Local Keyword Research: The Secret to Local SEO Success

If you’re a small business owner looking to attract more customers, then having a strong online presence is essential. However, simply having a website isn’t enough.

You need to ensure that you optimize your website for local search so that potential customers can find you easily when looking for local products and services in your area. And one of the most important elements of search engine optimization (SEO) is discovering the best keywords for your local market.

When people search online, they use specific keywords or phrases to find what they are looking for. Including the right keywords on your website can increase the chances of appearing at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs).

This means that potential customers searching for products or services in your local area are more likely to come across your website and visit your business. Therefore, doing local keyword research for your market is crucial if you want to increase traffic and attract more customers.

Keyword research is the process of finding the right keywords for your business.

Keyword research is the process of finding the right keywords for your business.

A Brief Overview of The Local Keyword Research Process

The process of finding keywords for your local market involves understanding your target audience and their search behavior, analyzing local competitors and their keyword plan, conducting local keyword research using tools like Google Keyword Planner, a free keyword tool, or SEMrush, incorporating long-tail keywords into your strategy, utilizing location-based keywords such as city or state names in combination with relevant industry terms, tracking keyword performance with analytics tools like Google Analytics or Ahrefs and adjusting accordingly. All these steps will require some research time investment on behalf of businesses, but it’s critical in order to achieve good SEO results locally and stand out from competitors in organic SERP rankings!

Understanding Your Local Market

Identifying Your Target Audience and Their Search Behavior

Before you start looking for local keywords, it is essential to identify your target audience and understand their search behavior. Ask yourself questions like, “Who are my customers?” “What do they need?” “How do they search for what I sell online?” By understanding your customers’ needs, you can tailor your local SEO keyword research to match their interests.

To start your local keyword research, create a customer persona that represents your ideal customer. This includes demographic information such as age, gender, and location.
You should also consider their interests and motivations when searching for what you offer. Once you have a clear understanding of who your target audience is, you can start to research how they search online.

Consider using tools like Google Analytics or Keyword Planner to identify the most commonly used words and phrases related to your business. You can also use social media listening tools such as Hootsuite Insights or Brandwatch to monitor conversations related to your industry and products.

Key Steps to Local Keyword Research: Understanding Your Target Audience and Analyzing Local Competitors

Key Steps to Local Keyword Research: Understanding Your Target Audience and Analyzing Local Competitors

Analyzing Local Competitors and Their Keyword Strategy

Analyzing local competitors is important in developing an effective keyword plan for your business. Start by identifying the businesses that are currently ranking for keywords associated with your industry in the local market.

Take note of the keywords they’re using on their website content and meta tags. After identifying these competitors, analyze their keyword approach by examining metrics such as domain authority, page rank, backlinks, social media presence, etc. Conducting a comprehensive competitor analysis will help you understand what works well within the local market space.

While analyzing competitor data may seem overwhelming at first glance, it’s essential to use this information effectively so that you don’t waste time creating content around keywords that already have high competition levels in local searches. By gaining insights into what drives success within the organic SERP rankings of other local businesses, you can gain a competitive edge and develop a keyword process that drives results.

How to Find the Best Local Keywords

Choosing the right keywords will increase your local search rankings.

Choosing the keywords people use in your area will increase your local search rankings.

Before you start optimizing your website’s content for local search, you need to conduct keyword research to uncover the best keywords and phrases for your business. Many keyword research tools are available, but we will focus on the most popular ones that can help you generate a list of potential keywords and narrow it down based on relevance, search volume, and competition level.

Using Keyword Research Tools

The first step in conducting keyword research is to use a tool that can suggest potential keywords. Google AdWords Keyword Planner is one of the most popular options for finding local keywords, and it’s free. You don’t have to be running an AdWords campaign to use it, simply create an account and start using the tool.

Enter some local keywords for your company or industry, and the tool will suggest other relevant keywords along with metrics like the number of searches and competition level. Other popular tools include SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz Keyword Explorer.

These are paid tools that offer more sophisticated metrics like keyword difficulty score and competitor analysis. However, they can be expensive depending on your needs, so choosing a tool that fits your budget is important.

Keyword Analysis Tools Description
Google AdWords Keyword Planner Free tool to suggest potential keywords and provide metrics like search volume and competition level. No need to run an AdWords campaign.
SEMrush A paid tool with sophisticated metrics like keyword difficulty score and competitor analysis.
Ahrefs A paid tool with competitor analysis and backlink tracking features.
Moz Keyword Explorer A paid tool with keyword research and analysis features, including keyword difficulty and opportunity scores.
Other Options There are other keyword tools available, both free and paid, depending on your needs and budget.

Narrowing Down Your List of Local Keywords

Once you have generated a list of potential keywords using a keyword analysis tool, you need to narrow it down based on relevance, search volume, and competition level. Relevance is important because you want your content to match what people are searching for. Search volume indicates how many people are searching for a particular keyword each month; a higher number of searches generally means more competition but also potentially more traffic if you rank well for those keywords.

Competition level refers to how difficult it is to rank for a particular keyword; higher competition means there are many other websites competing for those same spots on Google’s results page. One way to narrow down your list is to group your keywords into themes or categories.

This will help you organize your content and also identify any gaps in your keyword approach. Another approach is to prioritize keywords based on their search volume and competition level.

Focus on the keywords with higher search volumes but lower competition levels first, as they can be easier to rank for and drive more traffic to your website. Remember that keyword research is an ongoing process, so don’t be afraid to revisit and adjust your strategy as needed over time.

Factors to Consider Importance How to Evaluate
Relevance High Ensure your content matches the search queries people are looking for.
Search Volume High Check how many people are searching for that search term each month. More searches mean potentially more traffic.
Competition Level High Determine how difficult it is to rank for a particular target keyword. Higher competition means more websites are competing for those same spots on Google’s results page.
Keyword Grouping Medium Group keywords into themes or categories to organize your content and identify any gaps in your keyword plan.
Prioritization Medium Focus on keywords with higher search volumes but lower competition levels first.
Ongoing Evaluation High Remember that keyword research is an ongoing process, so don’t be afraid to revisit and adjust your strategy as needed over time.

Incorporating Long-Tail Keywords

Defining long-tail keywords and their benefits for local businesses

Use long-tail local keywords for your business to improve your local SEO efforts.

Use long-tail local keywords for your business to improve your local SEO efforts.

When it comes to optimizing your local SEO, incorporating long-tail keywords into your strategy can make a big difference. But what exactly are long-tail keywords? Simply put, they are longer, more specific phrases that people use when searching online.

While they may have lower search volume than broader keywords, they often have higher intent and can be easier to rank for. For local businesses, using long-tail keywords can be particularly beneficial since they can help you target customers who are searching for exactly what you offer.

For example, instead of trying to rank for the broad term “pizza restaurant,” you could use explicit local keywords like “best pepperoni pizza in [your city].” By doing so, you’ll attract customers looking specifically for pizza in your area and increase their chances of visiting your restaurant.

Finding relevant long-tail keywords using natural language queries

So how do you find these valuable long-tail keywords to drive local traffic? One way is by conducting natural language queries based on common questions or problems that potential customers may have related to your business.

For example, if you own a pet store in Chicago, some potential queries may include implicit local keywords like, “Where can I buy healthy dog food in Chicago?” or “What toys do cats like best?” Once you have a list of these queries, plug them into keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to see what variations come up.

Look for phrases that have moderate search volume (around 1k-10k searches per month) and low competition levels (ideally below 0.5). These are likely more specific, longer variations that will attract the right customers to your business.

Incorporating long-tail keywords into your local SEO plan can take some time and effort, but the benefits are worth it. By targeting more specific, high-intent phrases, you’ll attract customers who are more likely to convert and increase your chances of ranking higher in results pages.

Utilizing Location-Based Keywords

Understanding the importance of location-based keywords for local SEO

One of the key elements in optimizing your local SEO process is incorporating location-based keywords into your content. In today’s digital age, where everyone is on their mobile devices and using search engines to find what they need, targeting potential customers based on their location can make a huge difference in your business’ success. For example, if you’re a coffee shop owner in Seattle, you want to make sure that when someone types “best coffee shop in Seattle” into Google, your business appears at the top of the search results.

This is where location-based keywords come into play. By including city or region-specific terms in your keyword plan, you increase the chances of showing up in relevant search engine results for people who are searching for businesses with local intent.

This not only improves your visibility but also helps to attract more targeted traffic and ultimately drives more sales. The more specific and targeted your keyword approach is, the better chance you have of standing out from your competitors and being found by potential customers who are ready to buy.

Importance of Location-Based Keywords in Local SEO

Importance of Location-Based Keywords for your Local Business

Incorporating city, state, or region-specific terms into your local keyword plan

When it comes to incorporating location-based keywords into your content and website optimization efforts, you can take several different approaches. One effective method is to include a specific list of keywords related to the city or region where you operate throughout your website copy and metadata – such as page titles, descriptions, and headers. Creating landing pages specifically tailored to each city or region you serve can also help improve visibility for those searching with localized intent.

Another way to use the right local keywords is by optimizing content that features local landmarks or attractions within close proximity to your business – such as mentioning popular tourist destinations or events happening nearby. Doing so increases the chances of appearing in search results for people looking for businesses or services in those areas.

Overall, utilizing location-based keywords is essential to a successful local SEO strategy. By understanding the importance of these keywords and incorporating them into your content in a strategic way, you can improve your visibility within your target market and drive more qualified traffic to your website.

Methods of Incorporating Location-Based Keywords Benefits
Include particular keywords related to the city or region in the website copy and metadata Improves visibility for local searches
Create landing pages tailored to each city or region Increases visibility for localized intent searches
Optimize content featuring local landmarks or attractions Improves chances of appearing in search results for businesses or services in the area

Monitoring Keyword Performance

Once your keywords are incorporated into your website, monitoring their performance to see how they affect your search rankings and traffic is important. This can be done through the use of analytics tools such as Google Analytics or SEMrush. These tools allow you to track local SEO keywords and see how they rank on search engines over time.

One key metric to track is keyword ranking position. This tells you where your website appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) for a specific keyword.

Tracking keyword positions can help you identify which keywords are performing well and which ones may need improvement. Tracking traffic from particular keywords can help you determine which ones drive the most visitors to your site.

Adjusting Your Keyword SystemBased on Performance Data

Based on the performance data you gather, adjusting your keyword system is important. If certain keywords are performing well, consider adding more content related to those keywords or optimizing existing content further. On the other hand, if certain keywords aren’t performing as well as expected, consider revising or removing them from your strategy altogether.

It’s also important to keep an eye on changes in the market and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, a new competitor entering the market may require a shift in focus toward different keywords or a more aggressive approach toward existing ones.

Monitoring the performance of your chosen local market keywords is essential for any successful SEO campaign. By analyzing performance data and adjusting strategies accordingly, businesses can stay ahead of their competition and achieve greater visibility online.

Task Description
Gather Performance Data Collect data on keyword performance, including search volume, competition level, and ranking positions.
Analyze Data Use analytics tools to analyze performance data and identify trends and areas for improvement.
Adjust Keyword Plan Modify keyword plan based on performance data analysis. Add new keywords, optimize existing content, or remove underperforming keywords.
Stay Up-to-Date Keep track of changes in the market, such as new competitors or trends, and adjust keyword strategy accordingly.
Monitor Performance Continuously monitor keyword performance and adjust strategies as needed to improve visibility and stay ahead of competitors.


Now that you understand how important it is to find the best keywords for your local market, it’s time to take action. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a comprehensive keyword process that will help your business rank higher in search engine results and attract more local customers.

Remember to conduct thorough keyword research, analyze your target audience and local competitors, incorporate long-tail and location-based keywords, and monitor your performance regularly. With patience and persistence, you can optimize your local SEO with effective keyword research.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results – SEO is a long-term game. It’s important to keep track of your progress and adjust your strategy as necessary.
So what are you waiting for? Start researching those keywords today!


What is the best keyword research technique in SEO?

The best keyword research technique in SEO is to understand your target audience, use keyword research tools, consider long-tail keywords, and keep your keyword research up-to-date.

What are the four types of local keywords?

  1. Direct match keywords: These are keywords that include your business name or location. For example, “best pizza in San Francisco” or “dentist near me.”
  2. Category match keywords: These are keywords that describe the products or services you offer. For example, “plumber” or “restaurant.”
  3. Transactional keywords: These are keywords that indicate a user is ready to buy. For example, “buy pizza” or “book an appointment.”
  4. Informational keywords: These are keywords that users use when researching a local product or service. For example, “how to fix a leaky faucet” or “best restaurants in San Francisco.”

What’s at the heart of a strong local SEO strategy?

A strong local SEO plan is essential for businesses that want to be found by local customers. It involves building a strong online presence, claiming and optimizing your Google My Business listing, building links to your website, creating high-quality content, getting involved in local directories and review sites, and running local PPC campaigns.

Does Google show the Local Pack for your seed keywords?

The Local Pack is a feature in Google Search that shows a list of three local businesses that are relevant to the user’s search query. It is displayed at the top of the SERP, above the organic search results.

To qualify, a business must meet the following criteria:

  • The business must have a Google Business Profile listing.
  • The business must be located within the user’s search radius.
  • The business must have a good online reputation.
  • The business must be relevant to keywords that people use.
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About Brian Gibbs

Brian Gibbs, a San Antonio-based Digital Marketing Strategist, empowers local businesses with tailored AI and marketing solutions. Passionate about innovation and growth, he's your key to online success. Connect with Brian today.