Going Local: Local SEO Keyword Research Tips

One of the most important things to do at the beginning of an SEO campaign is choosing the right set of keywords to target. The same goes for when you want to use local SEO to further market your site — and the products or services you are selling — to local market segments. You need to target the correct set of keywords in order to reach them. We have just the tips to help you get started in this article.

Generic vs. Long-Tail Keywords

When you are targeting a local market segment, aiming for generic keywords will be much easier to do. You are competing against fewer companies targeting the same market segment within the industry, so chances are you can appear at the top — or at least on the first page — of search results for generic keywords when the search is coming from your area.

Still, you shouldn’t discard long-tail keywords altogether. Sometimes, long-tail keywords are far more effective than their generic counterparts for two simple reasons: the suit the customers more and they get searched more as a result.

“Best auto trader in Toronto”, for example, is a good long-tail keyword phrase to target compared to “auto trader”. You are targeting the specific market of Toronto, and people living in the city will certainly add the word “Toronto” to their searches. Everything matches perfectly!

Think Like Your Customers

The keywords you have in mind and the keywords your customers use to search for products and services don’t always match. You may think your business as “waste disposal” while your customers search for “garbage collector”. This happens a lot and has been causing websites to lose exposure and traffic.

The only way to get around this when searching for keywords for your local SEO is by thinking like your potential customers. Understand the kind of words they will more likely use and target those words when setting your SEO campaign.

This is also part of the reasons why working with an SEO company with good local knowledge can be highly rewarding. They know exactly how the customers think and can help formulate the most suitable local SEO campaign for your business. You can easily save a lot of time and money with a team of SEO experts assisting you every step of the way.

Review and Evaluate

Just like the SEO campaign itself, the keywords you target must be reviewed and evaluated periodically. Repeat the process of researching for keywords every couple of months (or sooner) to keep your local SEO campaign as effective as it can be.

You can also keep up with local trends to gain more traffic. Google and other search engines allow you to find out about the things people in your area are searching for the most. Adjust your content to match these popular keywords from time to time and you will be able to reach a wider range of audience. Wider audience means more potential customers, and more potential customers equals more chances to convert them to sales.

Originally published at thestartupmag.com on May 11, 2015.

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