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The Importance of Optimizing for Cost Keywords [Case Study]

There are several reasons for a small business to optimize for “cost” keywords.  The first is Google LOVES numbers, especially in the featured snippets at the top of the search results.  The second is it helps rankings.  Finally, it improves traffic to the site and brings conversions.

Optimization for Cost Keywords:

One of our clients, Day and Night, is an HVAC company in Phoenix.  One page on their website is a blog for air conditioning maintenance. Since they get a lot of search volume for this keyword we decided to optimize the page for cost keywords. And since they are so cool, they let us do it!  Prior to us optimizing the page, they were ranked in position seven.  After we worked on the page, their ranking increased to position three (a four-position jump):


ranking increaseWe also noticed a 3-pack appeared lower on the page that was not there before.


So, we decided we had to try to do better so we continued to optimize the page.  It is always important to look at the search results to see what results Google is showing when making decisions about what to spend time on.  After our second go at it, the page was now ranking in position two.  We decided 2 wasn’t good enough and so we did a bit more.  We continued to optimize the page until the page took over the featured snippet and ranking in position one.

featured snippetWhy Did a Three-Pack Appear?

Google doesn’t always associate organic ranking from a website with a specific listing in the local pack.  This makes sense because there are tons of national sites that have content on their site that isn’t necessarily relevant to each of their locations.  We found that Google created the local pack when they properly associated the article on the site with this particular location.  However, it wasn’t very high up on the page (below organic position 11) because Google thought a featured snippet that answers the user’s question (displaying the cost) was more relevant than a list of local businesses.

Traffic Increases:

Optimizing for “cost” keywords is not only a way to deliver a ton of traffic, but it also drives conversions.



The Struggle

Many clients are reluctant to add cost keywords to pages, but what businesses need to remember is it does not need to be a specific number – it can be a range.  In addition, every job is different, so there are jobs that will lie outside of the range and customers need to realize that as well.  Finally, other companies are putting these numbers out there, so you should get the benefits that those companies are receiving from doing it as well.


  • Google LOVES numbers so including them on your site increases your chances of ranking higher.
  • Optimizing for cost keywords increases rankings, increases traffic, and brings in conversions.
  • Your competitors are likely already doing this and reaping the benefits, so you should too!

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Joy Hawkins

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

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