To find local keywords, the best place to go is usually the query report from within Adwords. But what do you do if you either don’t have an Adwords account, don’t have enough data to pull from, or don’t have money to run an Adwords test? Keep reading to find out how to find local keywords for SEO without a PPC account.
Basic Local Research
The first thing I do when doing research for a local client with no PPC account is to try to find local, geo-modified keywords to work from. These become my jumping off point. For this research, I use two things: a reverse rank checker and a keyword density checker. I use both in the same way that I outlined in my previous post, but this time I look specifically for local terms. I then add found keywords to an Excel spreadsheet, my master list.
After using these tools, I will go to Google Trends and Google Insights to see if I can find geo trends for terms. There are a lot of filtering options so I tend to stick around and play for a while to see what I can find. Again, any findings go on the master list.
I then run my master list through the Google Keyword Suggestion Tool. Any words with volume are added, exported, copied and pasted back to the master. From here, the words go to Aaron Wall’s Keyword Tool. The same thing happens with volume words: export, copy, paste.
What To Do If Results Are Thin
At this point if my results for geo-modified keywords are still thin, I simply start researching national, broad terms, following the same keyword research method as outlined before. Once I have my complete master list, I write down the counties, cities, states, and regions my client serves. I use a local keyword generator to help me decide on cities. What the local generator does is generate keywords based on the zip and radius you enter. Quite helpful.
With the highest volume keywords and my city list, I go to a keyword list generator tool to come up with keyword combos, placing the core terms in box 1 and geo modifiers in box 2. I then run these combos though the Google Keyword Suggestion, and any words with volume then go through Aaron Wall’s tool. Export. Copy. Paste.
By now your list should be shaping up. If the list is still thin, I’d go to Google’s Related Search or Wonder Wheel for ideas. Screen shots below. Click to enlarge.
I don’t use Related Search and Wonder Wheel often, because many of these words have no volume to them. Still, if you’re dry on words, you must leave no stone unturned.
Once you’ve got your final list, choose your keywords by measuring their competitiveness. After that, you’re home free!!
P.S. Reading my previous post will make doing local research make more sense and much easier. Read it here.
What is your local keyword research method?