Local Keyword Research

How To Do Local Keyword Research

In today’s digital age, local keyword research is a vital component for businesses aiming to optimize their online presence. Whether you run a local bakery or a regional law firm, understanding how to do local keyword research can significantly enhance your visibility in local search results, driving more traffic and potential customers to your business. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the process of conducting effective local keyword research, ensuring your business is easily found by your target audience.

Understanding Local Keyword Research

Local keyword research involves identifying and analyzing the search terms people in a specific geographic area use to find local businesses or services. Unlike general keyword research, which focuses on a broad audience, local keyword research zeroes in on location-specific queries. This approach helps businesses appear in local search results, including Google’s Local Pack, and is essential for attracting nearby customers.

Why Local Keyword Research Matters

  1. Increased Visibility: Local keyword research helps your business appear in local search results, making it easier for nearby customers to find you.
  2. Higher Conversion Rates: Local searches often have higher intent, meaning searchers are more likely to convert into customers.
  3. Competitive Advantage: By optimizing for local keywords, you can outperform competitors who may not be leveraging local SEO strategies.

Steps to Conduct Local Keyword Research

1. Identify Your Location and Services

Begin by clearly defining the geographical area you serve and the specific services or products you offer. This foundational step will guide your keyword research process and ensure your efforts are targeted.

2. Brainstorm Local Keywords

Think about how potential customers might search for your business. Combine your services with local modifiers such as your city, neighborhood, or even nearby landmarks. For example, if you run a bakery in Austin, Texas, potential keywords could include “Austin bakery,” “best cupcakes in Austin,” or “downtown Austin bakery.”

3. Use Keyword Research Tools

Utilize keyword research tools to find additional keywords and analyze their search volume and competition. Some popular tools include:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Provides keyword ideas and search volume data.
  • Moz Keyword Explorer: Offers in-depth keyword analysis and suggestions.
  • Ahrefs: Great for finding local keywords and analyzing competitors.
  • SEMrush: Comprehensive tool for keyword research and competitive analysis.

4. Analyze Competitors

Examine your competitors’ websites to see which keywords they are targeting. Tools like Ahrefs or SEMrush allow you to analyze the keywords your competitors rank for, providing valuable insights for your own strategy.

5. Leverage Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful tool for local SEO. Ensure your GMB listing is complete and optimized with relevant local keywords in your business description, services, and posts.

6. Focus on Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific search phrases that often have lower competition but higher conversion rates. For instance, “gluten-free bakery in Austin” is more specific than just “bakery in Austin” and may attract more qualified traffic.

7. Consider Local Intent Keywords

Local intent keywords include terms like “near me” or “closest.” These are used by searchers looking for immediate local services. Ensure these keywords are part of your strategy. Examples include “best pizza near me” or “closest car repair shop.”

8. Use Location Pages

Your business serves multiple locations, creating separate pages for each location on your website. Optimize each page with relevant local keywords to improve your chances of ranking in different local searches.

9. Monitor and Adjust Your Strategy

Keyword research is not a one-time task. Regularly monitor your keyword performance and adjust your strategy based on the results. Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track your progress and make data-driven decisions.

Tips for Effective Local Keyword Research

  • Include Local Landmarks and Neighborhoods: Mentioning popular local landmarks or neighborhoods in your keywords can enhance local relevance.
  • Use Customer Feedback: Pay attention to the language your customers use in reviews and feedback. Incorporate these terms into your keyword strategy.
  • Optimize for Voice Search: With the rise of voice assistants, optimizing for natural, conversational keywords can capture more local searches.
  • Stay Updated with Trends: Local search trends can change. Stay updated with local news, events, and seasonal trends to capture timely traffic.

What is local keyword research?

Local keyword research involves identifying and analyzing search terms that people in a specific geographic area use to find local businesses or services. It focuses on location-specific queries to help businesses appear in local search results.

Why is local keyword research important?

Local keyword research is important because it increases your visibility in local search results, attracts nearby customers, and gives you a competitive advantage. It also tends to have higher conversion rates due to the high intent of local searches.

How do I find local keywords?

You can find local keywords by brainstorming potential search terms, using keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer, analyzing competitors, and leveraging tools like Google My Business. Incorporating local modifiers and considering local intent keywords are also effective strategies.

What are long-tail keywords and why are they important?

Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific search phrases. They are important because they often have lower competition and higher conversion rates, making them valuable for attracting more qualified traffic.

How can I optimize my Google My Business listing?

To optimize your Google My Business listing, ensure it is complete and up-to-date. Include relevant local keywords in your business description, services, and posts. Encourage customers to leave reviews and respond to them to increase engagement.

How often should I update my local keyword strategy?

You should regularly monitor your keyword performance and adjust your strategy based on the results. Keyword research is an ongoing process, and staying updated with local trends and changes in search behavior is crucial for maintaining your online visibility.

Can social media help with local keyword research?

Yes, social media can help with local keyword research. Pay attention to the language and hashtags used by your audience and competitors. Social media platforms can provide insights into popular local terms and trends.


Understanding how to do local keyword research is essential for any business aiming to enhance its online presence and attract more local customers. By following the steps outlined in this guide and regularly updating your strategy, you can ensure your business stands out in local search results, driving more traffic and increasing conversions. Remember, local keyword research is an ongoing process that requires attention and adaptation to stay ahead of the competition.

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