Local Keyword Research
Keyword research is the foundation to a successful SEO plan. If you are working with a business which is targeting a specific area, then local keyword research is what you need to focus on. There are quite a few keyword research tools available, free and paid, but most of them feed off of Googles Adword platform.
Using the Adword Tool
You have to apply for an AdWord account. As mentioned, it's free to use once you get approved. Google collects millions upon millions of bits of information from people who are searching. This information is stored, consolidated and compiled for use in the AdWords tool. Since local keywords are what we're looking for you need to narrow your search. You do this by choosing the options "local search" and "exact match". By choosing these options you will narrow down the results to a region and phrase.
Matching a Business and the Market
A successful local keyword research plan brings together two things: The product or service someone is offering with what people are looking for. It sounds simple, right? Well, with millions of keywords to choose from and highly competitive markets the challenge can be quite daunting.
Is More Traffic Better?
The general rule is the shorter the keyword the more traffic it attracts. For example, The search term "dog training" gets millions of searches on a monthly basis, but does this mean the traffic you get is right for that particular business? What if the business only trains German Shepherds and the searcher has a poodle? You see the better keyword to use is "dog training for German Shepherds", this will attract fewer visitors but the match will be more conducive to make the sale.
Keeping Keyword Research Simple
When doing local keyword research you want to focus on just a few keywords. It is extremely easy to get confused when you see how many variations of a particular keyword pop-up in the results. It takes a little trial and error to get the hang of keyword research and everyone goes through this cycle. Just pick two or three local keywords to start and work with them. You may not have the success you were looking for, but you didn't lose - you're learning to Win!
The other fact is people change their search habits all the time. Search terms change as products and markets change. This is why you must evolve with this process to be successful.
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