Keyword Research In Hamilton: Everything You Need To Know

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about getting your website to rank well on Google and other search engines.

That’s the elevator pitch, anyway. What we really mean by that is this: SEO  is all about getting your website to rank well on Google for keywords that are relevant to your business.

You need to know what keywords you want to rank well for in order to optimize your website. In this guide, we’re going to teach you exactly how to do keyword research—we’re even going to throw in some examples and pro tips that are specific to Hamilton.

There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it:

Keep your target keywords specific

Imagine you own a small brewery in Hamilton. You might be tempted to try to rank for the keywords “brewery” or “beer”—after all, a brewery is what you are, and beer is what you sell. You might also want to get your website to rank for the term “Hamilton”—it’s where you are and where you’re from!

That’s not the best way to play things.

People looking up “beer” could be trying to get their hands on a Bud Light. People looking up Hamilton could be trying to watch the musical. They might not be interested in your site at all. 

Get specific. When you target terms like “brewery in Hamilton” or “breweries in Hamilton”, you’ll start finding people who are looking for exactly what you’re offering. These are called service-in-location (SIL) keywords—more on those later.

We can get a little more creative than that, though. You could try to rank for “best beer in Ontario”. Have a specific type of beer that you brew? You could target keywords like “best IPA”. Holding a festival? “Craft beer festival” might be a good pick.

You can also target questions. “How to make craft beer” might be a viable keyword—especially if you also offer at-home beer-making kits. 

By targeting specific keywords, you’ll attract the users that are most likely to want to interact with your business again and again—hopefully buying what you offer!

 Match the correct search intent

In the world of digital marketing, hope isn’t enough—we need hard data to support our SEO strategy.

People use search engines with a variety of different intentions. Some are looking for general information. Others want to buy something right now. There are four different search intents generally recognized by the industry:

  • Informational: The user is looking for general information on a topic.
  • Commercial: The user is looking to compare products before making a purchasing decision.
  • Transactional: The user is ready to buy the product they’re looking for.
  • Navigational: The user wants to go to a specific website or page (“Facebook”).

Intent is one of the keys to keyword research in Hamilton. You’ll almost never need to target navigational intents—hopefully, your site is  already ranking well for your brand name. If you’re not, there are issues beyond keyword research that need to be addressed.

That means we can focus on targeting the other three intents. You might think you only want to focus on transactional, but that’s far from the truth!

Creating informative content teaches search engines that your website is an authority on your industry—and it helps bring potential customers into your sales funnel.

Comparison content, like listicles, can be another great way of bringing customers to your site—just try to avoid pumping your own company up too much.

You should target transactional keywords with your highest converting page—build your page with great calls-to-action (CTA), product prices and information, and other features that will attract clicks from customers ready to buy now.

Pay attention to volume

Remember when we were talking about targeting the term “Brewery in Hamilton”?

That keyword has about 10 searches a month.

Not worth trying to get your site to rank for. 

A much better target would be “breweries in Hamilton” (90 per month), or better yet, “breweries in Hamilton, Ontario” (170 per month).

Search volume is another pillar of keyword research in Hamilton. It doesn’t make sense to pour time and effort into making content for keywords that have a low search volume—your potential ROI won’t be large enough.

There are, however, times when you’ll want to target keywords that have a lower volume of searches. The keywords that get the most monthly searches tend to be the most difficult to rank for—every SEO expert is trying to target them.

Try to strike a balance between keyword difficulty and search volume. By targeting terms with lower difficulty, you’ll start building your site’s authority. That will make it easier for your site to rank for more difficult terms with higher search volumes down the line.

Service in Location (SIL)

Remember our goal: To target keywords that are relevant to your business. 

One of the easiest ways of doing this is to target service in location (SIL) keywords. Think of it like Mad Libs: Replace the word “service” with a service or product your business offers and “location” with a location your business services.

“Breweries in Hamilton”, “Cleaning service in Westdale”, “Drive-thru in Dundas”; all of these are service in location keywords.

They’re usually easy to rank for. More importantly, the people looking up service in location keywords are likely to have transactional intent—they want to find services near them. Ranking for these keywords can also help you rank for the coveted “service near me” keyword.


Get specific when you target keywords. Find keywords that are relevant to your industry and relevant to Hamilton. Compare search intents, search volume, and keyword difficulty for the keywords you’re trying to rank for. Target service in location keywords.

Put it all together, and you’re well on your way to mastering keyword research in Hamilton?

Need a little help researching keywords and tracking keyword performance for your site? Want to create content that ranks for those keywords but don’t know where to start?

Call First Rank. We’ve mastered SEO in Hamilton. We’ve helped websites like yours make it to the top of Google’s results pages. We can help you too.

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The purpose of First Rank is to help businesses generate leads from their websites. We put a focus on SEO, because we believe it is one of the most cost effective and highest converting forms of traffic generation, however traffic alone is not enough on its own to grow your business. SEO should be combined with conversion optimization, email marketing and retargeting to maximize the ROI of your advertising dollars.