Keyword Research for Local SEO

Keyword Research for Local SEO

Table of Contents

When it comes to local SEO, keyword research is the secret sauce that sets the stage for online success. By identifying the right keywords, you can increase visibility, attract high-intent customers, and drive more sales. The right tools, like Ahrefs and SEMrush, can help you analyse competitors, identify long-tail keywords, and understand local search trends.

But it’s not just about throwing keywords on a page – you need a solid strategy to make them work for you. Discover how to optimise your content, meta tags, and Google Business Profile to attract more local customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Key Takeaways

  • Conduct thorough keyword research to identify location-specific keywords that attract high-intent customers and drive foot traffic to your business.
  • Leverage tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz to analyse competitor keywords, identify gaps, and uncover opportunities for local SEO improvement.
  • Target long-tail keywords with lower competition and higher conversion rates to attract more qualified leads and increase online visibility.
  • Optimize your Google Business Profile and meta tags with targeted keywords to improve credibility, enhance customer experience, and increase search engine rankings.
  • Create a data-driven local SEO strategy by incorporating keyword research into your content creation, optimisation, and tracking efforts to drive real results.

Introduction to Keyword Research

As an important step in developing a successful local SEO strategy, keyword research provides a foundation for understanding the language and search habits of a target audience.

It’s like being part of an exclusive club – you need to know the secret handshake, aka the right keywords, to get in. Without it, you’re just another face in the crowd, lost in the sea of search engine results.

By conducting thorough keyword research, you’ll gain insight into what your ideal customer is searching for, how they’re searching for it, and what language they’re using. This is pivotal in creating content that resonates with your audience, making them feel seen, heard, and understood.

It’s not rocket science, but it does require some digging and analysis. Think of it as being a detective, searching for clues that will lead you to the treasure – in this case, higher search engine rankings and more customers walking through your door.

With the right keywords, you’ll be speaking your audience’s language, and they’ll be more likely to join your club, er, become loyal customers.

Importance of Keyword Research in Local SEO

By targeting location-specific keywords, businesses can increase their online visibility, drive more foot traffic, and ultimately, boost sales, making keyword research an essential component of a successful local SEO strategy. Think about it – when someone searches for “best coffee shops in Brooklyn,” they’re not just browsing; they’re likely to physically visit one of those coffee shops. By optimising for location-specific keywords, businesses can attract high-intent customers who are more likely to convert.

Here are some key benefits of keyword research for local SEO:

Increased VisibilityAppear in search results for location-specific keywordsMore eyeballs on your business
Targeted TrafficAttract high-intent customers who are likely to convertMore sales and revenue
Improved Conversion RatesOptimise for keywords that drive foot trafficMore customers walking through your door
Better CompetitivenessOutrank competitors by targeting niche keywordsStay ahead of the competition
Enhanced Local SEOOptimise for location-specific keywords to improve local SEOImprove your online presence

Tools for Local SEO Keyword Research

To effectively execute a local SEO strategy, businesses need access to robust tools that can help them identify and analyse location-specific keywords, providing valuable insights to inform their marketing efforts. These tools can help businesses understand what their target audience is searching for, and where they’re searching from.

In the world of local SEO, some popular tools include Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz. These tools offer features such as keyword analysis, competitor research, and location-based search volume data. They can also help businesses identify long-tail keywords that are less competitive and more targeted to their specific region.

Additionally, Google Trends and Google Keyword Planner are free tools that can provide valuable insights into local search trends and keyword demand. By leveraging these tools, businesses can create a data-driven local SEO strategy that drives real results.

Whether you’re a small business owner or a seasoned marketer, having the right tools in your toolkit can make all the difference in your local SEO efforts.

Identifying Local Search Terms

Approximately 80% of local search queries contain geographic keywords, making it essential for businesses to identify and incorporate location-specific terms into their SEO strategy.

This isn’t rocket science, folks! If you’re a local business, you want to show up when people search for ‘best coffee shops in Denver’ or ‘plumbers near me.’ So, how do you identify these magical keywords?

Start by brainstorming a list of keywords related to your business, product, or service. Think about what your customers would type into Google when searching for you. Then, add location-specific terms to those keywords. For example, ‘dentist in Chicago‘ or ‘Italian restaurants in downtown LA.’

You can also use online tools like Google Keyword Planner or Ahrefs to help you generate a list of relevant keywords.

Analysing Competitor Keywords

One effective way to uncover valuable local SEO keywords is to analyse the keywords your competitors are already using to attract their target audience. Let’s face it, your competitors have probably done their homework, so why not piggyback off their research? By analysing their keywords, you can identify gaps in your own strategy and capitalise on opportunities they may have missed. It’s like peeking at their cheat sheet – you can learn from their successes and failures without having to do all the legwork yourself.

Tools like Ahrefs, SEMrush, or Moz can help you uncover your competitors’ keywords. Simply plug in their website or a specific webpage, and these tools will provide you with a list of keywords they’re ranking for. You can then filter through the results to identify relevant keywords that align with your business goals.

Don’t be afraid to get a little nosy – after all, knowledge is power, and in this case, it can help you outrank your competitors and attract more local customers.

Long-Tail Keywords for Local SEO

In addition to analysing competitor keywords, targeting long-tail keywords is an essential strategy for local SEO success. Long-tail keywords offer a higher conversion rate and lower competition compared to generic, high-volume keywords. These longer, more specific phrases might have lower search volumes, but they’re also less competitive, making it easier to rank higher and attract more qualified leads.

For instance, instead of targeting ‘dentists in New York,’ you could target ’emergency dentists in Brooklyn open on weekends.’ This approach allows you to speak directly to your ideal customer, increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Using Google Keyword Planner for Local SEO

To further refine your local SEO strategy, leveraging Google Keyword Planner can help you identify and prioritise the most relevant and high-converting keywords for your business. This powerful tool provides valuable insights into search volume, competition, and cost-per-click, allowing you to make informed decisions about which keywords to target.

By using Keyword Planner, you can uncover hidden gems – those long-tail keywords with lower competition and higher conversion rates.

For instance, instead of targeting the broad keyword ‘plumber,’ you could focus on ‘emergency plumber near me‘ or ‘24-hour plumbing services.’ These longer phrases have lower search volume but are more specific to your business and more likely to attract high-quality leads.

Plus, with Keyword Planner, you can analyse your competitors’ strategies, identifying gaps in the market and opportunities to outshine them.

Local Keyword Trends and Seasonality

Seasonal variations and local keyword trends can greatly impact the effectiveness of your local SEO strategy, making it important to understand and adapt to these changes to stay ahead of the competition.

Think about it – if you’re a surf school in California, you wouldn’t want to optimise for ‘winter surfing lessons’ in January, would you? Timing is everything, and knowing when to target specific keywords can make all the difference.

Identifying local keyword trends and seasonality can help you anticipate and capitalise on changes in search behaviour.

For instance, if you own a bakery in New York, you might notice a surge in searches for ‘holiday cookies’ around December. By incorporating these keywords into your strategy, you can attract more relevant traffic and increase conversions.

It’s all about being in tune with your local audience and adapting to their needs and preferences. By doing so, you’ll not only stay ahead of the competition but also build a loyal customer base that appreciates your relevance and timeliness.

How to Use Google Trends for Local SEO

By analysing Google Trends data, local businesses can uncover valuable insights into search patterns and preferences that can inform their SEO strategy and help them stay competitive in their region. This powerful tool provides a wealth of information on what people are searching for, when, and where. By tapping into this data, local businesses can identify emerging trends, popular products, and seasonal fluctuations that can inform their marketing efforts.

Here are some examples of how Google Trends can be used for local SEO:

TrendInsightActionable Tip
Increase in “summer fashion” searchesPeople in your region are interested in summer fashionCreate content around summer fashion trends and optimize for local search terms
Spike in “home decor” searches during holidaysPeople in your region are looking for home decor inspiration during holidaysCreate holiday-themed content around home decor and optimize for local search terms
Decrease in “winter sports” searches during summerPeople in your region are less interested in winter sports during summerFocus on promoting summer-related products or services during this time
Increase in “food delivery” searches during peak hoursPeople in your region are looking for food delivery options during peak hoursOptimize your website for food delivery-related keywords and focus on local search terms
Spike in “event planning” searches during wedding seasonPeople in your region are looking for event planning services during wedding seasonCreate content around event planning and optimize for local search terms during this time

Mapping Keywords to Local Content

A well-organised local SEO strategy relies on mapping relevant keywords to high-quality, location-specific content that resonates with target audiences. This essential step guarantees that your online presence is optimised to attract and engage with local customers. By aligning your content with the keywords and phrases your audience uses, you can increase your visibility, drive more traffic, and ultimately, boost conversions.

Here are some key considerations to keep in mind when mapping keywords to local content:

  • Identify keyword themes: Group related keywords into themes to create a cohesive content strategy that targets specific topics and pain points.
  • Create location-specific content: Develop content that is tailored to specific geographic locations, including city, state, or region-specific information.
  • Use keyword variations: Incorporate variations of your target keywords to accommodate differences in search behaviour and preferences.
  • Optimise for user intent: Make sure that your content addresses the underlying needs and motivations behind your target audience’s search queries.

Keyword Intent and Local SEO

Understanding keyword intent is essential in local SEO. It enables businesses to create content that accurately addresses the underlying needs and motivations behind their target audience’s search queries. When you grasp the intent behind a keyword, you can tailor your content to provide exactly what your audience is looking for.

There are three main types of keyword intent:

  1. Informational intent is about providing answers.
  2. Navigational intent is about finding a specific website or brand.
  3. Transactional intent is about taking action – think booking a table or making a purchase.

Local Keyword Density and Placement

Optimising local keyword density and placement is a delicate balancing act, as it requires incorporating targeted phrases naturally into website content without compromising readability or triggering search engine penalties. It’s a bit like baking a cake – too much of one ingredient (in this case, keywords) can ruin the entire recipe.

To get it just right, consider the following best practices for local keyword density and placement:

  • Use header tags: Break up your content with header tags (H1, H2, etc.) to highlight important keywords and phrases.
  • Incorporate variations: Don’t just repeat the same keyword over and over – use variations and synonyms to keep things fresh.
  • Write for humans: Remember, your content should be written for humans, not search engines. Keep it readable and engaging!
  • Use metadata wisely: Optimise your title tags, meta descriptions, and other metadata with targeted keywords to help search engines understand your content.

Creating a Local Keyword Strategy

By incorporating targeted keywords into website content, businesses can enhance their online visibility, but to achieve this, a well-planned local keyword strategy is necessary. It’s like creating a map to guide your customers to your doorstep. Without it, you’re leaving your online presence to chance.

A local keyword strategy helps you identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for your business, ensuring your content resonates with your target audience.

Think of it as a blueprint for your content creation. It outlines the keywords you’ll focus on, the content you’ll create, and how you’ll optimize it for search engines. This strategy should be tailored to your business’s unique needs, services, and location.

Optimising Your Google Business Profile for Keywords

Your Google Business Profile serves as a digital storefront, and strategically incorporating target keywords into its various sections can greatly enhance its visibility and credibility in local search results.

Think of it as dressing up your profile for a night out on the town – you want to make a great impression, right?

Optimising your profile with relevant keywords can help you:

  • Increase visibility: By including keywords in your business name, description, and categories, you’re more likely to show up in search results for related queries.
  • Improve credibility: When your profile accurately reflects your business and services, customers are more likely to trust you and choose you over competitors.
  • Enhance customer experience: By providing accurate and up-to-date information, you’re giving customers what they need to make informed decisions about your business.
  • Boost local SEO: Google takes your Business Profile into account when determining local search rankings, so optimising it with keywords can give you a leg up on the competition.

Keyword Research for Local Service-Based Businesses

For local service-based businesses, understanding the keywords and phrases your target audience uses to search for services like yours is pivotal to creating a robust online presence.

Think about it – when you’re in need of a plumber, electrician, or hairstylist, you’re likely to whip out your trusty smartphone and type in something like ‘best plumbers near me‘ or ‘hair salons open on Sundays.’ Your customers are no different.

By identifying and incorporating these keywords into your online strategy, you can increase your visibility, drive more traffic to your website, and ultimately, attract more customers.

It’s vital to put yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine how they would search for your services. What problems do they need solving? What questions do they have? What are their pain points?

How to Use Keywords in Meta Tags

By strategically incorporating target keywords into meta tags, local service-based businesses can greatly enhance their online visibility and search engine rankings. It’s a no-brainer, folks! Meta tags are like digital nametags that help search engines understand what your website is all about. And when you use target keywords in these tags, you’re basically telling search engines, ‘Hey, I’m the expert in [insert keyword here]!’

Here are some pro tips for using keywords in meta tags:

  • Use keywords in your page title: This is the most important meta tag, as it’s the first thing search engines see. Make sure it’s descriptive, attention-grabbing, and includes your target keyword.
  • Write a compelling meta description: This is the short summary that appears in search engine results. Use your target keyword naturally and make it enticing enough to click.
  • Use header tags (H1, H2, etc.): These help structure your content and highlight important keywords.
  • Don’t overdo it!: Use keywords naturally and don’t stuff them unnecessarily. Search engines can detect spammy behaviour, and it’ll hurt your rankings.

Tracking Keyword Performance

Optimising meta tags is only the first step in a successful keyword strategy; to truly understand the impact of target keywords on online visibility, it’s necessary to track their performance.

Think of it like throwing a party – you invite all the right guests (keywords), but you still need to see who shows up (track performance) and who’s having a good time (converting visitors).

Without tracking, you’re left wondering if your efforts are paying off.

Common Keyword Research Mistakes

Several common pitfalls can undermine even the most well-intentioned keyword research efforts, resulting in misguided SEO strategies and wasted resources. It’s like trying to navigate a dark room without a flashlight – you’ll stumble, and it won’t be pretty.

Here are some common mistakes to avoid:

  • Targeting the wrong keywords: Don’t get caught up in chasing after keywords that sound cool but have zero relevance to your business. It’s like trying to sell ice to an Eskimo – it just won’t work.
  • Focusing on individual keywords instead of phrases: Remember, people don’t search for single words; they search for phrases and sentences. So, optimise for those instead.
  • Not considering long-tail keywords: Don’t be afraid to get specific with your keywords. Long-tail keywords might have lower search volumes, but they’re also less competitive and more targeted.
  • Not regularly updating and refining your keyword list: Keyword research isn’t a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular monitoring and adjustments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use Keywords From National Campaigns for Local SEO?

While leveraging national campaign keywords can be tempting, customising your approach to local SEO is crucial. Local searchers have unique needs and preferences, so using national keywords may not resonate with your local audience.

How Do I Handle Keywords With Low Search Volume?

When dealing with keywords of low search volume, prioritising relevance and intent over quantity is crucial, focusing on long-tail phrases that accurately target your local audience’s specific needs and preferences.

Are Branded Keywords Important for Local SEO?

Branded keywords hold significant importance as they directly impact a business’s online visibility and credibility. By optimising for branded keywords, local businesses can establish trust with their target audience and increase conversions.

Can I Use Location-Based Keywords for Non-Location Specific Searches?

While targeting location-based keywords for non-location specific searches may seem counter intuitive, it can be effective in attracting users seeking services with a local connection, even if their query doesn’t explicitly include a geographic modifier.

Do I Need to Include Keywords in Image Alt Tags for Local Seo?

Including keywords in image alt tags enhances search engine understanding of content relevance, improving visibility. While not a direct ranking factor, descriptive alt tags with target keywords can indirectly support local SEO efforts by increasing page authority.


Effective keyword research forms the groundwork of a successful local SEO strategy. By grasping your target audience, identifying relevant search terms, and optimising your online presence, you can attract more customers and drive more revenue to your business.

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