Welcome to Day 1: Keywords
This lesson will set the foundation for everything we do in the rest of the course. Keywords are important for your local search and your Google rankings. You have to understand Keywords in order to rank with local search.
So, what are they and how do we find them?
You may have heard the term “Keywords” and have a pretty good idea what the term means. If you’re not familiar, Keywords are the words or phrases that we type into Google or another search engine when we are looking for information, products, and services that describe your type of business.
Computer Repair Dallas Texas
Plumbers Las Vegas
Pest Control LA
So Keywords are actually groups of words. Sometimes they are referred to as Keyword Phrases or Search Terms. All these terms mean the same thing.
Since this course is focused on “Local Search” this training program will always use Keywords that contain a city or area name. For example if we want to rank a bookstore in Phoenix then we will start with the Keyword: “Bookstores Phoenix” or “Bookstores in Phoenix” not just “Bookstores”.
The example I am going to use in this video is an actual business that we will be optimizing for local search. It is a painting company in Kansas City. The first thing we you will do is list the type of business, services or products then list the primary areas, such as city, town, suburb or county. Focus on what you think a potential customer would type into Google to find your type of business.
In our example of a painting company in Kansas City it would look like this:
Kansas City MO
Combining the Services with the Areas will give us different Keywords. Notice how we use different variations of our business type because different people search in different ways. Example: Painter, Painters and Painting
Also note that we use different variations of the area. Some people may use the city’s abbreviation or county. Kansas City and KC
Some people will end up with very long list of Services and Areas. That’s OK. We are going to narrow it down later on.
So now we need to find out how many people are actually searching for these Keywords.
Just go to Google.com and type in: keyword tool. The first search result is what you want to click on. Make sure you bookmark this for future use.
Here is the screen you should see: In box that says “Word or phrase” type in a Keyword that you think a potential customer might use to find your business. Refer to the list you made and combine your Services words with Area words.
In our example we will use the keyword Painter Kansas City. Before you click on Search you will have to enter a short verification code. Do this then click Search.
You will then see your Keyword at the top along with a list suggested Keywords below.
Next to each Keywords you will see three columns of information: The first column is labeled Competition. This just gives you an idea of how popular that keyword is based on how many people are using it in their Pay-Per-Click marketing. This can be used as a guide to understanding what Keywords your competition thinks are important.
The next two columns are labeled Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches. They both give the average number of times people have searched for a Keyword per month. The Local Monthly Searches is the one we want to pay attention to as it refers to a specific country or language. It does not have anything to do with your city. So don’t let that confuse you.
So in our example the average number of searches per month for the Keyword: Painter Kansas City is 1600. Now it is important to note that this number is based on any variation of your Keyword not the exact Keyword. To get more accurate results we go down the left side of the screen until we see an option for selecting [Exact]: When you put a checkmark here you see that the results have changed. This is very important and you should ALWAYS go by the Exact results not Broad when using this tool. So now we see our Keyword in brackets: [Painter Kansas City]. This indicates the exact search term without variations and you can see that the number has changed from 1600 to 91.
Switching the order of your keyword phrase can also have a big effect on the keyword you want to target. Make sure you try several variations before drawing conclusions. So let’s go back up to the Word or phrase box and type in “Kansas City Painter” below “Painter Kansas City”. You can type multiple keywords into this box and I recommend that you do so you can easily compare them to each other. After you click Search you will see that exact results for your two Keywords are quite different: Now you see that 91 people are searching for “Painter Kansas City” and only 58 people are searching for “Kansas City Painter”. So we will definitely want to target “Painter Kansas City”.
More often than not people will search by typing in the service or product first, then the city or area.
Try lots of variations and pay attention to the suggested Keywords that Google provides. Never assume that people are searching for a certain Keyword. You may discover that people are searching for completely different terms than what you expected.
Many businesses are in metropolitan areas and will be trying to market to several different cities, towns or suburbs. If this is the case you will have to do Keyword research for each city and decide which ones are searched the most and in which ones you want to do the most business. In our example I use Overland Park and Johnson County. You may find that in some cities people aren’t searching suburbs or smaller towns. This is important because you don’t want to spend time ranking for a Keyword that very few people are searching for.
Our goal here is to find the top 5 most searched Keywords that people search in order to find your business. List the keywords in order of importance on your Local Search Worksheet. Here are the top 5 Keywords I chose for the Painting Company Example:
1. Painting Kansas City – 110 searches
2. Kansas City Painting – 110 searches
3. Painters Kansas City – 110 searches
4. Kansas City Painters – 110 searches
5. Painter Kansas City – 91 searches
Keep in mind that sometimes Google will not report every search term, especially if it is a low number. This does not mean that no one is searching that term, just not enough people are searching the term for Google to report it. If you live in a small town or you have the type of business that not many people are searching for online, it’s possible that typing in your business and your city will produce no results. Don’t worry. That’s OK.
In that case, try variations of your business type without the city. For example, we have a client who is a termite inspector in Grover Beach, California. When we typed in “termite inspector Grover Beach” we got 0 results. Even the more generic term of “pest control Grover Beach” showed no results. However, when we entered the search terms “pest control” and “termites” we found several appropriate search terms with over a million hits nationwide. We used the top terms we found using the keyword tool and the client is ranked number 1 for several search terms.
Today’s Action Steps
1. Make a list of all your business type, services and areas.
2. Use the Keyword Tool to determine the most popular Keywords.
3. Narrow your Keyword list down to the Top 5 and note them on your Worksheet.