Local Keyword Research for Contractors
Local keyword research is the first step in the local SEO content writing process. It is an important part of your local SEO strategy. Before you create your website’s content, you have to find out the local search terms your audience uses. Their search terms are the keywords you will use. Based on these location-based keywords you can start writing useful and high-quality content that focuses on your marketing area.
In this article, we will show you many steps involved in local keyword research.
What is local keyword research?
Local keyword research is part of search engine optimization. It’s the work you or your SEO company performs to come up with a list of targeted keywords they would like a website to rank for. To create a list, website owners or their SEO agency need to dig into the audience, keyword tools and search engines. What search terms do people type into Google when looking for contracting services, products related to or type of business? With this list, website owners and/or their SEO provider can create local related content that will attract more and better-quality traffic to their website. Keyword research and more importantly local keyword research is never finished. You should be producing fresh content on a consistent basis to get the best results for your efforts.
With local keyword research you will see how different terms related to specific areas. Your local keyword research will tell you things that are important.
If you were doing SEO for a Tree Service.
Do they search for:
- “Tree Service Cherry Hill, NJ”
- “Tree Care Company Cherry Hill, New Jersey”
- “Tree Company 08003” or any of the other 6 zip codes for Cherry Hill, New Jersey.
Reasons why is local keyword research important?
Accurate local keyword research is important because it will show which search terms your customers uses. It is not uncommon for a contractor’s website to target keywords that are what I call commodity keywords. And their potential customers used a completely different set of keywords. As a result, potential customers couldn’t find their website.
Example: Is it a remodel, renovation or improvement?
For instance, your can have local content that says “bathroom renovations Morristown, New Jersey” But beware: Very few people search for [bathroom renovations]. If you optimize your keywords for this term, you’ll probably rank well on this specific term. Though, you may not generate a lot of traffic with this term. You’ll miss a large part of your potential audience because they use “Bathroom Remodeling” as a search term.
Another reason why local keyword research is important for contractors is some areas there may be less of the service needed. For instance, while doing local research, you or your marketing agency, may find that a certain town, city or neighborhood is not a good match.
Take an area with a big make up of new developments, less than 10 years old. The need for roofing in this area is less, as the homes won’t need a new roof for some time. But, if you are a landscaper or a deck builder, this may be a good area to focus your local keywords to.
Unlike normal SEO keyword research, you or your marketing company need to research local areas, as much as the keywords themselves.
Essential ideas of local keyword research
Before we jump to doing location-based keyword research, we’ll shortly explain some essential concepts of it:
A local focused keyword or key phrase is the word or phrase you want a certain page on your site to be found for in Google or other search engines You determine your set of focus key phrases by doing keyword research.
Long-tail keywords are more specific and less commonly searched for. They focus on specifics. The longer and more specific search terms are, the easier it will be to rank for them since there will be less competition. Even though there are less people searching for these terms, they might be more motivated to contact you, because of the local, specific long tail keywords your website page focused on.
- Roofing Contractor [Head Keyword]
- Roofing Contractor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey [Head & Local Keyword]
- Metal Roofing Contractor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08033 [Long tailed, Head & Local Keywords]
As you can imagine the first search term above is going to get a lot more traffic that the last of the three. But, the competition for that keyword is going to be very high. As you get more specific, your traffic amount will decrease, but your specific targeting will be more accurate to a searchers query.
As Google crawls this longtail keyword, you may rank on page 3 for “Roofing Contractor”, page 2 for “Roofing Contractor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey” but page one for “Metal Roofing Contractor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08033”.
Your local SEO strategy is about the decisions you make based on your local keyword research. Will you focus on the head, tail, or local?
Digging into search intent is key here. You have to discover what a searcher actually wants or is looking for. You’re not just looking at keywords, but the primary goals of what a searcher wants to know or do. Your content should provide an answer to the searcher’s “questions”. This is also known as content strategy or design.
How local keyword research is performed?
Contractor Marketing Network believe there are 9 important steps while carrying out local keyword research. We’ll guide you through this process and give you practical tips to start your own local keyword research and strategy:
- Start small and very niche oriented. Pick a town or neighborhood. Focus on a specific part of your services.
Example: Metal Roofing Contractor in Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08033 This is specific to one of 7 zip codes in Cherry Hill and metal roofing only. An easier win and faster return on your SEO budget.
- Make your list of keywords in a spreadsheet. With the small and very niche local keywords in mind, try to get into the heads of your potential website visitors. What will these people be looking for? What kind of search terms could they be using while searching online? Which of their “problems” does your product or service solve? Write down as many answers as possible. These are the search terms you want to be found for.
- Now search Google. After you’ve created this first list, it’s time to search your keywords. Luckily, Google is free. There will be more keywords you come up with in “Google suggests” while you are typing. Those are the questions people actually asked Google! You can also check out the “related searches” on Google’s results page on the bottom of the SERP page.
Focus on the high value, high converting local long tail keywords. These are easier to rank for and the lead or visitor quality is better.
- Don’t forget to add the long-tail keywords to your spreadsheet. Put the head terms in the first column and add long-tail keywords in the second and third columns. This will help you or your SEO firm create a proper site structure. The more long-tail your search term is, the further down into your site structure its landing page belongs.
- Look at the competition. This will tell if you should go after local long-tail keywords. If the competition in your marketing area is high, you’ll have a hard time ranking on competitive head terms. If you have little competition, you’ll be able to rank for more of your head terms. So, you’ll need to do some benchmarking for SEO.
- Look at the intent of the search terms. Whenever someone enters a search query into a search engine, they are on a quest for something. Every type of question needs a specific answer.
Types of search intent.
- informational intent (try to find information on a specific topic)
- navigational intent (want to access a specific website)
- commercial intent (want to research something before buying)
- transactional intent (looking to buy something right now)
- Keyword strategy: Now think about this question: How does my website hold up compared to the websites in the SERPs? Are you of equal size and SEO marketing budget? If so, go ahead and focus on those head terms. If not, try more local long-tail keywords first. Focusing on a whole bunch of long-tail keywords combined will attract a lot of traffic. Once you’ve managed to rank for those long-tail keywords, aiming for more head terms will become easier.
- Start creating your website pages based of the local keywords you have. Focus on one keyword, one local area per page.
- You’ll need to build landing pages for your search terms. You don’t have to create all these pages immediately. It can be a long-term effort. This is how we do it for our clients. With limited budgets for SEO, we do an area or specific service on a monthly basis. Your keyword strategy will help you prioritize. In a little time, normally a few months, they start seeing the results from the local SEO services we provide.
Wrapping up Local Keyword Research
Local keyword research should be the start of any contractor’s SEO strategy. The result will be a list of location and service specific based keywords for which you’d like to be found.
The hardest part is still ahead: writing all that content. You should write articles and blog posts on every single keyword you would like to be found for.
If you are interested in getting your website ranked better in the local search for your marketing area, reach out to us. We would be glad to help you on your local SEO journey and get found on Google.
You may also like these articles.
No posts found!