One of the most important aspects that a lot of online marketers miss is the process of keyword research. A business owner might know exactly what niche and industry his business is about, but that does not mean he knows exactly what keywords to target. Let’s all remember that having an online business puts us in what we called a battlefield to where many compete to be one the top. This simply means that the competition is very tough and that many businesses are already out there who are performing well.
This statement does not necessarily mean that a small and newly establish business can’t rank on search results or have a decent online presence. This just marks the importance of doing correct keyword research for your business. In this post, we are sharing with you an advance keyword research strategy that you can follow in order for you to find the right keywords that will help you dominate the game. Ready? Let’s start.
Local SEO Business Category Selection
1. Determine your business category. Determine which category or categories your business falls into. We recommend the MOZ Local Category tool in determining the best category for you. Check out the link here (https://moz.com/local/categories). Remember that categories are 1 of the most important factor in ranking in local search especially for top search engines like Google and more. Moz Category Research tool also helps you find the correct and best-fit categories for your business—for other search engine or directory.
Tip: Having the right categories from the start will help you follow and use the same categories once you start creating your Google My Business listing and submission on local citation sites. This means you stay in the same niche and industry to where your business should belong thus increasing your business’s relevance.
So let’s say for example your business offers website design services. The screenshot below shows us that the category is Website Designer Phoenix plus it also shows us the categories for the other search engines and directories. Pretty cool tool right?
Competitor Keyword Research for Local SEO
2. Know your competitor's keywords. Being able to know something about your competitors is always a good strategy. That is why researching about the keywords and terms the competitors are ranking for will be a part of the keyword research process. What you need to do is to check the search results with the top keyword you like to rank for, get the top 5 competitors that showed up and then check the keywords they are targeting using some SEO tools for keyword research.
So what keyword research tools do we recommend? Well, there are actually a lot of good tools out there but we highly recommend Ahrefs and SEMrush. These two tools provide a good list of keywords the competitors are ranking for. Add the top 5 competitors you found from the Google search your performed into the tool and then export the keywords to csv or excel format. Once you’ve done this, combine all the keywords and remove the duplicate keywords (use the remove duplicate function from excel), this process will help you gather all the unique keywords from your competitors. The next step is to mark all possible keywords with the location you are targeting from the competitor list that are relevant for your business. Keep this list of keywords because we will be using them later on the next steps.
3. Use the tool Keywords Everywhere. We personally recommend using this simple tool. The Keywords Everywhere extension is a no charge and absolutely free SEO keyword research tool that shows us useful Google keyword search volume and cost per click data. This tool saves users the hassle of copying data from various websites and using the Google Adwords Keyword Planner to see relevant search volume and cpc data. This tool also allows the user to get keyword metrics for any list of keywords and also lets the user download the list in Excel, CSV or PDF file formats. Again, keep the list of keywords from here as we will be using it later.
Tip: In finding keywords make sure to use key terms + geo location. Just us the post states we are looking for keywords for local SEO, so it makes sense that we use terms with specific geo location.
4. UberSuggest. If you are looking for an all in 1 SEO tool that you can use especially on building your content, we recommend this tool. We might even create a step by step tutorial and overall review for this tool on our future posts but for now, let focus on one of its key feature that will help us discover keywords. It’s Ubersuggest (https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/) Keyword Suggestions feature. This tool’s description reads and we quote:
“Need more keyword ideas? From head terms to long-tail phrases you’ll get hundreds of suggestions from our free keyword tool. You’ll also see volume, the competition, and even seasonal trends for each keyword.
And to make things a bit easier we generate a list of keywords for you based on what is working for your competitors and based on what people are typing into Google.”
What do you think guys? Another good source of keywords for targeting right? Let’s have a try now. Check out the image below:
Again export the list to csv because we will use it on our next step.
5. Combine keywords from all sources. This is now the process to where we combine all keywords we got the competitors, keywords everywhere and ubersuggest. You now have a good list of possible keywords you can target for your business. You might think, “Wait, so I have this long list of keywords and I should use all of these for my business?”. Well, the answer is no. You do not need all of these keywords, we just expanded your list in order to find the best fitting keywords for your business.
So once the keywords are combined, use again the Remove Duplicates function from excel so that only unique keywords are in your list. After you have removed the duplicates, the next step is to check the search volume of the keywords in the country you are living in. Why do you need to do this even though the search volumes from each of the sources are already present? Simply because they came from different sources, so data for the search volume could be different. Do not worry there is a tool can help you do the job a lot faster, rather than doing it manually. SearchVolume.io is a free keyword search volume tool that we can use in checking the search volume and have same search volume data from a single source. Add the keywords on the tool and simply export them to csv. See the photo below.
6. The final step is to mark all keywords that you must target based on search volume and competition. What are your metrics? Look for keywords that have high search volume and low competition. Also make sure that the keywords you select are relevant to your services and to what you offer.
Once these keywords are marked, simply organise them into themes/topics. For example, group all your keywords about website design, local SEO and social media. This will help you mapping them appropriately and assign keywords to pages. Save the file and you now have a good list of keywords that your business must target. Next step? Let’s talk about keyword mapping and the most important onsite elements every business should work on.
There you go, a very simple and easy to follow guide on how to properly do keyword research for your business. At first it might look and sound difficult and confusing, but once you get the hang of it, it will we easy. Besides everything requIres effort right? Keep in mind that this process might be just the key for your business in order to dominate in google search results.