In this tutorial we explore a few different ways of conducting keyword research and choosing the right keywords for your local seo objectives. There are plenty of paid tools, but just searching Google will give you plenty of insight and data to work with.
Transcript of How to Choose Keywords | Local SEO Tutorial | Part 12
Why do we need keywords?
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (00:00):
Hey, it's Mike with Serr.biz: search engine ranking rules. Today we're gonna start getting our hands dirty. We're actually gonna do some work. What we're gonna do today is choose keywords, right? We have a website that we want to optimize, but we need to know what keyword we want to optimize for. So an important idea that we need to understand about keywords is as the local business owner you have ideas, right, about your product and your service and. Damn It, you're right. Well, let me tell you a little story about choosing the right key terms. I worked for a rug company. They made handmade carpet and they were very high end, very couture, et cetera. They did not want to use the word rugs because in their minds and it might be true. Rugs connotates a you know, a machine made what have you machine rug, but they sold high end handmade carpets.
Careful not to let your bias make you choose the wrong keywords
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (01:06):
Well, I did some keyword research and handmade rugs had about 10 times the search volume then carpets, did they still didn't wanna optimize for it? So we set up a a campaign in AdWords and handmade rugs leading to their website, produced more sales than handmade carpets. After that, after showing them evidence of what people actually searched, despite their branding and their couture mindset handmade rugs actually produced better click through rates and more sales. My point is that you as the business owner and absolutely know your business better than I do, you know, better than most people, right? But you want to optimize for, or keyword searches and phrases that humans are actually looking for. What's gonna get the human to click on your page once it's seen in Google. And then when they get to your website what is going to cause them to transact with you?
Start your keyword research right in Google
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (02:21):
So the first thing to do is some research, some keyword research, and one of the easiest and simplest places to do research is Google. Now mind you, there's plenty of paid tools out there. But I tend to like to just use Google cuz that's what I'm trying to get into is Google. So I'm gonna take the hints and knowledge that I can glean directly from Google to choose my keywords. So on that note, let's just go to Google right now. Okay. So we're at Google and the website that we're going to optimize for is a karate class school in Dallas, Texas. Full disclosure. My son goes there and I'm just helping them out cuz they need help. So first thing we're gonna do is go to Google search and type in karate. Now stop don't hit, enter, just pay attention to what pops up.
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (03:20):
You see all this down here. You know, Google is showing us terms that other people have searched and what Google themselves think are important, popular terms related to karate. And the first thing we see, well, first thing we see is karate kid. Obviously that's not relevant. We're not interested in, in finding key terms for the movie. We're interested in finding key terms that are relevant to the, the business service, which is teaching kids and adults, karate focus on kids. So first things down here we just see is karate generic. Then we see karate near me, karate, Dallas, karate, Plano, those our good terms. We're gonna take karate Dallas, right. And see what shows up right here. We see the typical paid ads, which are at the top that's AdWords. Anybody can just go buy key terms now and be found there.
Pay attention to the words Google Maps uses
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (04:16):
We're gonna scroll down. We're gonna take note that right here, right? Where we see the generic categorization that Google ads or excuse me, Google maps has so martial arts school. So that's interesting right off the top, you know, it's a karate school, but Google's master term for that grouping is martial arts, which, you know, makes sense. Martial arts covers all types of martial arts of which karate is just one of it's interesting. Oh look, and right over here is the, my client. Now I've already done some work for them beyond this tutorial. So that's in part while they're, they're already starting to show up over there, at least we really wanted get here. But we're choosing keywords. So if we go down some more, the very bottom of a Google search results page, it shows you whole bunch of other terms that are related to karate that Google thinks are important.
Check keyword phrases and suggestions at bottom of Google search results
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (05:22):
So what you can do is just, you know, copy those terms down and put 'em in a spreadsheet or put 'em someplace that you like myself. I like to use a Google doc because I can share it with you know, my clients and other people that I'm working with and they can add into it if they want, et cetera. I like that aspect of Google docs. And there's a link down below in the written tutorial to a template that I made. And we'll take a look at that a little bit, but anyway, here are some more terms that are kind of interesting. Martial arts near me for adults, martial Dallas, martial arts academy, martial arts, martial arts, Dallas, again, karate camp Dallas. So right now we're just gonna be optimizing for the homepage, but those are some new terms that we are probably gonna incorporate possibly definitely.
Save list of keywords
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (06:17):
We're gonna wanna incorporate martial arts versus just karate. Now another place that you can go to find keyword popularity and search volume is Google trends. We're gonna pop over there now, trends.google.com and I've already typed in karate here. It shows us some subset regionalities of hotspots and so forth. Like it seems to be trending up in Rhode Island for whatever people in Rhode Island right now are interested in karate. Maybe it's karate kid, not sure. But we can drill down since we're in Dallas, let's go to Texas and, and let's drill down into the Dallas Fort worth Texas region and just see what kind of information it tells us. So it looks like we've got some ups and downs, which is pretty standard, a little plateau here around October, November. So that's kind of the slow time of the year, I guess.
Google Trends is another source for keyword ideas (Download Keyword list template)
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (07:15):
And that it peeks back up. It looks like in January. Yep. January. So that's interesting. So there seems to be a bit of a seasonality to the search phrase karate. That's just good to know as a business owner you'll know what your seasons are and so forth. Just good to know, and be aware of seasonality. So like, you know, it's October and your rankings have all dropped well, is that really your rankings have dropped or just search volume has dropped. Right. Anyway, other things that we can find out down here it's showing us, ah, here's, what's going on right now anyway is cause this is a breakout Olympic games, Tokyo 20 20. Now we're not gonna optimize the, the website for Olympic games, Tokyo 20, 20 karate. That wouldn't make any sense. However what would make sense is if any of the students at the karate studio actually made it to the Olympics or at Olympic aspirations or if these guys are tied in with the Olympics in any capacity we would definitely want mention that in the website somewhere, maybe not the homepage, but somewhere on the website, a blog post, et cetera.
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (08:33):
Other terms that Google is associating judo, we don't do judo. They do Shotokan Karate. I can't even pronounce this Keji topic. I'm not sure what that is. Boxing sports. So karate. GI karate classes I'm in the way here, let's see karate classes near me, karate near me. Now near me is an interesting phrase. It is very popular. I've talked to some other SEOs there's very few companies that actually incorporate "near me" because near me is generic. It's too generic. It could be near me and I could be sitting in Rhode Island. I really don't want traffic in Rhode Island visiting this Dallas based company. I mean, if they do great, but I'm not gonna waste my SEO keywords on trying to get that traffic. Most of the companies that seem to do incorporate near me into their actual title, tags and HTML and on their website are big national directories where that makes sense, right?
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (09:38):
They could come in anywhere and then drill down to the specific region that they want. But for a small local company "near me" is probably not a good use of key terms. So point is, is there's just Google trends. It's not overly helpful, but it can give you some information and so forth and suggest and, you know, maybe inspire you to something. Another place that we like to get keywords is from Google ad words. Yes, it's a it's paid platform. You don't have to pay to sign up, but to get better specific information related to key terms from Google AdWords, you do need to be a paid, a paid advertiser. Otherwise you're gonna see generic ranges like, you know 1 to 10,000 searches a month. That's pretty generic, right? If you're paid advertiser you can see some more specific information. Pop over to Google AdWords right now.
Use Google Adwords Keyword Discovery Tool
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (10:37):
And we're the keyword planner tool. And we've already typed in some key terms, Karate classes and martial arts classes. And an interesting thing with Google AdWords is we don't have to just do national or worldwide total volume. We can actually narrow down to the city level. So we've actually preset this. We wanna see the search volume of keywords in Dallas. And over here we have some information. So Google is showing us that martial arts near me has had 480 searches a month and there's jujitsu karate near me TaeKwonDo B J J near me karate classes, classes near me, Brazilian jujitsu, cetera. We see a whole bunch of different search terms that do have search volume. But we don't want to use most of them. We're probably in this case gonna want to use karate, Dallas classes, class, maybe.
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (11:43):
We have to see. And then down here we get some other specific research. Now the thing to do with all this information is not just look at it. We created a template which I'm gonna pop over to right here, that I like to make when I'm doing my keyword research. Since right now we're working on the homepage and we wanna optimize that the primary key terms that we've come up with are karate, karate classes, karate classes, Dallas, et cetera. We notate what their competition is in Google itself, where you find this information is right here. So we typed in karate classes, Dallas enter, and right here, there's about 5.7 million pages that were competing against for top first page positioning. So that's what that information is then over in AdWords, we found out what the specific search volume is for that specific phrase.
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (12:51):
So we just notated there. Now, another really, really good place to find what other SEOs in your industry have done is Google itself, check this out. It's gonna seem pretty obvious once I pointed out to you. So back over here on this page, karate classes, Dallas, yes, we can still see the suggested keywords by Google. But we already know that what we can do from an, you know, an SEO point of view is study our competitors right now. So let's take a look. We're gonna go past the paid ads. We're gonna go past the Google maps and now we're gonna get down to, who's actually showing a up in the top 10. And really the sweet spot is right here. Right? It's the top five. The very first website that is showing up for the top 10 is not very good SEO.
Analyze the keywords of titles and descriptions in the search results page
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (13:48):
It's "Dallas martial arts home". That's it. That's all they have. That's not a great SEO title. Why are they number one then? Well, they're probably number one because they have Dallas in the domain name right there. Their domain name is Dallas Dallas-martialarts.com. They've probably been around a long time. They've probably have really good links and reviews and have just been there. Like I said, a long time. Additionally, if you remember, we pointed out that the, the top level category in Google maps that Google has chosen is martial arts. So Google knows that karate is martial arts. And is this decided to show this page first. The next one up though is Yelp, right? They have "10 best karate classes for kids in Dallas, Texas". So they've got no keyword density in their domain name, but they do have keywords in their title, karate classes, Dallas, Texas.
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (14:58):
They also have it in their description, karate classes, Dallas, Texas, martial arts, Dallas karate. So again, those it's just reinforcing that our core keywords for this website are gonna be karate classes Dallas Texas martial arts, right. Let's take a look. The next one, the third one down is, you know, pretty much identical but it's karate classes, Dallas, Texas next up we have Dallas and then martial arts again north Dallas, martial arts, Dallas martial arts. So Dallas, including Dallas in our title tag and in our meta description tag is going to be very, very important. So you can, you know, modify that template and, and make notes about that as well. It's up to you how you want to organize your keywords, but the important part is to have keywords, to organize, to be thinking about keywords.
With local seo you have two targets: Topic and Geo Location
Michael Zittel - SEO expert (16:06):
Remember when you're optimizing, you have two audiences, you're not just trying to get Google to show you on the home pay age or, you know, in the top 10 you'll get some traffic out of that. But if it's not, if, if the human who's reading it, who actually has to click, doesn't identify with it. They're not going to click and then you'll drop out of the top 10. So that's how you choose keywords, just using Google and Google ad words and Google trends. Like I said, there's other tools that you may explore and want to use, but from a starter point of view, solid place to start is just start with Google. And you'll find some interesting phrases that you may not have thought of and might actually be the exact thing you need to drive traffic and get new customers and new sales. So, so next up is gonna be titles and descriptions. We're gonna continue in the vein of karate, but by being specific, we hope that you can extrapolate the important principles and use them for your own website, your own search terms. If you've liked this video, please do like and subscribe. My name is Mike with Serr.biz. Thanks for watching.