When it comes conquering your local marketplace “keyword research” should be a term you need to become well-acquainted with. The keywords your potential customers are using when researching products and services online are the key to you building online visibility. Exploring keyword research and analysis can significantly boost your businesses online presence.
Identifying local keywords and phrases
Imagine you’re on the hunt for the best sandwich shop in your area. You go to your phone and type: “best sandwich shops” into a search engine. What happens next is that your location data and search engine algorithms try their best to lead you to the best options within a close distance.
If you’re a business owner you will have undoubtedly asked yourself how certain businesses are given the priority rankings over others. There are a host of local SEO factors to consider, with a crucial one being keywords and phrases. Local keyword research is the process to discover what search terms your customers are using when looking for businesses like yours.
Continuing with the example of the sandwich shop, your customers might also be using keywords like “takeway lunches in [your town]”, “independent bakeries” or “coffee shops near me”. By identifying these keywords your can hone in on your customers.
Long tail keywords for local SEO
A long tail keyword are longer and often more specific phrases that your customers are using when looking to make a purchase decision. So in regards to the sandwich shop, instead of using a keyword like “sandwich shop in [your town]”, a potential long tail keyword could be “fresh sandwiches made to order” or “vegetarian takeaway sandwiches in [your town]”. Whilst these keywords will undoubtedly have a lower search volume, they will often attract a higher conversion rate because you’re offering a solution to a specific search intent.
Someone using a long tail keyword is looking for a particular type of sandwich, they’re not just researching, they’re on a mission to find a specific place to buy the sandwich they want.
Keyword research tools
Thankfully there are a range of tools available to identify target keywords.
Google Keyword Planner
The Google Keyword Planner is simple to use within the Google Ads dashboard. It simply shows you the search volume and competition level for each keyword, it will also show you closely related keywords to the ones you provide. You can also use it to narrow the data down to specific locations.
SEMrush is a comprehensive SEO tool. It’s not only got a great tool for uncovering relevant keywords, it also allows you to track the performance of your competitors. You can easily monitor how your rankings perform against your local competition, potentially giving you vital insights into their own keyword strategies.
Another powerful tool but perhaps more cost effective than SEMrush. It offers a comprehensive suit of tools for keyword research and competitor analysis. Whether you’re a novice of a pro, SE Ranking can be a great partner on journey to local SEO success.
Create a target keyword list
So by know you’ll be armed with the knowledge of what keywords your local customers are using. It’s time to start building these into your website content. Add them to the meta descriptions, page titles, product descriptions, anywhere you can naturally mention them.
However, be careful not just to cram as many keywords as possible into your website. The goal is to continue providing a great user experience with interesting and attractive content, whilst also optimising your content for SEO. Search engine algorithms are smart, and only getting smarter – they’ll know when you’re trying too hard. Let the keywords flow naturally.
We’ve provided a high level understanding of what keywords are, and we’ve given you some suggestions on the tools you might utilise to find them and track rankings. Finding the right balance between interesting and relevant content and ensuring it’s optimised for search can be tricky. Drop us a line if you’d like some pointers – we’d be happy to guide you in the right direction.