DIY Keyword Research for Local Service Companies

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Keyword research doesn’t have to be a headache if you know how to go about it. Here’s a handy DIY research guide for local home service companies.

With the average small business set to spend around $75,000 on digital marketing alone this year, home service companies need to find ways to cut corners. One of the best ways to do that is to take advantage of SEO and keywords. Since your keywords are the gateway to directing traffic to your site and traffic can turn into leads, it’s important that do your research.

Here are 5 tips to help improve your keyword research.

1. Identify Your Most Important Keywords

In martial arts, you’re encouraged to get to know yourself before you get to know your enemy. You need to know your limitations, your strengths, and where you want to be before you can position yourself against anyone else.

Get to know which keywords are most important to you and your industry as the first part of your research. Look at websites for industry related publications. Look at the biggest players in your industry and see what words they’re using.

Compile a list based on what you learn from this research to inform what keywords you should be doing your research with.

Use branded terms combined with your location.

If you’re a boutique tissue manufacturer in Phoenix, see how well “Phoenix AZ Kleenex” does in search results. If your closest competitors rank highly, you can see what terms they’re using. If only Kleenex comes up, you might want to start using this term.

Write down important geographical terms. They should include not only your city or town but also your neighborhood if it’s well known. You should include nearby interstates or tourist attractions if there are any.

These can attract more searches to your website and also let you know which of them your competitors are using.

2. Identify Your Biggest Competitors

Once you’ve gotten to know what you need, you can see what your competitors are looking for when they set up their SEO strategy.

If you know who you want to rank higher than, it’s much easier to set a goal and exceed it. If you don’t know who to compare yourself against, you might have trouble ever knowing if you’ve achieved the success you’re looking for.

Your biggest competitors don’t have to just be the biggest companies in the world, they can be small nearby producers who are cornering the market. If you have an inspiration or a company that you wish you were more like, that’s a fair approach to take.

You can have admiration for your competitors so long as you’re always hungry to outdo them in the eyes of your customers. Competition can be fair, friendly, and respectful.

3. Run Some Searches

Now that you’ve outlined who your competitors are and what words you need to use, it’s time to start running some searches on your favorite search engine. Get into the mind of a potential customer and start your searches by looking for what they would be looking for.

When you run your searches, remember, you don’t know the name of your products or your company. You’re just a potential customer looking for products like yours for the first time. Don’t use your brand names, your company name, or any defining characteristics.

Note where you come up in the search rankings. If you’re not in the first page of results, you need to check out who is and try to outdo them.

Note when your competitors come up high for some terms and don’t do as well for others. That could be your way to break into the search results.

After you’ve got an idea of how well your competitors are doing, it’s time to link up with a tool that can seriously define what your next steps should be.

4. Try Out Google’s FREE Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner can do lots of local keyword research for you. You can get relative estimates of how popular different keywords are within the area you serve as well as the competition level of ranking for these opportunities.

5. Repeat Every Few Months

The thing about SEO is that trends and terminology will change just about every month. Depending on the industry that you’re in, chasing down latest trends could become a full-time job. While it’s tedious work, it’s important when you’re trying to have a strong online presence.

Your competitors might even have seasonal keywords that they rotate every few months. Instead of having to go in and readjust your website’s nitty-gritty data and descriptions, you could write a blog.

Having a blog is a great way to constantly be having new content to offer your audience. It also gives you a sense of reputability when it comes to how well you know your industry. You can update your blog much more easily than you can update every page on your website.

When you’re coming up with content for your blog, you can answer the most frequently asked questions in the home service industry. You’ll find that when people are searching for the corresponding question to your headline, you’ll see a spike in traffic.

Home Service Companies Need to Work Hard Researching Keywords

The most important thing to know for home service companies is what your customers want. When you get into the mind of a customer, you can target them more accurately. Once you have a strong profile of what customers want, you can anticipate their needs in the future.

If your keyword research has you working on your website, make sure to check out our guide on the differences between a good website and a bad website.

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About Jon Parker