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July 5, 2024
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 min read

Best Strategies for Local SEO Keyword Research

Best Strategies for Local SEO Keyword Research
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Local keyword research is important for small businesses that want to attract customers from their local area. A local business can improve its visibility and draw in more traffic by optimizing for local searches. A key part of this process is location-specific keywords for local traffic.

In this article, learn how to identify the right target keywords and effectively apply them to improve your local search rankings.

What is Local Keyword Research in Digital Marketing

Local keyword research involves optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches, which typically occur on Google and other search engines.

For example, if you own a coffee shop in New York, you want your business to appear in the Google search results when someone searches for "coffee shop near me" or "best coffee shop in New York." Using local SEO keyword research strategies, you can improve your rankings for these types of searches, making it easier for potential customers in your area to find and choose your local business.

Why Local Keyword Research is Crucial for Businesses

Local SEO is highly beneficial for small businesses because it helps them compete more effectively in their local markets. By optimizing for local keywords and conducting local keyword research, small businesses can:

  • Enhance Brand Awareness: Being visible in local search results increases brand recognition within the community.
  • Increase Online Visibility: Appearing in local searches increases the chances that local customers will find and visit your business.
  • Attract Local Customers: People searching for local businesses are often ready to make a purchase, making them valuable potential customers.
  • Build Community Relationships: A strong local presence helps build trust and loyalty among local customers.

What is Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves identifying and analyzing the terms that people use when searching for information, products, or services online. 

Effective keyword research helps you understand what your potential customers are looking for and how to connect with them. Keyword research is essential for local SEO because it helps you understand what local customers are searching for. 

If you target keywords, you can improve your chances of appearing in local search results and attracting more local customers.

How Local Keywords Differ from Broader Keywords

Local keywords include geographic terms that are more specific to a particular area. For example, instead of targeting the broad keyword "plumber," a local keyword might be "plumber in Chicago." This geographic specificity helps attract customers searching for services in a particular location. 

Local keywords are often less competitive, making it easier for small businesses to rank for them. Additionally, local keywords tend to capture searchers with higher purchase intent, as they often look for immediate services or products in their vicinity. Focus to find local keywords, businesses can effectively target and connect with their local audience.

Steps to Conduct Keyword Research for Local SEO

If you're new to implementing or looking for relevant keywords, these are the steps that you should take:

Step 1. Identifying Your Target Audience

Understanding your target audience is the first step in keyword research for local SEO. This involves researching your local market's demographics, location, and preferences. Knowing the age, gender, income level, and interests of your local customers helps you tailor your keyword strategy to their needs.

Additionally, identifying the areas where your customers live or work allows you to focus on relevant geographic terms.

Finally, understanding what your customers are looking for and how your business can meet those needs will guide you in choosing relevant keywords.

Step 2. Brainstorming Local Keywords

Start by brainstorming a list of potential local keywords. Consider your business type, geographic indicators, and customer descriptions. Use explicit or implicit local keywords, which refer to words that directly or indirectly reference a location.

Include terms related to your products or services, such as "plumber" or "coffee shop," and add location-specific terms, such as city names, neighborhoods, or landmarks.

For example, "plumber in Los Angeles" or "coffee shop in Brooklyn" are more specific and likely to attract local searchers. Consider how your customers describe your business or services, and include these phrases in your keyword list.

Step 3. Using Keyword Research Tools

Several keyword research tools are available to help in finding the best local keywords. Google Keyword Planner and Rankify are popular options. Google Keyword Planner provides keyword ideas and search volume data, helping you understand which keywords are most relevant and popular.

Rankify offers insights into keyword difficulty and competitor analysis, allowing you to see how challenging it might be to rank for specific keywords. It also provides keyword suggestions and tracks keyword performance, helping you monitor and adjust your strategy as needed.

Step 4. Analyzing Competitor Keywords

Analyzing the keywords that your competitors are targeting can provide valuable insights. Start by identifying businesses in your area that offer similar products or services. Use tools like Rankify to see which keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Comparing and contrasting your findings can determine your target keywords based on gaps or opportunities. This analysis helps you refine your keyword strategy to gain a competitive edge.

person working on local seo

Types of Local Keywords to Consider

There are various ways and methods that can be used to determine local search intent. Here are some of them:

Geo-Modified Keywords

Geo-modified keywords include geographic terms that specify a location. These keywords help attract customers who are searching for businesses in a specific area.

Examples include "plumber in Los Angeles," "coffee shop in Brooklyn," and "hotel near Central Park."

Incorporating geo-modified keywords into your content can improve your visibility in local search results.

Service-Based Keywords

Service-based keywords focus on the specific services you offer. Using service-based keywords helps you reach customers looking for particular services in your area.

Examples include "emergency plumbing in San Francisco," "pediatrician in Dallas," and "boutique clothing store in Miami."

Targeting these keywords can connect with customers searching for the services you provide within your area.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are more specific and usually longer than general keywords. They often have lower search volume but higher search intent. You can also use keyword modifiers or related keywords to get more ideas.

Examples include "best Italian restaurant in downtown Chicago" and "24-hour locksmith in Denver."

Long-tail keywords can attract highly targeted traffic and improve conversion rates. By focusing on these keywords, you can connect with customers who are closer to making a purchase decision.

Implementing Local Keywords into Your Content

Once you have determined the target keywords, here are the various ways to integrate them as part of your content.

On-Page SEO

On-page SEO involves optimizing pages on your website to rank higher and generate more relevant traffic. Key areas to focus on include titles, meta descriptions, headings, and body content.

Include local keywords in your page titles and meta descriptions to improve visibility in search results. Use local keywords naturally in your headings (H1, H2, H3) and throughout the body of your content to ensure relevance and readability.

Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is activities outside the website to improve your search engine rankings. Important strategies include local citations, backlinks, and anchor text.

Ensure your business is listed accurately on local directories and review sites. Earn backlinks from reputable local websites to boost your site’s authority.

Use local keywords in the anchor text of your backlinks to improve relevance and strengthen your local SEO efforts.

Using Local Events and Trends

Identify local events or trends that can provide new keyword opportunities. For example, if there is a popular annual event in your area, consider targeting keywords related to that event.

This can help attract local customers who are interested in the event and may be searching for related services or products.

Leveraging User-Generated Content

Encourage customers to leave reviews and use their feedback for keyword ideas. User-generated content can provide valuable insights into how customers describe your business and services.

Incorporating these phrases into your keyword strategy can improve your relevance and attract more local customers.

Schema Markup

Implement schema markup to improve your local SEO keyword research and improve search engine understanding of your content. Schema markup provides additional information to search engines, helping them better understand your business and services. Using schema markup can improve your visibility in local search results.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Local Keyword Research

SEO is not just about knowing how to conduct local keyword research; there are also best practices and practices to avoid. Here are some of them:

Overusing Keywords

Keyword stuffing can harm your rankings and make your content less readable. Avoid overusing keywords by incorporating them naturally into your content. Focus on providing valuable information to your readers rather than repeating keywords excessively.

Ignoring Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords can attract highly targeted traffic, so don’t overlook them. While they may have lower search volume, they often have higher intent, leading to better conversion rates.

Include long-tail keywords in your strategy to connect with customers who are closer to making a purchase decision.

Neglecting to Update Keywords

Regularly review and update your keyword strategy to stay relevant. Search trends and customer behavior can change over time, so it’s important to keep your keyword list up to date.

Monitoring your performance and adjusting your strategy can help maintain your local search rankings and continue attracting local customers.

Optimize Your Content with the Best SEO AI Software

Rankify AI SEO Keyword Research

Rankify makes keyword research easy, offering a comprehensive list of keyword ideas with 99% volume accuracy compared to 60% from other software. It also suggests commonly asked questions, blog topics, and suggested keywords to enhance your content strategy.

Ready to try it out? Sign up for a 7-day free trial!

FAQs About Keyword Research for Local SEO

Why is local SEO important for small businesses?

Local SEO helps small businesses increase online visibility, attract local customers, and build community relationships. By appearing in local search results, businesses can improve foot traffic, boost sales, and enhance brand awareness.

How do local keywords differ from general keywords?

Local keywords include geographic terms that make them more specific to a particular area. For example, "plumber in Chicago" is a local keyword, while "plumber" is a general keyword. Local keywords typically have less competition and are more relevant to local searches.

What tools can I use for keyword research for local SEO?

Popular tools for keyword research include Google Keyword Planner and Rankify. These tools provide keyword ideas, search volume data, and insights into keyword difficulty and competitor analysis.

How often should I update my local keyword strategy?

It's important to review and update your keyword strategy regularly to stay relevant. Search trends and customer behavior can change over time, so keeping your keyword list up to date helps maintain your local search rankings.

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