Jul 31, 2015
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Hi all!

The other day I was reading a few articles about creating local content to rank organically for locations outside the main area. But that got me thinking:

  1. How does one go about keyword research? I mean if you are going to write local content, about local events, local testimonials, whatever, I presume there won?t be that many searches per month for whatever combination you could think of. So my question here is: does it make sense to do keyword research for local content?
  2. The first question led me to think: what if a local business is running a blog in which they write not only local content but also content for the ?global market?? Would it make sense here to make some keyword research for writing blog posts or would it be better to focus the optimization around some keywords only for really important pages (AKA local landing pages)? I?m asking this because I have been doing a lot of keyword research for some blog posts the clients have been writing, but I don?t think it is not worth the effort since the competition is really strong and since the easiest keywords to rank for have usually low traffic.

I know this topic has been debated at length but I could not find anything related to local businesses talking both to local and global audiences.

Thanks for your opinions


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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If it's truly a location specific topic, that may be really difficult. You're correct in that Adwords probably won't have data on it. Your best bet is just to brainstorm and maybe even try an autocomplete wildcard search in Google. For instance if you were looking for "places to eat in NY" you could do "* places to eat in NY" and autocomplete would give you a list of what the most popular searches are for words that go in front of "places". You can do that between each word to get a decent size list. That will help your brainstorm (I hope all of that made sense, I'm tired :))

If your content is truly a location specific topic and can be replicated in other markets, then you could obviously do a national search on the same question and then use the Keyword Planner to get an idea of how to prioritize your keywords based on volume.

Do you have a topic example?


Jan 4, 2013
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I don't recommend adding geo modifiers "houston" for example when doing keyword research for blog topics. Use queries at a national level. Then add the geo after the content is finished.

I like to start by speaking with sales and support staff to find out the common questions/faq's asked by the current clients. Tackle all those topics first.

Then move to audience research. This research may be by email, phone or in person. I'm looking to break audiences into 3 groups.

1. Those that tried the product/service and loved it, ie repeat buyers or clients that have been with the business for years.

2. Those that tried the service but left, ie weren't satisfied.

3. Those that were leads but didn't convert or buy.

You want to identify what the reservations, questions, concerns that each group had before/while making the decision.

You want to find out why group 1 and 2 chose to work with the business. And find out why group 3 didn't try it at all.

You want to find why group 2 left.

You want to find out why group 1 is so loyal.

Keyword research and content without tackling these items will always fall flat on its face.

Start with people. Not keywords.

I learned the following after a decade of researching hundreds of businesses and verticals:

All queries boil down to 5 buckets of questions:

1. How much does it "cost". Example: how much do dental implants cost. Cost of single implant. Cost of mini implants.

2. What are the potential "problems" or "pitfalls" of the product/service. Example: possible complications with dental implants. Recovery from dental implants. Pain after implants.

3. What are the "pros and cons" of the service. "Comparison" (x) service/product to (y) service/product. Example: Dental implants vs bridges. Pros and cons of implants. Pros and cons of bridges. Veneers vs lumineers. Or dental practice X vs practice Y.

4. "Reviews" about service/product. Include customer reviews and/or links to 3rd parties that review/recommended said product/service.

5. "Best" implant dentist in houston. Why is your client/product best? Back it up with links or references to 3rd parties when possible.

Take a topic and tackle it this way then use keyword research to expound on this direction, or to guide you by using the most common queries for each of the 5 subtopics.

I like google auto suggest, ubersuggest, Google trends, and adwords keyword planner. Old school for the win and you don't need an expensive software.

I like to tackle all service/product categories this way. Involve owner, sales, and support team. Shouldn't need more than 15 mins per service/product. Then let the team review the content before posting. Splash some original images or video. Back it up with data where appropriate, charts, graphs, infographic if time or budget allow.

Now we're making content thats gold baby!

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk


Jul 31, 2015
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@ Cody
WOW! Thank you very much for taking the time to outline the whole process for me.

The process you suggest makes perfect sense but I’m not sure how to tie together the first part of your idea “Use queries at a national level. Then add the geo after the content is finished” with the all rest, for example a query from bucket #2, like “Pain after implants”.

How do you write content around the concept of pain after an implant that is also relevant for people in Houston, for example? After all, pain is pain everywhere ;)
An interview/review, for example?

Again I ask this because, the concept you propose, in general, is clear and makes sense, but the first part of the answer confuses me a bit: “Use queries at a national level. Then add the geo after the content is finished”.

How do you write content like this without writing an article that sounds like “How to deal with pain after an implant in Houston”?, which I’m 10000% sure this is not what you had in mind ;)

Thank you again

---------- Post Merged at 06:23 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 06:08 PM ----------

@ Joshua

the idea of the wildcard is actually pretty good, and, yeah it all made sense ;) .

As for the topic idea, on the top of my head, one could be for example something like ?How much does it cost to install bathroom ceramic tiles?? for a pottery shop's site in Formia (a town close to Rome)

Thanks again


Local Search Expert
Sep 12, 2012
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That could be a national query so I would just use the wildcard search with no location keywords and then use the Keyword Planner to back that up. If you rank at the top of the list for that search, and have very valuable information, you could get some backlinks for it.
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