This chapter deals with one of the most key building blocks of SEO — not just local SEO: Keyword research.
So far, we have talked about how for local businesses, the most crucial factor to live and die by is the ability to show up in the right places on Google. In order to do that, you need to first know what phrases are being used to search for products or services related to your business. These phrases are what we know as ‘keywords’ in the world of SEO.
Keyword research helps you come up with the keywords you want to rank for. The process is also important for other reasons such as:
- Knowing what your competitors are ranking for
- Understanding what people are searching for, which helps you know your target customers better
- Discovering new markets to explore
How to Get Started
1. Start with a Google search
Your target customer is searching on Google. So, let’s begin with that. Enter the terms that might relate to your product or service.
Let’s say, you run a car servicing company in Houston. The most basic search term you can think of is probably “car repair Houston”. As you type, you will see a list of suggestions related to your keywords, something like this:
This exercise will yield you a small bunch of possible keywords for your site. Further, you need to look at the search results. As you can see below, the phrases that can be considered keywords are underlined. They key here is the location (Houston) used along with a regular search phrase.
2. Find out what competitors might be ranking for
The next thing we suggest you do is taking a look at your main competitors and identifying the keywords they are targeting.
You can do this analysis based on how their business appears in search engine results and their website content. This, for most parts, can be done manually but using a tool like Moz Pro, Ahrefs, SEMRush or Ubersuggest can unearth a goldmine of vital info that your business can take advantage of. With any of these tools, you will be able to dig deeper and discover information like current positions of your competitors on search engine, keywords they rank for, and how much traffic they get from each keyword.
Remember that the high volume, low competition keywords that are worth going after. So, add them to your list of keywords to be targeted.
3. Identify the keywords you should rank for
Your core keywords should be based on what you are selling. What, according to you, are the words that describe your business? What words would you use to search for it if you were the customer? For instance, if you sell “brick oven pizza”, that’s one of the core terms already.
What are other such core terms you want to rank for?
Club this with the knowledge you’ve gained from competitor keyword analysis to identify more search terms. Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ feature can also give you some relevant search terms that people might be frequently using with regards to your industry and niche. This can help you come up with long-tail keywords — longer search terms with four or more words. Tools like Ahrefs and Ubersuggest are good for this purpose.
Optimizing your content for these keywords can boost your ability to drive high-value organic traffic to your site.
While keyword research is a vast subject and we could write pages on this one topic alone, the keyword research tips we have discussed above is a good place for you to start.
Take A Look At The Below – Local SEO: Guide to Improve Your Local Search, Related Other Chapters
Chapter 1: The Fundamentals of Local SEO
Chapter 2: Who Needs Local SEO?
Chapter 4: Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
Chapter 5: What is a Local SEO citation
Chapter 6: Online Reviews for Local Businesses
Chapter 7: On-Site SEO for Local Businesses
Chapter 8: Basics of Local Link Building
Chapter 9: Local SEO Reporting