Keywords for Local SEO

If you’re wondering what a keyword is – then it’s simply the words that you put into a search engine. Finding targeted, relevant keywords to your business is a key facet of Local SEO. Before we start using any keyword tools, write down a list of the services/products/solutions that your business provides. These will be your starting point.

If you use the google keyword tool we’ll be able to see how the ideas you have above translate into actual searches.

https://adwords.google.com/o/KeywordTool

Lets say you’re a chiropodist, you can start putting in terms like ‘chiropodist’, ‘chiropody’, podiatrist etc Obviously these keywords will vary by your business. If you’re starting with short words that describe a large industry you’ll probably be astounded by the amount of searches for some of these terms. A quick note of caution – the results you see are for a broad search. What does ‘broad’ mean? It means not only the keyword itself e.g. ‘chiropodist’ but also any search term that includes the word chiropodist e.g. chiropodist london AND also any related terms e.g. chiropody, podiatrist. For a local business, these broad results aren’t especially helpful – so you’ll notice on the left hand side of keyword tool there are some check boxes for broad, phrase and exact. I suggest you uncheck broad and only select exact. We’ll cover phrase match for local seo in a future post.

Now what you’ll want to do is to take your list of base keywords and attach some local terms (which we’ll call geographical modifiers).

Here are some Geographical Modifiers

- City
- District within a city
- Town
- Postcode
- County

Now depending on the service you offer and the area you serve, some modifiers may be relevant and some may not. How do you know? At this stage, simply consider if yours is the sort of service that has a larger or smaller catchment area. If you’re offering a high value service like double glazing it’s likely you’ll travel further than if you’re a pizza delivery restaurant.

If you then place some of your base keywords with a geographical modifier in the keyword tool (having only checked the exact match tickbox) the keyword tool will tell you how many people per month search for those keyword expressions within google. Having played with the keyword tool with the broad match with very general keywords you may be underwhelmed by the volume of searches. You need to remember that what you are looking for are terms that are relevant to your business. You want to attract prospects that have a very good chance of becoming customers. There’s a temptation to create a list of terms that have very high search volumes, what you want to do is create a keyword list of laser targeted prospects. If you provide car valeting in essex, your ideal prospect is someone searching for car valeting in essex. Concentrate on building a list of relevant terms, keep asking yourself ‘is this relevant’ to my business.

Having combined industry terms / product names with geographical modifiers you’ll start building a lists of different keywords for the different products and services you offer. The tool will also give you other ideas, possibly ones you hadn’t considered. It’s a fantastic brainstorming tool, but again keep asking yourself ‘is this relevant’. You need to concentrate on relevancy and not simply get caught up in the volume of searches.

Your keyword list will be useful for a number of tasks – transferring to advertising campaigns (using services like adwords), give you ideas for future content creation for your site and also to help with your on site SEO.

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