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Keyword research for your local online advertising campaign

So we have gone over goal setting and competition research for your local online advertising campaign and today I’m going to touch on keyword research. As I eluded to yesterday, this topic could fill a book and more, so I’ll try to provide enough information to be helpful but please don’t expect a full treatise on the topic.

There are some excellent free keyword research tools available to anyone who wants to use them. The free tools are certainly enough when starting out but the paid tools do give you an edge. If you want to explore options there, reply to this post and I’ll get back to you. The free tool that I use most often, and truthfully the one with which I start every local online advertising keyword research project is the tool from Google. To get to it, just do a search for “keyword tool” and the Google tool will come up first. You can also type in this URL: and select the “Tools and Analysis” heading and you will see a drop down menu where you will find “Keyword Tool” as an option. If you have a gmail account, you should create a Google AdWords account since they provide better data to people who sign up. There are more benefits to having an account like being sent coupons for free advertising, but you don’t have to have an account to access the basic tool.

Once you get into the tool, there are a couple of different ways to research your keywords. One is by putting in a URL and another is by picking a keyword or two and seeing what else related to those words that Google finds relevant. Below is what your screen should look like when you are getting started with your keyword research. Notice the phrase “locksmith austin” in the box labeled “Word or phrase.”

Local Online Advertising

And when you scroll down on that page, here are the results from entering “locksmith austin” as a keyword. I want to point out that there are check boxes on the left hand side for “Match Types”. If you are unsure about what these are, there is a definition available by clicking the question mark. I always check not just the Broad matches but also the Exact. Again, I could spend a full 1,000 words on match types so if you are interested and want to learn more, post a comment below and I will get back to you.

local online advertising

The two most important data points on this screen are Local Monthly Searches and Competition. Notice that the competition for all these keywords is “High”. What this means is that there are a large number of websites using these phrases as keywords on their website pages so it will probably take longer and may require a more expensive paid advertising campaign to see any results. Since you are just getting started, it’s best to continue doing some research until you can find an appropriate term that has “Low” competition. If you can’t seem to find something that works for you, then you may want to enlist the help of an expert.

If you do want to go deeper into the research, take one of the Google suggested keywords and enter that into the search box and see what other keywords they suggest. You can keep entering related terms until you find something that relates to your product or service and pertains to the goal you set and has either Low or Medium competition.

This process should be done for every website regardless of whether or not there is a local online advertising campaign being planned. Keywords are important tools to let the search engines know what your page is about so they can direct the correct traffic to you site. This is the foundation of search engine optimization (SEO) and is critical to every website, assuming the site is interested in being found.

Hopefully you will take 45 minutes out of your day today to watch the webinar, but if you’re seeing this after December 12, then click here to view the replay. Tomorrow I will go into more detail on where the traffic should be sent from your ads, and here’s a hint, it’s usually not a good idea to direct visitors to your home page from an online advertisement.

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