Are you a business owner or entrepreneur looking to optimize your website to rank higher on Google? By now, you probably know that using relevant keywords that your audience is organically searching is the best way to rank well, increase your site traffic, and get more paying customers. But how do you figure out which keywords to use?
Understanding how to search for keywords is the first step to developing a successful keyword strategy. Google AdWords, the highly esteemed authority on keyword research and planning, used to have an easy Keyword Planner tool that was free for anyone to access. While Google’s Keyword Planner has changed, there are still options you can use to start discovering the best local SEO keywords.
How do Keywords Work?
Before you create a keyword strategy, you must first understand how keywords work and analyze your target audience. Think about your target audience and what they will be searching to find businesses like yours. These are the people who are most likely to purchase, bringing revenue, profit, good reviews, referrals, and help grow your business in your local market.
The purpose of SEO is to make your site accessible to people who are already looking for your product or service. Keywords work by directing people to your website on which the keywords are used. So you should use keywords that not only describe your business but also ones that your target audience will be searching online.
Local Keyword Discovery
If you have a brick and mortar store, with one or many locations, you will want to use those physical geographic locations to your advantage by using the name of the areas your business serves in your keywords.
For example, let’s say your company is a dry cleaning service in Las Vegas, Nevada. Do you want to rank number one on Google for the term “best dry cleaning” or would you rather rank number one for “best dry cleaning las vegas”? The answer is “best dry cleaning las vegas”. Why? Because you’re only looking to find customers who live in the Las Vegas area and need dry cleaning services.
It doesn’t do either party any good if a person in Baltimore, Maryland or Ontario, Canada finds your dry cleaning website. They’re not going to pack up their clothes and ship them to you to get dry cleaned, even if you do have the best dry cleaning technology in the world.
The more specific your keywords are, the more likely that search term is to generate revenue. While a longer and more specific term, called long tail keywords may not be searched as often, the person searching for something so specific knows exactly what they’re looking for. By using long tail keywords, you can give it to them.
For example, if you owned a fitness studio, your ideal customers are looking for something very specific. You can use long tail keywords on a services page on your website or in blog posts. An example of a long tail keyword to rank for a fitness studio would be “mommy and me morning yoga classes”. If you write a blog post about your fitness studio’s new 8am Mommy and Me Yoga Class that ranks on the first page of Google, new moms who search for “mommy and me morning yoga classes” will find your website and are more likely to click on your page.
Related: Local SEO for Small Businesses
How To Search For Keywords
Now that we know how important local SEO keywords are, how do we choose which keywords our target market is already searching for the most? Well, thanks to Google Analytics, it’s easier than ever before. In the old days of advertising, you would have had to form focus groups and test groups, send out surveys about your product, use the national census to get information about your demographic, then wait for responses to come back in the mail, manually read and analyze the survey information, and deduce which steps your company should take next in order to grow the business. In the time it would take you to complete that process today, people’s opinions and interests would have already changed.
Google Analytics now tracks user information from everywhere. We now know a lot of information about a lot of
people and the things they are interested in because of Internet tracking technology. There are many keyword-planning tools available on the Internet where you can discover your target market’s most searched keywords.
What’s the Best Keyword Tool?
Search trends are always changing, and search engines are always getting smarter. As search engine robots become more advanced, the rules of the game change. When it comes to keyword discovery, local keyword tools can be used to help you find the best keywords for your business. Using these tools frequently will allow you to test different keywords, view the search terms that are currently driving traffic to your site, and understand new ways to target your intended audience through keyword discovery.
Google Adwords is still arguably the best keyword tool out there. While you need a Google Adwords account to access this feature of the site, it is free to use and essential to understanding which keywords your company should start trying to rank for online.
To learn how to research keywords using Google Adwords, check out this post on how to use Google AdWords and understanding what terms like demand, competition, and search volume mean for your keyword strategy. ThriveHive users can view their organic search terms directly through the ThriveHive platform without needing a Google AdWords account.
Related: Google AdWords for Small Businesses
SEMRush is a platform that allows you to scope out your company’s competition, and develop a keyword strategy based on current traffic and search trends. The keyword tool works by giving users multiple new keyword ideas. Simply use the search bar on the home page to test the one you want to use. SEMRush will assist your keyword discovery by showing the most searched keywords related to the one you typed. It will also display the usage, competition, search volume, and other various statistics on how this keyword is being used by other businesses.
The best part about this local keyword tool is that it offers so much for free. While many keyword tools charge a considerable amount, SEMRush gives you most the information you need if you’re a business owner looking to do basic keyword research on your own. The paid version costs $69 each month, and is designed for SEO professionals, giving them more insights on the use of their local SEO keywords.
WordTracker is another keyword planning tool. It is a good tool for professionals who are performing keyword discovery tasks on a daily basis for their growing company or their clients. The free version of this keyword tool has fewer functions than SEMRush, but it should do the trick if you’re just looking to generate the most searched keywords or phrases for your business. The paid version is $69 per month, but unless you’re an SEO professional, the free WordTracker site will give you most of the tools you need.
Need to know more? Comment below with your questions about how to search for keywords or share with us your favorite local keyword tool!