Apr 21, 2013
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My previous method for doing local keyword research relied on the following formula:

phrase - exact = % difference

If there was a large % difference between the phrase and exact searches then I knew this was a good keyword(s) to spend time researching. But, now that there's no phrase search with the new Google Planner, I'm looking for new methods to find local keywords.

Was wondering if anyone could recommend a tool, methodology, or resource for getting keywords for generic niches (painting, plumbing, dentist, etc..) that I can combine with any city.


Sep 27, 2012
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With this method of keyword research, what has the post-data (analytics, statistics) shown you? Are you on point with the terms you've selected? Has the data shown this?

I gave up on the keyword tools long ago as it was interpretive data. Post-data gives you the facts. When you see a word getting traction, start building content to support it. I also use blog posts to explore terms. You have a lot of freedom and you can input a myriad of terms to gain geographical relevance all while adding to the site (freshness). Sounds crazy but it's almost a "throw spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks" kind of approach.

I also start by searching the term in Google using quotes ("search query") to see how many sites are actually targeting the term. Anything under 50,000 results is attainable. It gives you a little more insight to how competitive a term is. As I'm sure you know, when you start geo-targeting, the # of results diminishes quite a bit as it's a very specific query. You can adjust and gauge competitiveness on your own based on the size of the city and such.
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