Keyword Research Methods

When it comes to ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo, you’ll need to do some keyword research to determine ones that are relevant to your business. If you’re a moving company in Los Angeles for example, you’ll want to focus on synonyms to “moving company” and specific regions or neighborhoods in “Los Angeles” that you operate. Options such as “movers or local moving company” and “Burbank or Gardena” come to mind. The point is to start thinking specific and grow broader from there to cast a wide net. After exhausting all those that pop into your head, here are some free tools to generate keywords that you might not have thought of.

Tools for Developing Keywords

There are a lot of readily available resources that you can lean on to help develop keywords that relate to your brand. Google autocomplete is absolutely free and one of the easiest methods to jump start keyword generation. Businesses that offer services should consider Craigslist search results as means of discovering unique terms. An additional tool is the Keyword Planner that is available in the Google Ads platform that anyone can sign up for. And to appear in the ever growing question formed searches, it’s important to develop long-tail keywords. Let’s dive deep into all of these keyword tools.

Google Autocomplete for Keyword Research

This technique is as simple as it sounds, just start typing into Google and let autocomplete take care of the rest. Not sure what Google autocomplete is? It’s the additional search ideas that appear below the bar when you enter a query.

Google autocomplete results for the search term "moving company in los angeles"

These suggestions can be a quick way to build off your existing keyword list, some might be repeats of your own but certainly you’ll find some that are different. Run through all of the keywords and phrases that you come up with on your own, there’s a good chance you’ll nearly double your total. Keep a spreadsheet of all the keywords you’re generating to make sure none get lost in the shuffle of building them out.

Craigslist Search Results

If your business is service oriented, such as a moving company (sticking with our prior example), then Craigslist is a nice resource for finding keywords. You’ll discover some descriptive words other people use that could expand your list even further. Take a look at the results for “movers” in the Los Angeles region.

Craigslist results for the terms "movers" in the Los Angeles region.

Did you think of “last minute movers” or “professional” as potential keywords to build on? Toss them on your list! Scan through the results for multiple areas as you’re bound to see different results with unique verbiage. Set a reminder on your calendar to carve out time and search Craigslist for ongoing keyword research.

Keyword Planner

For those of you who want to do some more in-depth research, an obvious tool is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Just enter a keyword or words into the search and literally be handed a road map of related options. Take a look at the results for “local moving company” for some ideas.

Results in Google Ads Keyword Planner for "local moving companies" and the average monthly searches.

You’ll notice that “local” also translates into “short distance” in moving terms. This information is very beneficial when trying to increase your search result impressions. The more terms that your company is ranking for, the higher your chance of showing up in a multitude of similar searches. Variety is the spice of life and nowhere is that more true than when it comes to search engine results.

Develop Long-Tail Keywords

This last one isn’t so much a tool as it is a method. Developing long-tail keywords mean to find lengthier terms that people search for on Google or other sites; “how to hire a moving company” or “what are the best moving companies near me” for example. It’s important to note that longer phrases or questions such as this have been growing in popularity for years. Consider what sort of resources that people might be seeking. Creating top lists or detailed guides specific to your industry are some of the best choices for organic growth. Just remember to be educational and not too aggressive with keyword usage when creating supportive content or your readers will notice. A genuine voice is the way to go!


  1. This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something which helped
    me. Thanks!

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