time to use them. You need to optimize your website for as many of your target keywords as possible. You will need to do this page-by-page. It is a time-consuming process, but it is worth it.

Let’s face it, your website will never get to the top of the search engines without SEO. SEO starts with keywords.

Each page must be optimized for a target keyword the following ways:

  • Start the page title with your keyword. If your target keyword is “San Diego web designer,” the page title should be started with “San Diego web designer.” Make sure that the page title is shorter than 60 characters.
  • Include the keyword in the Headline.
  • The image alt tags should also include your keyword. At least you should have one image on your page.
  • Start the meta description with your keyword.
  • Include the keyword within the first paragraph of the text.
  • The keyword should be in the text at least 3-5 times.
  • Include related keywords within the text. For “San Diego web designer,” you could use “how to find a web designer in San Diego,” or “web design firm in San Diego.”
  • Create a text link with the keyword.
  • You can also bold the target keyword once.
  • Check your content in Copyscape, to make sure that your content is unique. If you have duplicate content on your website, it could negatively affect your search rankings.


Websites don’t get to the top of the search engines by accident. Getting your website ranked on the top takes a long-term planning and commitment. It all starts with keyword research.

Search engines and potential customers depend on keywords to find your website. The better job you do finding the right keywords, the better your chances of driving traffic to your website.

photo credit: Successful Coroprate Shot of Man