Find out what keywords you should target using 5 FREE keyword research tools to get the most local visitors to your site and turn them into paying customers.
5 Free keyword research tools every business owner should use for local SEO
Keyword research is the foundation of SEO. Get it wrong and you will either get the wrong type of visitors coming to your site and bounce back or no visitors at all.
Buy if you get it right it could really turn your business around.
In this video I ‘m going to show you how to do some solid keyword research so you can drive local visitors to your site and turn them into customers.
To do this, I’ll be using 5 keyword research tools which are all free to use, so you don’t even have to spend a dime, what’s not to like.
Gone are the days where you would create a web page to target an exact keyword such as emergency boiler repair in London and have another page for London boiler repair emergencies. This strategy doesn’t work anymore.
With the development of artificial intelligence, Google has got a lot smarter and is now able to associate keywords that have the same meaning, making the creation of multiple pages for the different variations of a keyword a waste of time and effort.
Google explains this very clearly on one of their support pages
Using the example of someone searching for Yosemite camping, Google will assume that someone searching for Yosemite national park ca camping , will also be a good result for that query as well as Yosemite campground or campsite in Yosemite.
And although this article is dedicated for google ads, this technology will apply to organic too.
This means that when you build pages for your website you need to be smart too.
So instead of building dozens of pages unnecessarily trying to target an exact keyword you want to rank n#1 for a more effective strategy is to create content based on keyword themes or topic you want your business to be found for.
For local businesses, a theme or a topic is the equivalent of what is known as a local categories.
Let me show you what I mean.
You’ve all probably done this at least once before when you listed your business in a popular local directory. When you come to choose your business categories, you have multiple options to choose from.
The trick is to identify categories that are relevant to your business and to integrate them in your website structure.
Here is an example from Yelp. Let’s say I own a cleaning company. if I want to list my business in Yelp for “cleaning company” I have several options to choose from. If my business provides all the suggested services I can include these categories in the top structure of my website.
An example of a good structure for this scenario could look like this: Yoyr main category could be cleaner and cleaning services, and your different topics could be, Pool cleaner, window cleaners, gutter cleaner and carpet cleaning.
The main advantage of doing this is you end up matching the exact local category on your website that is suggested by Yelp giving you a solid chance of being visible for those services in the Yelp directory.
But never mind Yelp.
The question is, how do you find out which categories you should target when it comes to Google since it is where most of your traffic is likely to come from.
This is what we are going to do with our first tool.
Tool 1: Find out the most appropriate Google my business categories
In the main navigation bar click on the tools option and choose the Google my business categories full list 2019 option.
Scroll down and select your country and language and tick the box “Show results in table” then click the “Fetch Google my business categories”. Scroll down and in the search box start typing what you think your business category is.
Let’s say I am a dentist. Google’s category names will start showing up and this is when you need to start making notes.
In this case I already have three categories I can use, Dentist, cosmetic, paediatric.
Try using other related words. When I search for dental or teeth I get another few very relevant categories like dental clinic, dental hygienist, dental implants periodontist, emergency dental service, Teeth whitening service.
Within minutes I already have a solid list of relevant categories I will be able to use for my site.
Once you’ve covered all options you might want to check your competitors’ categories just to make sure you haven’t forgotten any.
To do this go to the menu and click on the tools option and choose the local rank tracker option.
Enter the name of one of one of your direct competitors and a keyword that is relevant to your business. You can keep the distance and grid size as they are, then click search.
A map will appear and will start plotting pins indicating where this business is ranking in google maps for the keyword you specified which is great. But on the left-hand side, this tool will also list all the businesses within that location and show what business categories Google has associated them with.
All you need to do is scan through them and see if there are any you could be using for your site.
Here is another example I hadn’t thought about, denture care centre.
I now have a very good and solid list of categories I can use to structure my site which matches exactly Google’s categories.
How you structure your site is entirely up to you. The important matter here is to prioritise the services that are most profitable to your business.
It’s now time to drill down a little further to expand on those themes and see what keywords I can find in relation to my categories.
This is what we are going to do with our tool number 2
Tool N# 2 Find related keywords related to your theme
To find keywords related to your themes we’re going to use a free tool provided by Google called Google keyword planner. You may be familiar with it already, if not, it’s very simple to use. First you will need a Gmail account and then you will need to create a Google ads account. It is free to create however you will need to create a campaign and enter some credit card details during the setting up process. To make sure you don’t get charged just pause the campaign as soon as you’ve completed the process. Then go to tools and then keyword planner
Choose the “Find new keyword options” and enter one of the categories you’ve identified during your theme research with tool n#1
Let’s enter teeth whitening service for example and click search. You should now have access to a lot of keywords which are related to “teeth whitening service” which you can use to start creating content.
Unfortunately, this tool will only give you an estimated amount of searches per month because you are not running any ad campaign, so the best way to pick the right keywords is to sort the selection by competition. What you are looking for is kewyords that combine low competition and high-volume.
Once you are happy with your selection you can export it using the CSV option at the bottom and add it to a Google spreadsheet to keep for later. Repeat this process for each category. At the end of this stage you should have a very decent set of keywords to choose from but which one should you prioritise?
This is what we are going to look at with our tool n#3
Tool N# 3 Prioritise the keywords you want to target
Head over to Ubbersugest.com. From the list of keywords you have created with Google Keyword planner, choose some keywords you think you’d like to create content pages for.
Let’s choose one I have found from the Google keyword planner “uneven teeth whitening”
Ubbersugest will give you the monthly search volume for the keyword, the SEO difficulty as well as the paid difficulty making things a lot easier for you to target the right keyword.
Obviously the higher the numbers are be the harder it will be for you to get visibility for those keywords, so choose carefully.
And there is also a graph telling you about the seasonality for each keyword allowing you to target the right keyword at the right time.
I admit this process can be time consuming so for those of you who are short on time here is another way to unearth keyword ideas and combine them with search volume all in one page.
These guys have built a genius extension which you can install on either Google chrome or Firefox. Once installed, this extension will display Keywords search volume along with competition, directly on the result pages of some of the most visited websites out there.
It will also add related keyword results as well as an option for “People also search for”
And you can export the results which is great
Installing the extension is super easy. Click on one of the options and add it to your browser. You will be prompted with a message that asks you for your email address to unlock a free api key.
Go to your inbox, you should have received an from keyword everywhere with a link which will give you access to the API key. Click on the link which will take you to a page where your API Key will be revealed.
Copy the key, click the icon Keyword everywhere in the top right of your browser, go to update settings and enter the key in the API field then click validate. Now go to google and search for any keyword and Bingo.
This is great and fast and works on major sites like Google, youtube, amazon and also on the very last tool I’m going to show you
Tool N#5 find more content ideas
Head over to answerthepublic.com. Answer the public is a tool that combines the suggested searches from Google and Bing and displays the results in a very visual format.
When you do a keyword research in Answer the public you will be presented with common questions, comparison, prepositions and more which are related to the keyword you have typed.
If we stick with our example of teeth whitening here is what you can expect. I personally find the visualisation aspect of this tool a little difficult to work with, so I tend to switch to the data option which is a lot easier to read.
And what’s great when you do this, our keyword everywhere extensions kicks in and gives you data about all those keywords.
The beauty about answer the public is that it really helps you find some of the questions people ask which you can integrate directly as part of your content.
By doing that, not only you will provide some very useful information to your visitors, but you will also have the chance to feature in what is known as answer snippets in google search results and even may be come up in voice search.