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Local SEO Best Practice #3 – Keyword Research

Keyword research is a huge part of local seo. Once a business appears across all online directories, they will have naturally increased their page ranking for certain keywords. These are the words users enter into search engines when they’re looking for a particular service, product, or information. Google uses those words and searches across pages online to deliver the most relevant results to the user.

Businesses wanting to succeed in their local SEO efforts need to do a bit of research on these keywords. While some keywords, such as ‘plumber’ for a plumbing business are going to be obvious, others won’t be. And business owners that don’t perform keyword research will miss out on some phrases that could be very valuable to them.

Google is the authoritative voice when it comes to SEO of any kind, so it makes sense that they would also offer the gold standard in terms of keyword research tools.

Google Keyword Planner is free to use, and it’s also one of the best keyword research tools available. Google Keyword Planner tells website owners how many people are searching for keywords that are relevant to their business. The tool will also break this amount down into a monthly amount. This can be especially helpful for owners of seasonal businesses that may offer different products or services during different times of the year.

The Planner can be accessed through any Google AdWords account. Any business that has a website or blog likely has a Google AdWords account. If not, one should be created by going to http://adwords.google.com. Once an account is created, the Google Keyword Planner tool can be accessed by logging into http://adwords.google.com/KeywordPlanner.

Once logged into the Keyword Planner, keyword research can be started by entering the website’s landing page, business category, and product or service the business offers under ‘Find new keywords’. This is where business owners can enter the obvious keywords for their business such as ‘plumber’ or ‘florist’ or other relevant terms.

This is what SEO consultants do with general SEO, but with local SEO it needs to be taken a step further. Google defaults the country targeting field to ‘Anywhere.’ But when local SEO is a focus, it should be changed to a specific geographical location, such as ‘plumbers New York City’. After entering these terms and clicking ‘Get Ideas,’ a list of keywords will be generated.

The Google Keyword Planner is just one tool that’s available to help business owners generate keywords. There are many more out there, and while some do have a small fee attached, it can be worthwhile when quality keywords are delivered. Don’t underestimate the power of keyword research!

Some of the best keyword research tools available are:

o   Long Tail Pro (my personal favorite!)

o   Semrush

o   SE Cockpit

o   WordTracker

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