Keywords are the key (no pun intended) to just about everything you will ever do to getting your business noticed on the web. Keywords affect your rankings on search engines, the effectiveness of your ad campaigns, the ease with which potential clients can locate your business etc. Therefore getting the best keywords for your local business is absolutely critical and is the number one step to implement before you do anything.
So how do you get the best keywords for your business? This isn’t difficult to do. It’s just a mixture of common sense and getting free help from keyword tools.
1. Let’s start with the common sense part.
- Take a paper and divide it into 2 columns. Name one column ‘WHERE’ and the other column ‘WHAT’
- In the ‘where’ column, list all the possible words related to the physical location of your business, what locations your business services its clients and where your clients come from. For example, list your street address, your town, your county and your state. You don’t really need to list your country because remember we are focusing on local search terms. If you have multiple business locations, list the branch names too.
- In the ‘what’ column, list all possible words related to the type of business products and services you sell and offer, including unique aspects of your business niche. For example, if you operate a sushi restaurant that offers karaoke and has an area where sports fans can watch live games, you would list words like sushi restaurant, Japanese restaurant, sports bar, karaoke etc.
2. Getting help from Keyword Tools
Now that you have two keyword lists that describe the where and what of your business, its time to get help from keyword tools that will tell you which keywords are more popular or more likely to be searched for. You want to know the best keywords to use. For example, you would want to know which of two keywords is more important- sushi restaurant or Japanese restaurant. You can find this out by going to Google Adwords.
- You simply type in the entire list of ‘where’ keywords into the search box,
- Tick the box called ‘ideas containing my search terms’
- Click advanced options and choose your country. Click search. Your results will appear.
- Now on the left hand side of the screen click the phrase box so that your results reflect only the specific phrases you keyed in. Your final results will appear
- If you click on the column titles local monthly searches, it will sort out the results from the highest volume to the lowest. Of course the phrases with the highest search volume are the most important keywords for your business.
- Simply repeat this exercise with your ‘what’ words
In our example Japanese restaurant yields more results than the term sushi restaurant (165000 vs. 40500) so it is a better keyword to use. Scrolling down the list we pick up very important information about the phrase ‘Japanese restaurant in’ which has 27100 searches. This shows us that we can append our best ‘where’ keywords to this term too.
Combining the two lists will give you long-tail keywords such as Japanese restaurant in Boston.
This 2 step process will complete your keyword research, yielding two lists of powerful and popular keywords for your local business to use in all your web content. Even better is the fact that you can combine these two lists to create a longtail keyword list for even more specific and targeted search results.