Before Keyword Research, local marketing strategies were designed based on the idea that local search would only be conducted by customers who are within a 5-kilometer radius from your business.
Among the usual strategies in the local marketing toolbox included the following:
- Flyer distribution
- Installation of streamers, banners, and posters
- Distribution of loyalty cards
- Local press releases
- Participating in local events
- Door-to-door marketing
- Giving out samples, giveaways, or free trials
- Local area advertising
These strategies had limited success and mixed results at best.
Flyers end up in the trashcan. People tend to ignore streamers, banners, and posters. Not many customers go out of their way to complete loyalty cards. Local press releases and local area advertising are too expensive and generate low ROI.
Participating in local events, door-to-door marketing, and giving out samples are great ways to mingle with the people but there’s no assurance they’ll patronize your business over others.
A more efficient and effective approach to improving marketing results is through Local SEO.
In this article, we’ll explain what Local SEO is and teach you a simple but effective way to do local keyword research.
What Is Local SEO And How Does Keyword Research Make It More Effective?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that involves the use of digital processes and techniques to get your content found. The cornerstone of SEO is the strategic use of keywords which are the words and phrases commonly used by an Internet user to launch a search query.
With Local SEO, you’re targeting customers within a specific location. Thus, the keywords you are searching for are those that are commonly used by online searchers in your geographic area.
Why is this important? Consumers who do local searches do so with intent. These are people who are most likely to make a purchase if they’re able to find what they’re looking for.
Remember this key statistic:
29% of consumers who perform local searches on a mobile device will visit the establishment within 24 hours.
Another reason why Local SEO is important is that search engines tend to localize search results.
For example, if you launch a search for “toy store”, Google won’t give you a list of toy stores located in New York, Paris, or Japan if you’re based in Los Angeles. Why? Because the search results won’t do you any good and Google will send you a list based on your geographic location.
Thus, if you’re not incorporating Local SEO strategies into your digital marketing campaign, you’ll be foregoing opportunities to get found and patronized by customers within your area who are motivated to make purchases.
They have the intent to purchase.
Can you imagine if your competitors did Local SEO by crafting content with geo-specific keywords? The cash registers of their brick-and-mortar store will be ringing more frequently than yours.
How To Do Local Keyword Research
Is your business registered in Google My Business? If not, register it right now. Here’s a link to an article we wrote about Google My Business and how to create a GMB account.
Google My Business is the online search directory of the Internet’s biggest search engine. Your GMB profile will contain all the information prospective customers need to know about your business including contact number, email address, and most importantly, your location/business address.
When you start posting content with local keywords, you’ll make it easier for customers to find your establishment and do business with you.
Once you’ve set up your Google My Business account, you can proceed to do local keyword research by following the steps below:
Step 1 – List Down Your Products and Services
The search engine’s crawl bots must know what they’re searching for, right? That means your products and services.
Let’s say you’re in the business of selling pest control products. Make a list of the pest control products you’re selling.
- Ant granule
- Cockroach gel bait
- Mosquito larvicide
- Insect repellent
- Plant fungicide
- Insect spray
- Rat poison
- Insect trap
From here, include a keyword that differentiates your products from the rest. The differentiating keyword must be something that a potential customer would use.
To do this, put yourself in the shoes of the customer – how would you phrase the search? After all, you know what makes your product different from the competition.
Here are examples of how we put differentiating keywords to the list of products above:
- Protein based ant granule
- Cockroach gel bait safe for pets
- Fast acting mosquito larvicide
- Insect repellent non sticky
- Plant fungicide organic
- Insect spray non toxic
- Rat poison safe for pets
- Insect trap mosquitoes flies
Of course, depending on the results for monthly search volume which we’ll discuss later, these keywords can change.
For example, since most ant granule bait-type products in the market are sugar-based, initially, your potential customers will search using the keywords “sugar based ant granule”.
Strategically, it would be a good idea to include “sugar based ant granule” in your content to attract the interest of potential customers. Once they’re reading your content, you can explain the advantages of protein-based over sugar-based ant granules.
Step 2 – Add Keyword Modifiers
Keyword modifiers are keywords that searchers might use to further define the parameters of the search.
Here are examples of popular keyword modifiers:
- Low cost
If we’re to add these keyword modifiers to your list of keywords, they would read like this:
- Best protein based ant granule
- Where to buy cheap cockroach gel bait safe for pets
- Low cost fast acting mosquito larvicide
- Buy insect repellent non sticky
- Top plant fungicide organic
- Cheap insect spray non toxic
- How to use rat poison safe for pets
- Where to buy insect trap mosquitoes flies
These have grown into long-tail keywords that consumers use to fine-tune their searches and get the best results from the search engines.
Step 3 – Add Geo-Keywords
Customers want to make it easier to buy the intended product NOW. To do that, they want to look for sellers near the area.
Be ready to accommodate these ready buyers by adding geo-keywords.
Here are our keywords with a geo-keyword added:
- Best protein based ant granule near me
- Where to buy cheap cockroach gel bait safe for pets Los Angeles
- Low cost fast acting mosquito larvicide Australia
- Buy insect repellent non sticky North Beach
- Top plant fungicide organic Wilmington North Carolina
- Cheap insect spray non toxic near me
- Where to buy insect trap mosquitoes flies elk grove Sacramento
As mentioned, once you start typing in the keyword in the search box, Google will automatically add a geo-keyword. To be sure, include it to make your search more precise.
Step 4 – Find the Keyword Search Volume
It might sound too simple but the basic rule in choosing keywords is to pick the ones with the highest search volume per month. These high-volume keywords are the ones Internet users in your area are using to look for products and services in your industry.
To find the monthly search volume of your keywords, use a keyword research tool. There are a good number of keyword research tools available on the Internet. You can read more about the best free keyword research tools by clicking this link to an article we wrote in 2022.
But to keep things simple, let’s use the basic keyword research tool that most digital marketers use to sharpen their optimization chops – Google Keywords Planner.
All you need to access Google Keywords Planner is to have a Gmail account. Once that’s done, follow the instructions below:
- Click “Tools and Settings”.
- Click “Keyword Planner”.
- Click “Discover New Keywords”.
- Click the location icon below the top search box.
- Click the location you wish the search to cover. For example, “Los Angeles, California, United States of America” has a reach of 28 million.
- Type in the keywords with differentiators.
- Click “Get Results”.
Google Keyword Planner will retrieve keywords that might not be exactly the ones you entered. Don’t be alarmed because this is the purpose of a keyword research tool – to retrieve the keywords that people in a specific area are using to conduct a search.
Identify the keywords with the highest searches. You can have Google Keyword Planner give you a spreadsheet printout of the keywords. Then, with a bit of Excel manipulation, you can arrange these keywords in order of monthly search volume.
Now, do a Google search and this time, add a geo-keyword.
For example, if Google Keyword Planner identified “cheap insect trap mosquito flies” as the keyword with the highest search volume, type in “cheap insect trap mosquito flies near me” or “cheap insect trap mosquito flies malibu los angeles”.
This time, Google will retrieve a list of URLs of websites that feature cheap insect traps which catch mosquitoes and flies in the City of Malibu in Los Angeles county. Google will present a search directory where you can find a list of Insect Trap sellers with complete information from website URL to physical location.
This is why you should register your business with Google My Business!
Take a few minutes to click on the URLs of your competitors.
- Find out the topics they are writing about in their blogs.
- Compare your products and services with theirs.
- Compare your prices.
- Visit their website and navigate around it. How does it compare to yours?
- Read the product reviews and comments posted by their end-users.
It will be a good idea to visit their stores and find out if business is good, how they handle customers and observe other matters such as store cleanliness, foot traffic, and customer turnover rate.
Step 5 – Create Content That’s Optimized for Local Search
How do you know which types of content your customers are searching for?
Let’s assume Google Keyword Planner listed “insect trap mosquito flies” as the keyword with the highest monthly search volume in Los Angeles.
Simply type in the keywords and run the search. The first few URLs feature paid ads or links to cheap insect trap products that can be found on Amazon or eBay.
Scroll further down and you might find informative articles that cover the following topics:
- Best insect traps to protect your garden from pests
- How UV-LED light technology helps insect traps perform better
- How UV light traps work
- How to make DIY insect traps at home
- The difference between outdoor and indoor insect traps
By browsing through these articles, you’ll have an idea of the topics your target audience is looking for.
Now that you have an idea of the topics that interest your target audience, it’s time to put ideas into the word processor!
Follow these rules for optimizing content with high search volume keywords:
- The main keyword is usually the main product and must be included in the title, within the first 100 words of the first paragraph, the body of the content, and in the concluding paragraph. In our example, “insect trap” is the main keyword.
- The ideal main keyword density is 2% of the total word count. If your total word count is 1,000 words then “insect trap” shouldn’t be used more than 20 times. Staying within or slightly over the ideal main keyword density will protect your content from being penalized by Google for keyword stuffing.
- Include 2 to 3 secondary keywords to support the main keyword. The secondary keyword could be the high search volume keywords such as “best insect trap malibu” and “cheap insect trap”.
This is where it can get a bit tricky!
For best results, use the keywords as they are written. Don’t add commas, quotation marks, and other symbols to make these keywords grammatically correct.
You’ll notice that when we wrote “protein based”, there’s no hyphen between the words. “Protein-based” is grammatically correct but the inclusion of the hyphen could throw off the web crawler from indexing your content.
Web crawlers don’t care much about grammar when it comes to tracking keywords.
So how do you write “best insect trap malibu” in a sentence to make it sound not-so-bad? Our proven technique is to write it in the form of a question:
Are you in the market for the best insect trap Malibu?
It may cause some readers to raise an eyebrow but they’ll forgive you as long as the content is useful. Of course, you should proofread your content for spelling errors.
- Include the high search volume keywords in your website copy, Google My Business page, and social media posts. Always include geo-targeting keywords in your content.
Putting these 4 tips together, you can come up with a title such as:
“10 Reasons Blitz Is The Best Insect Trap Malibu”
In this title alone you have:
- Main keyword: “insect trap”
- Keyword moderator: “best insect trap”
- Geo-keyword: “best insect trap malibu”
Plus it’s presented as a list-type article which is always a big hit with the audience.
In order to get those cash registers ringing as if it’s Christmas time every month, you have to do local SEO marketing. Using geo-targeted keywords is an important item in the digital marketing toolbox.
Buyers within your geographic area present sales opportunities waiting to happen. This time you won’t be going around blindly looking for them as if you’re distributing flyers. Instead, you’ll go smart about it by using content optimized with high-volume local search keywords that will help them find you.
Are you struggling to get sales from the local market for your business? Allow us to lend a helping hand.
By harnessing the power of digital technology and our knowledge in local SEO, we can have queues forming in your store right away. Give us a call or drop us an email and we’ll show you how we plan to do it.
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