[Easy Guide] SEO for Local Businesses

Lesson 2: How to Find The Best SEO Keyword for Local Business

choose the right keywords

Keyword analysis and selection is the first and important step in an SEO process

By choosing the right keywords, you not only can get more visitors to your website but also make sure these visitors are a potential paying customer that can increase your business revenue.

In this article, we will cover the steps to find out the keyword ideas, relevant keywords, monthly search volume, and how to pick the final keywords.

Let’s dive in now.

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Step 1 - How to Get Keyword Ideas

Start with telling about your business

local shops on street

To get started, answer “Who are you?” and “What do you sell or do?”.

Yes, by answering these questions, you can list the seed keywords which will be useful to find other relevant keywords.

If you are a house renovation contractor, you may answer:

  • Renovation contractor
  • Renovation company
  • Renovation specialist
  • House renovation contractor
  • House renovation
  • Renovation services
  • Toilet renovation
  • Toilet renovation contractor
  • Kitchen renovation
  • Bathroom renovation

If you are a dentist, you may answer:

  • Dentist
  • Dental specialist
  • Dental clinic
  • Dental implants
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • Dental crown
  • Teeth whitening
  • Tooth extraction

Here is how to get your list of seed keywords. Let’s move on to the next step.

Adding Location Keywords

Where do you serve your client? What area does your business cover?

For example, you may cover Kuala Lumpur, Puchong, Petaling Jaya, Kepong or entire Malaysia.

Then, we can use it together with our seed keyword as below.

For a house renovation contractor in KL:

  • Renovation contractor KL
  • Renovation contractor Kuala Lumpur
  • Renovation company KL
  • Renovation company Kuala Lumpur
  • Renovation specialist KL
  • Renovation specialist Kuala Lumpur
  • House renovation KL
  • House renovation Kuala Lumpur
  • Renovation services KL
  • Renovation services Kuala Lumpur

The visitors who search for keywords with location usually indicate they are evaluating the right person to solve their needs. They are in the last stage of the buyer process. These keywords will be a good candidate, even if the monthly search volume is not high.

For a dentist in Puchong:

  • Dentist Puchong
  • Dental specialist Puchong
  • Dental clinic Puchong
  • Dental implants Puchong
  • Cosmetic dentistry Puchong
  • Dental crown Puchong
  • Teeth whitening Puchong
  • Tooth extraction Puchong

Step 2 - How to Find Relevant Keywords

Now, you have a list of seed keywords.

Let’s move on to find other relevant keywords from Google itself.

Get more Ideas from Google search box

In the Google search box, paste one of your seed keywords and add space after that.

Google will show a list of relevant keywords.

Example 1, renovation contractor:

Google search showing related query for toilet renovation

Example 2, Toilet renovation:

Google search showing related query for toilet renovation

Example 3, Dental implants:

Google search showing related query for dental implants

Example 4, Tooth Extraction:

Google search showing related query for tooth extraction

You can also add the space as the prefix of your keywords.

Get more ideas from Google’s bottom search result

Next, search with the seed keyword and scroll down to the bottom to see another set of relevant keywords.

Example 1, Renovation Contractor:

Google search result related to renovation contractor

Example 2, Dentist Puchong:

Google search result related to dentist puchong

Now, you will get more keywords related to your business and services. Put everything into an excel file. You will need it to find out the keyword search volume later.

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Step 3 - How to Find the Keyword Search Volume

In this step, you will find out how many people searching your keywords. This can be measure by using monthly keyword search volume form 2 methods below.

Method 1 - UberSuggest

UberSuggest (https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/) if a free tool to let you quickly find out the search volume. 

Pay attention to volume column. The CPC represents the cost per click if you use Google ads to bring in one visit to your website.

To get started, make sure you select the right location (By Country) and language.

Example 1, Renovation Contractor KL:

using ubersuggest for keyword - renovation contractor kl

Example 2, Dentist Puchong:

using ubersuggest for keyword - dentist puchong

UberSuggest is simple and easy to use tool to find out the search volume quickly and it gives you more related keywords. For local businesses, this is more than enough.

Method 2 - Google Keyword Planner

Keyword Planner is another keyword research tool that let you find out the search volume and related keywords but with more advanced features.

To get started, you will need to create a Google Ads account first. No worry, you still can use the tools with limited features (more on this later) even you don’t spend any money on Google Ads.

Go to Google ads homepage, https://ads.google.com/intl/en_my/home/ and sign in with a google account. Then, open the keyword planner from “Tools & Settings -> Keyword Planner”.

It has 2 options:

  • “Discover new keywords” - Let you find out keyword search volume and other related keywords.
  • “Get search volume and forecasts” – Let you check the search volume for your final keywords.
google keyword planner

For now, let’s choose “Discover new keywords” to continue.

Here, you may enter your keywords (up to 10 keywords) and further filter the search volume by location (default set to Malaysia). If your target market is only for Kuala Lumpur, you might want to change the location setting to KL only.

discover new keyword with google keyword planner

Example 1, Renovation contractor KL, visitors from Kuala Lumpur:

result of keyword planner

You shall notice the Avg. Monthly Searches are showing as range value (10-100). This is because your ads account is still new.

If you spend little money to test and become an active Google ads account, you shall see the actual search volume like below.

result of keyword planner for renovation contractor kl

Let’s take a look at “Dentist Puchong”, visitors from Selangor.

result of keyword planner for dentist puchong

You can repeat the same process with other related keywords and keep the monthly searches in an excel file.

Now, you may wonder which one tools should you use. It seems like both tools give us different data.

Search volume from keyword planner usually lower if you filter by location. Data from UberSuggest will cover the searches from entire Malaysia.

Indeed, it doesn’t matter that much as the primary keyword will be similar. We just need to find out relevant keywords and include into our SEO plan.

Step 4 – Understand the Rules to Pick the Right Keywords for Your SEO Campaign

There are many believe that an SEO campaign should always focus on high monthly searches keywords. Indeed, this is not true.

Generally, there are 4 rules to pick your primary keywords:

#1 - High Monthly Searches

High monthly searches mean you should choose the keywords that search by many people. Higher searches always bring more visitors to your website.

girl searching in laptop screen

If you are targeting 20 monthly searches keywords, most visitors will be only limited 20.

What is the minimum monthly searches volume should you pick?

It depends on your customer lifetime value (CLV) or how much a customer worth to your business in the coming 3-5 years. It is fine to focus on keywords that have low search volume if your CLV is very high.

E.g. One renovation project easily cost RM 50k onwards. A keyword with monthly searches 10 or 20 is still worth to include in your SEO plan.

However, if you are selling baby dress where the CLV is <RM 100, low monthly searches will not work in this case.

But for a plumber, the first transaction cost might be RM 100-200. But if the plumber is doing a good job, you might continue to use them throughout the years. The CLV for a plumber might be few thousands onwards. Thus, a keyword like “plumber Damansara” with 30 monthly searches still okay to include in the plan.

#2 - Keywords highly relevant to your product/services

You need to make sure the selected keyword is relevant to your product and services. There is no point to bring a visitor looking for a wedding dress to your website which is selling baby clothes.

#3 - Low Competition

It is easier to rank high with low competition keywords. There are specific keywords which had been already dominant by the major players which are very difficult for you to rank over them with the limited budget.

The smarter way is choosing other related keywords which may have lower searches but still able to bring the visitor to your site. Remember, most visitors only visit page 1 or 2 in the search result. You need to make sure your keywords can rank high easily.

Usually, the competition is lower for a “high number” of words in your keywords. E.g. a 2-words keyword is typically more competitive compare to a 4-words keyword.

#4 - High Commercial value

You need to choose the keywords which potentially make sales from your website.

family drawing on green board with big dollar sign

Take an example of “what is dental implant”. Those who search this keyword may not be likely to buy and spend money in the short term. They are just finding out what is the dental implant.

On the other way, if visitor search for “dental implant KL”, this can be a high commercial value keyword where they most likely will make an appointment for a dental implant.

Here is another example of “SEO Malaysia” and “SEO”. SEO is a big general keyword. Visitors who are searching for SEO may just want to know what is SEO. But visitors who are searching for SEO Malaysia most like want to look for SEO services in Malaysia.

This rule is essential to make sure you bring visitor that ready to spend money on your site rather than those who are just searching for information.

You can refer to the suggested Top of page bid column; the high value means more people are bidding the keywords in Google Ads. This also means it is a high commercial value keyword.

Step 5 - Pick Your Final Keywords

Now is time to put everything together.

  1. Filter the keywords base on the minimum monthly searches. You will need to analyze it based on the CLV explain in the previous step.
  2. Filter out the low commercial value keywords.
  3. Add another column to indicate the category or topic of the keywords.
    For example, you can group keywords as below.:
  4. 1 group consist of all keywords related to the dental implant.
  5. 1 group consist of all keywords related to teeth whitening.
  6. 1 group consist of all keywords related to dentist & dental clinic.
  7. Lastly, sort the excel by the topic and monthly searches. This will give you a list of relevant and high SEO value keywords to target in your SEO campaign.

The list of keywords also will impact how you design and structure your website.

For the case above, you should have at least 3 important pages to cover 3 topics of keywords:

  • Homepage – cover dentist & dental clinic keywords.
  • Dental implant page – share dental implant services, price, process, FAQs, etc.
  • Teeth whitening page – share teeth whitening services, price, process, FAQs, etc. 

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Key Takeaways

There are still other ways and methods to gather more keywords or spying your competitors’ keywords. But to keep it simple, the 5 steps above are more than enough to find out the right keyword for a local business.

Now, it is your turn to start finding the golden keywords for your business!

Lesson 3: How to Make Your Website Become SEO Friendly


What are the free tools to find out the keywords’ search volume?

UberSuggest or Google Keyword Planner are commonly used to find the search volume.

What are the 4 rules to choose the right keywords?

The 4 factors below will determine how to choose the right keywords.

1. Monthly search volumes
2. Keyword relevancy to your business
3. The competition of the keywords
4. The keywords’ commercial value

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