Doing local keyword research step-by-step
I like to share practical knowledge in my blogs.
I make manuals or tell you how to get things done. However, I will show you something in this blog. With this example case, I will show you how I do a local keyword analysis for an accountancy firm.
By the way, there are hundreds of ways to do keyword research.
If you are not an accountancy firm (and that chances are), you can still follow the steps. Just involve them in your niche/business.
- Good preparation is half the battle (think logically).
- Find out competitor keywords.
- Search on Google.
- More inspiration from Answer The Public, Keyword Sheeter, etc.
- Use Mergewords [for local SEO]
- Make use of the content gap.
- Use a keyword research tool.
- Make a choice based on volume, difficulty, intention, and relevance.
Disclaimer: My keyword analyses for customers are often more extensive than described below, but to keep it compact and organized, I kept it short in this article.
Good preparation is half the battle (think logically)
- When people want to do keyword analysis, the first thing they think is: ‘WHAT TOOL SHOULD I USE ??? !!!!’.
But using a keyword analysis tool should only be done at the end. First, you have to think logically. We will do that together. List all the keywords that come to mind:
Make this list as complete as possible or possibly create a mind map.
Find out competitor keywords
Let’s move on to Step 2: Find out competitor’s keywords. I will briefly explain the easiest method below:
Go to your competitor’s website and write down any important keywords you see there. I got to see the following services from an accounting website.
- Budget and forecasts
- Online accounting
- Pension advice
- Legal advice
- Business transfer
Repeat this process for all of your competitors. Then I also want you to go to Google and enter site [URL OF YOUR COMPETITION].
It looks like this:
Then you also write down words of all your competitors that you think are interesting. I join you again:
- Sports accountant
- Employee insurance
- Tax adviser
- Accountancy firm Australia
- Administration office
But this list is also as complete as possible.
You should already have dozens or hundreds of keywords. We will now rapidly increase that number through Google itself.
Type all the words you have listed in Google so far, but don’t hit enter or search. Google then completes the keywords.
Add those keywords to your list.
Repeat this step for most of the keywords you entered.
More inspiration from Answer The Public, Keyword Sheeter, etc.
Now that we have done the preliminary work, it is now the only time to start using different tools. The assignment is as follows: use the following three tools and enter several important keywords in the tools. Check the output of the tools and add them to your list.
I advise you to use the following tools:
- Answer The Public
- Also Asked
- Keyword Autocomplete Tool
Let me join you with the keyword ‘accountant’ within Answer The Public. I picked out the following words:
- Accountant audit
- Hire an accountant
- Accountant costs
- Accountant financial statements
Use Mergewords [for local SEO]
We will immediately proceed to the next tool. When we talk about local SEO, it can be found locally. This is one of the most important tools.
You now have to make two rows:
- A row “A” with all your services/names. So accountant, bookkeeper, the accountancy firm, etc.
- And column “B” with all locations and place names that are relevant to you (even if you are not there, but they are very close).
Then enter the row “A” in the left column and row “B” in the middle column.
Repeat this process until you have had all the possible combinations and add them to your list.
Make use of the content gap
Your keyword list is already terribly long. We are going to make it much longer very quickly and easily.
We go to the content gap. In other words, the content hole.
The content hole contains the keywords that your competitor’s website is found on, but not your website. My two favorite tools to find out the content gap are SEMrush or Ahrefs.
Export the keyword list you get from SEMrush or Ahrefs and add it to your long keyword list.
Use a keyword research tool
You should now have an incredibly long keyword list. It is now up to you to put all these keywords in a keyword analysis tool to determine the volume and difficulty.
Write this down for each keyword so that you have a powerful and comprehensive document.
My favorite keyword analysis tool is KWFinder. This is an affordable and easy to use tool that provides tons of useful information.
What you can also do is check which options KWFinder offers when you enter a keyword. I expect you already have most of them in your list, but you can always try.
Of course, you are free to keep track of everything you want, but we always do our keyword analysis in Excel. Up to this point, our keyword research looks like this.
Can I do an SEO audit myself?
Yes, you can – if you don’t have a budget for an agency. Why not? In any case, that’s better than getting a cheap audit for 300 dollars. The difference between an experienced SEO and a layperson is due to one very important thing: an experienced SEO can interpret the data well. If they find a missing sitemap on a domain with 20 URLs, they don’t care much. A beginner may spend days trying to manually create a sitemap because he thinks this is particularly important. The prioritization of the recommended actions is what you pay for – not the pure analysis.
Make a choice based on volume, difficulty, intention, and relevance
In principle, we have now collected all the data, and the next step is to choose keywords. Before you do this, I advise you to remove all duplicate values from the document.
In order to choose what really are the best keywords, there are four things you should look at.
- Volume -> How often is a keyword searched for? The more, the better!
- Difficulty -> How much competition is there for a keyword? The more competition, the harder it is to score on that keyword.
- Intention -> What does someone want to achieve/do when he/she searches for the keyword? Would that person intend to buy something, or would he or she want some extra information?
- Relevance -> How relevant is this keyword to your business? Does this suit your service provision/work area?
Now I want you to look at the keywords and test them against all four criteria. I want to give you some tips:
- More search volume doesn’t always mean it’s a better keyword. More search volume almost always means more competition.
- Don’t be blind to the numbers. Above all, get started and test what works and what doesn’t.
- A keyword from 10 or 20 volume can already be interesting. If you are easy to find by writing one text, this can result in 1 to 3 customers per month.
- First, focus on the keywords where people have an intention to buy.
Now you know how to conduct a (local) keyword research.
It may take a while, but you will get a file in return that will help you move forward in the coming period, and that will help you find the right focus… and keep it.