In Part 3 of this series on local keyword research with Market Samurai, we are still using the example of a fictional personal injury law firm in Norfolk, VA that wishes to attract more clients.
In Part 2, we selected our Descriptive, Industry, and Location-based keywords (from Part 1) and now we need to create permutations – or combinations – of them to plug into Market Samurai. We’ve already determined that the three types of keywords we need will generate 546 combinations and I think we’d all prefer to avoid doing it manually. That’s why we’ve created a special tool for just this purpose.
How-To Video Tutorial for Part 3: Know Your Industry
Part 3 concludes our video tutorial series with this screencast of local keyword research with Market Samurai. As always, the article below serves as a good reference for information contained in the video, so be sure to come back after you watch it.
Local Keyword Tool – Combination and Permutation Generator
As we mentioned before, the above set of descriptive + industry + location-based keywords generated 546 combinations, but our Local Keyword Combination Tool handled all of those permutations for us without nonsensical combinations such as “va personal lawyer norfolk injury.”
The next step is to copy the list of combinations and paste into Market Samurai for analysis.
What About The “Add Permutations” Button?
The “Add Permutations” button in the Keyword Research module of Market Samurai is only good for making permutations (or combinations) of the main keyword for that tab. It does not permute/combine your three types of keywords from this tutorial (descriptive, industry, location-based.) It is also possible to create a nonsensical combination (like “personal va injury norfolk lawyer.”)
Before You Run The Analysis
Before you click on “Analyze Keywords” change the Period to “Monthly” and the Filter to the “No Filters” preset.
Period: Monthly The long-tail keywords that we’re dealing with on a local level are usually rather low daily SEO Traffic, but they are still very valuable terms. So our advice is to change this analysis to Monthly Period instead of Daily Period.
Filter: No Filters Market Samurai comes with several presets in the Keyword Research module such as Golden Rules and The Challenge. Select No Filters here for the same reasons you’re choosing Monthly as the Period. The search traffic on each term is low because of the narrow location-specific nature of the terms, but for local business owners the keywords are still very valuable. If you haven’t been exposed to filters much, we’ll be covering them briefly below as we apply them to SEOT and PBR.
Running The Analysis
Once you’ve set up the filter and period from above, click on the “Analyze Keywords” button.
Let’s recap on the two core metrics we’ll be analyzing here.
SEOT – SEO Traffic: The maximum total daily clicks that a #1 ranked website could potentially achieve.
PBR – Phrase to Broad Ratio: An indicator that the result returned was what the user was really searching for. The higher the percentage, the better.
The Initial Analysis, Sorted By SEOT
Right away we’re able to see that there are some very low PBRs in the mix that we’d like to be rid of. Also, though you can’t see the whole scrolling list from the screenshot above, the majority of the 546 phrases have little-to-no traffic at all.
We’ll apply filters to the SEOT and PBR to reduce the clutter.
To apply a filter, simply click the plus sign (+) next to SEOT and/or PBR to reveal the filter menu field.
For SEOT, we wanted no results with less than 10 for monthly search traffic. For PBR, we also used 10 – which indicated that we didn’t want to see any keywords with a Phrase-to-Broad Match Ratio of 10% or less.
This significantly shortened our initial list to something more manageable – 26 results.
Narrowing It Down
It is not surprising that the keywords with the top traffic are industry and location-based combinations without the description.
For our fictional “Personal Injury Lawyer in Norfolk, VA” scenario, the client would definitely find value in more information about some of these keywords. But we still need to slim this list down to include more descriptive terms like “personal injury.”
I made sure that I’ve selected a few of these terms by clicking on the key icon next to each one that I’m interested in analyzing further before I filter this list again.
This saves them to their own tabs before I narrow the list further.
The next filter we’ll use involves “Positive Keywords” and is actually located on the first window of our initial seed keyword setup. To get to that screen, click the Keyword Generation button at the bottom of this analysis window.
Using the Positive Keywords filter window, we’ll input the descriptive terms “injury, personal injury, accident, and car accident.”
Then press the Update button to apply the filter to the list.
And then to go back to the analysis, click the Keyword Analysis button at the bottom right of the window.
The Final List Of Keywords
We’ve filtered the list down to only include phrases with our descriptive, industry AND location-based keywords. There were 14 phrases left after doing this.
You could spend time investigating any number of these keywords. It is usually best to select the best one and then maybe one or two others as backup keywords. However you could easily return to this list at any time and decide to target others as your time allows.
We’ve selected “injury lawyer virginia beach” as our winner for this example, but it’s not over until you analyze the competition for that keyword and decide if you can rank for it.
Next to the keyword “injury lawyer virginia beach”, we clicked the key icon to put this keyword in its own tab.
After that, we went to the list of tabs in the dropdown menu at the top right of the screen and found this keyword’s tab.
From there, we clicked on the SEO Competition Module.
Then we de-selected a few checkboxes such as Domain Age, Index Count, etc., and clicked the “Generate Results” button.
What you’re looking for here is a row full of green cells.
Green = Competitor is Weak in this area
Yellow = Competitor is Moderate in this area
Red = Competitor is Strong in this area
You want to avoid the rows where a competitor has a lot of red and yellow. If you see a green row, then that means with the proper effort, you could rank for that spot in the top 10 search engine results for that keyword.
In our example above, we could easily rank for slots #4 and #9, and most likely for #1 as well.
What About “IN” – Should You Include It?
Our example was for a personal injury lawyer in Norfolk, VA. Notice how we didn’t include the word “in” for any of our phrases? Sure, you can include it if you want, but we don’t see a lot of value in it. From our experience, people search like they are grunting, not like they are speaking proper english. It is all about the shortest path to get instant gratification. And if you’re ranking for the phrase without “in” included, odds are your rank will increase for the phrase with it included. Lastly, when dealing with these really small traffic terms, you will see that including more specific words into your phrases will drastically reduce the amount of traffic you can pursue.
Are There Ways To Do This Without Market Samurai?
Sure, but that would take a lot longer to explain – and this is already a long enough process to explain! In a nutshell, the data used in Market Samurai comes from many different sources. You can access these sources, but putting them all together is time consuming. Market Samurai saves you time to get to the real work – analyzing and making decisions on the keywords you should pursue.
You Know Your Keyword – What Now?
There are any number of ways to increase your rank for a given keyword, whether you are after organic, local, or paid ranking tactics (Adsense/Pay-per-click.) Some are above-board (white-hat,) some not-so-great (black-hat) and of course an in-between approach (gray-hat.)
We’d suggest you do the one thing that Google and other search engines want you to do in order to rank highly: publish quality content. Write articles that incorporate the keyword, yes, but only in a way that will actually provide value to your potential readers and those who would be searching for solutions related to the keywords.
SEO tactics come and go (some literally fly-by-night!) but the one thing that will win in the long-run is quality content. It all starts there.
There are a lot of things you can do once you publish the content, but we’ll save that for another article. Or just hire us! 😉