How To Do Keyword Research For Trade Businesses in Vancouver

Owning a trade business in Vancouver means you’re part of a bustling economy filled with opportunities. Yet, with those opportunities comes the challenge of standing out in a digital world. How do you ensure people find your services online amongst numerous competitors? The secret lies in keyword research. Read on and learn what it is and how to use it to your advantage.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research is essentially the process of finding and analyzing the terms that people enter into search engines when they’re looking for something. For anyone with a website, whether you’re a plumber, a florist, or you run a café, understanding keyword research is crucial. This isn’t about guessing but using tools and data to get insights into the specific language people are using when they hop onto Google or any other search engine. Your goal, through keyword research, is to make sure that your website is optimized with the right keywords. These are the words and phrases that your potential customers are typing into search engines.

Keyword research also can also show you the level of competition for certain terms. Some keywords might be very competitive, meaning many other businesses are trying to rank for them, while others might not be as heavily targeted. Knowing this helps you pick your battles wisely and focus your efforts on keywords where you have a better chance of reaching the top spots in search results. Here’s a video from Ahrefs to guide you through how to do keyword research from start to finish.

Why Keyword Research Matters

The internet is vast, and standing out is more challenging than finding a needle in a haystack. Keyword research matters because it’s the foundation of any successful online strategy. Let’s break down the why part:

1. It gets you noticed

You increase the chance that your website or content pops up in their search results by using the exact terms people are searching for. For example, if you run a pet store in Seattle, using specific keywords like “Seattle pet supplies” or “best pet food in Seattle” can help your site appear to locals who are searching for these exact terms.

2. Understanding your audience

Doing keyword research gives you valuable insights into what your potential customers are looking for. You learn not only the specific words they use but also gain insight into their needs, preferences, and concerns. For instance, if you discover that many people are searching for “eco-friendly pet products,” you might consider highlighting these products more prominently on your website or in your store.

3. Competition advantage

Keyword research helps you spot opportunities to stand out in a crowded market. Identifying terms that are popular with your target audience but less targeted by your competitors can carve out a niche for yourself. This could mean focusing on specific, less competitive keywords that are still highly relevant to your audience, giving you an edge over others in your industry.

4. Efficient marketing

Focusing on the right keywords means that your marketing efforts are more efficient. Instead of casting a wide net and hoping for the best, you target your efforts on phrases that people are actively searching for, which leads to more targeted traffic. This reduces wasted effort and resources on keywords that won’t drive much, if any, traffic to your site.

How To Do Keyword Research For Trade Businesses?

Step 1: Understanding Your Audience and Services

One of the steps to start your keyword research is to list all the services you offer and the locations you serve. If you’re an electrician operating in Vancouver, you’ll want to know all the different ways someone might search for your services. Brainstorm the language your customers might use—it could be “electrician in Vancouver,” “best electrician for home wiring,” or even “Vancouver electrical services.”

Step 2: Use Keyword Tools

While guessing your customers’ search terms is a starting point, there’s a more accurate way to zero in on popular keywords: use keyword research tools. Platforms like Google’s Keyword Planner can give you insights into how often certain terms are searched and how competitive they are. This means you can find phrases that many people are looking for but not many businesses are targeting.

There are other tools out there too, like Ubersuggest and SEMrush, offering various features that can help deepen your research. Many of these keyword tools offer free versions or trials, making them accessible no matter your budget.

Step 3: Focus on Local Keywords

For trade businesses, local searches are your bread and butter. People often search for services “near them” or within their city. Make sure you include location-specific keywords, such as “Vancouver plumber” or “landscaper in Vancouver.” This local focus will help draw in customers who are looking for services in their area – which means they’re more likely to convert from browsers into buyers.

Step 4: Analyze the Competition

Peek at what your competitors are doing. Enter some of your potential keywords into a search engine and see who appears. Look at their websites and note what keywords they seem to focus on, especially those ranking well (top of the first page). This investigation can inspire your own keyword strategy, highlighting gaps you might fill or niches they’ve overlooked.

Step 5: Crafting Content Around Your Keywords

Having a list of keywords is a great way to have while doing keyword research, but what do you do with them? Create content that caters to these keywords. If “emergency plumber Vancouver” is a popular search, consider writing a blog post about the top reasons people need emergency plumbing services or a guide on how to handle a plumbing emergency until help arrives. This method doesn’t just draw people to your site; it showcases your expertise, building trust with potential customers.

The trick isn’t just to stuff your website or blog with keywords. Instead, integrate them naturally into valuable, informative content that answers the questions real people are asking. This approach ensures visitors stay longer on your site, boosting your search ranking even more.

Step 6: Keep It Fresh

Google loves fresh, updated content. Regularly reviewing and updating your keywords—and the content tied to them—ensures your site stays relevant. Markets change, new competitors emerge, and customer behavior shifts, which means your keyword strategy should be dynamic, evolving to match these trends.

Keyword Research Tools

While this guide provides a solid foundation, diving deeper into keyword research may require leveraging different tools and resources. Here’s a quick list of tools that can help simplify this process:

1. Google Keyword Planner

One of the most accessible tools for keyword research comes from the biggest player in the search engine game: Google. Google Keyword Planner is a part of Google Ads but you can use it for free. It’s designed to help advertisers choose the right keywords for their ads, but it’s equally useful for finding keywords for your website or blog content. To use it, you need to set up a Google Ads account, but you don’t have to spend any money on ads.

Once you’re in, you can start searching for keyword ideas based on a phrase, a website, or a category. Google will then show you how often people search for these terms, how the search volume changes over time, and how competitive these terms are.

2. Ubersuggest

Created by digital marketing expert Neil Patel, Ubersuggest is a straightforward tool that’s great for beginners. It gives you data on search volume, competition, and seasonal trends, and provides a list of keyword suggestions that can inspire you to explore new topics. What’s nice about Ubersuggest is that it includes information on how difficult it will be to rank for a keyword in organic search (non-paid) and what kind of content is currently ranking for that keyword. This can help you understand what you’re up against and what you might need to do to get your website or post to the top of the search results.

3. Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz offers a suite of SEO tools, including the very handy Keyword Explorer. What makes Moz stand out is its focus on search volume and competition, and on the potential of a keyword to attract visitors who are likely to become customers or followers. Using Moz’s Keyword Explorer, you can enter a keyword and get back a wealth of information, including search volume, difficulty, and even a metric called “Organic CTR” (Click-Through Rate), which predicts the likelihood of someone clicking on your site if it ranks for that keyword. Moz also provides SERP analysis, showing the current top-ranking pages for any keyword, which can be incredibly helpful.

4. SEMrush

SEMrush is a favorite among digital marketers for a good reason. It offers detailed keyword data and also lets you peek into your competitors’ keyword strategies. This can be incredibly valuable. By entering a competitor’s website, SEMrush shows you which keywords they are ranking for, and you can use this insight to adjust your strategy. While SEMrush is a premium tool, it offers free trials that can help you decide if it’s a good fit for your needs before committing to a subscription.

5. Ahrefs Keywords Explorer

Ahrefs is another robust keyword tool favored by SEO professionals but don’t let that intimidate you—it’s also quite approachable for beginners. Keywords Explorer gives you in-depth information on keyword difficulty, and search volume, and includes the number of clicks you can expect to get from a search engine’s top results. A distinctive feature of Ahrefs is its “Clicks” metric, which estimates not just how many people search for the term, but how many click on the results. This can be a crucial insight because not all searches result in clicks (thanks to things like Google’s answer boxes or other features that give searchers answers right on the results page).

6. AnswerThePublic

This tool takes a different approach. AnswerThePublic visualizes search questions and suggests autocomplete searches in a useful diagram. When you enter a keyword, it shows you questions, prepositions, comparisons, and alphabetical, and related searches. Knowing what questions people are asking about a topic can give you a lot of ideas for content that will meet your audience’s needs. Remember, many of these keyword tools offer free versions, so you can try them out without investing upfront.

Wrapping It Up

The key to successful keyword research is staying curious and adaptable. Markets evolve, language changes, and customer priorities shift. Keeping up with these changes by regularly updating your keyword strategy is crucial. Use the insights you gain here to refine your content and services continually. It’s not just about ranking well on Google; it’s about connecting in a meaningful way with the people who need your services the most.

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