Keyword research lies at the center of any strategy of Search Engine Optimization(SEO), for it provides direction, purpose, and goals. Without proper keyword research, your SEO strategy will fail at success and would only be a complete waste of time, effort, and money. On the other hand, thorough research is the key to a thriving SEO campaign that will help you with your online marketing campaign.
Like all the other categories of SEO, local SEO too (even more so) requires proper research on keywords. Without any idea about which terms your local target market is using to find services to fulfill their needs, you will not be able to optimize your website for search engines properly, in order to make it appear on the top of search result pages for the relevant keywords searches. Without a strong online presence for your business, the chances of your target market finding you or making a purchase of your service or product will be reduced substantially.
When it comes to SEO, many people tend to guess at keywords which they think their target market is most likely to use. However, a list of keywords that you would gather by merely guessing will not be effective in complementing your SEO strategy, increasing your online visibility or generating qualified traffic to your website. In order to find keywords that are relevant and trending among your target market, you must conduct proper research.
Here are some tips you can use to conduct a successful local SEO keyword research;
Find out what keywords your competitors are using
You can easily find out which keywords your target market is using through your competitors in the industry. You can start your own local SEO campaign rather quickly once you figure out the best local SEO keywords your competitors are using to optimize website content for search engines.
You can start by searching for general head terms or keywords (ones that are associated with your services or products) + city on a search engine like Google or Yahoo; for example ‘laser hair removal New York’. Once the results appear, you should make a list of URLs of the top ranking websites. Here, it is important that you only refer to the original websites of your main competitors and not sites like Yelp.
You can use the keyword research tool SEMRush in order to get an extensive analysis of the keywords of your competitors. Once you sign up for SEMRush, you can type in the URL of your competitor’s website on the top and then move to Organic Positions on the left. You will get a list of keywords in order of their position and volume. Once you make a list of all the top ranking keywords your competitors are using, you can select the best keywords (especially localized terms) to build your own local SEO strategy.
Take into consideration what Google suggests
Once you type in the relevant head term or keyword, Google itself gives you suggested searches at the bottom of the search engine result page. These suggestions are alternative terms other web searchers have mostly used, and they can help you determine the keywords you should optimize your content with. You can gather more relevant terms by checking out the suggested searches for each of these alternative terms. You can also use SEMRush if you don’t like to do it manually through Google.
Once you complete the list of keywords which you have gathered from Google suggested searches, you can merge it with the list you made with the keywords which you found with the help of SEMRush.
Check keywords volume
Once the two lists are merged, you will get a long list of keywords and key phrases. With ‘5 min site local keyword generator’ you can make a list of keywords that would be used by people in your neighboring city areas.
You can separate the keywords that have no geo modifier and type them in the search bar of ‘5 min site local keyword generator’. Then you should mark your zip code, the radius that you want to serve (uncheck zip), check the keyword + city / city + keyword option and then submit. The site will combine the head terms you submitted with the cities and areas within the radius that you selected, and you will have a long list of variations that you can use in your local SEO campaign.
These above-mentioned steps are easy steps you can take to conduct a thorough and useful local SEO keyword research. Once you analyze and select the most important keywords, you can proceed on with the rest of your SEO campaign.