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Guide to Local Keyword Research: What It Is & How to Do It in 2023

You understand the value of having a good online presence if you own a business or work in marketing. Search engine optimisation (SEO), which involves optimising your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), is a critical component of an online presence.

Effective SEO must include local keyword research since it may help you determine the terms and expressions that local customers are using to look for goods and services similar to yours.  In this guide, we’ll cover what local keyword research is and how to conduct it effectively.

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What is Local Keyword Research?

Local keyword research is the process of identifying the words and phrases that potential customers in your local area are using to search for products and services like yours.

You can increase the probability that your website will show up at the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when local users look for related terms by including these keywords in the content of your website.

Using keyword research for local SEO can help you earn a coveted top placement in the organic results. And the local pack.

Why is Local Keyword Research Important?

Effective local keyword research is critical for several reasons. The first benefit is that it allows you to understand the terminology used by potential customers in your area to look for products and services similar to yours. 

As a result, you could more accurately match the content of your website to those search words, increasing the probability that your website will rank well when local users look up relevant terms.

Second, local keyword research allows you to better target your SEO efforts. You may save time and money by concentrating on the words and phrases that prospective customers in your region use, rather than trying to rank for keywords that are unlikely to result in many visitors to your website.

Finally, effective local keyword research can help you stay ahead of your competitors. You may get an advantage in local search results and draw more clients to your company by figuring out the keywords that your competitors are focusing on and creating a plan to rank higher for those words.

Implicit vs. Explicit Local Keywords

Businesses need to take into account both implicit and explicit local keywords when it comes to local SEO. You may develop a more successful local SEO plan by being aware of the distinctions between these two categories of keywords.

Explicit Local Keywords

Explicit local keywords are those that include specific location information. For instance, "Chicago pizza delivery" or "New York City plumber." These search terms are frequently used by people who are actively seeking a business in an area since they specifically specify the location that the searcher is looking for.

Using explicit local keywords in your website content and metadata can help your site appear in search results when people search for those specific location-based terms. This may be particularly useful to businesses that depend on customers in the area, like restaurants, plumbers, or other service-based businesses.

Implicit Local Keywords

Implicit local keywords, on the other hand, don't include specific location information, but they still have local intent. For example, "best pizza near me" or "emergency plumber open now." These keywords don't explicitly state a location, but they are still relevant to local searchers.

Using implicit local keywords in your website content and metadata can help your site appear in search results for people who are searching for local businesses but don't include specific location information in their search queries. This can be especially effective for businesses that serve a wider area or have multiple locations.

Which Type of Local Keyword Should You Use?

Both explicit and implicit local keywords can be effective for local SEO, depending on the nature of your business and your target audience. If you operate a business that relies heavily on local customers, explicit local keywords may be more effective for you. If you have a broader customer base or multiple locations, implicit local keywords may be more appropriate.

Understanding your target market and the language they use to search for products and services like yours is ultimately the key to successful local SEO. The probability that your website will show up in search results when locals look for related terms may be increased by utilising a combination of explicit and implicit local keywords in your website content and metadata.

To identify local intent, Google uses complex algorithms and several methods for locating a user. In any case, it can produce local results.

How to Do Local Keyword Research?

Now that you are aware of how important local keyword research is, let's examine it in further detail. The steps you should take are as follows:

Step 1: Brainstorm Relevant Keywords

Start by coming up with a list of pertinent words and phrases that local consumers would use to look for products and services similar to yours. To generate ideas, try using tools like Google's Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs.

Make sure to include variations of your keywords, such as long-tail keywords, synonyms, and related terms. If you're a Chicago-based dentist, for instance, you may include keywords like "Chicago dentist," "dentist near me," "dental services in Chicago," and "teeth cleaning in Chicago."

Step 2: Analyze Search Volume and Competition

Once you have a list of relevant keywords, use a keyword research tool to analyze search volume and competition. Look for keywords with high search volume and low competition. These are the key phrases that are probably going to help your local SEO efforts the most.

Numerous tools are accessible for keyword research, including Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz Keyword Explorer. These tools can help you identify the most relevant and popular local keywords for your business.

Step 3: Analyze Local Intent

Next, consider the local intent of your keywords. When selecting local keywords, it's important to consider user intent.

What are people searching for when they use a particular keyword? Are people using these keywords to find products and services in your area, or are they searching for more general information?

By understanding user intent, you can select keywords that are most relevant and likely to convert. To increase traffic to your website, be sure that you focus on keywords having a local intent.

Step 4: Analyze Competitors

Finally, analyze the keywords that your competitors are targeting. Look for opportunities to rank higher than your competitors for the same keywords by optimizing your website content and building high-quality backlinks.

Analyzing the websites of your competitors can give you insight into the local keywords they are targeting. Look at their website content, page titles, and meta descriptions to see what keywords they are using.

Some more steps you can include:-

  • Consider Long-Tail Keywords - Long-tail keywords are longer phrases that are more specific and less competitive than shorter, more general keywords. For example, "best pizza delivery in downtown Chicago" is a long-tail keyword. While these keywords may have a lower search volume, they can be highly targeted and effective for local SEO.
  • Use Location Modifiers - Location modifiers are words and phrases that add location information to a keyword. For example, "plumber" becomes "plumber in Chicago" or "Chicago plumber." Using location modifiers can help your site appear in search results when people search for businesses in your area.
  • Utilize Google Autocomplete and Related Searches - The phrases that people are searching for about your business's name may be gathered from Google Autocomplete and Related Searches. Type in a keyword related to your business, and see what other suggestions Google provides.

By using a combination of these strategies, you can conduct effective local keyword research and optimize your website content and metadata to appear in search results for relevant local searches. To remain on top of evolving search trends and to stay ahead of the competition, keep in mind to often evaluate and update your keyword list.

Bonus- Optimize Your Google Business Profile

Local businesses may use Google My Business as a potent tool to improve their presence in local search results.

You can make sure that potential clients get accurate and current information about your business when they look for products or services in your region by optimising your Google My Business profile. The following steps will help you optimise your 

  • Google My Business profile - Claim Your Google My Business Listing - You must first claim a business listing to use Google My Business. Enter your Google account information to sign in at the Google My Business website. Then, enter the name and address of the business to see whether a listing is already available. If it does, take ownership of it. Create a new listing if not.
  • Complete Your Business Information - Once you've claimed your listing, it's important to complete all of your business information. This information includes your company name, address, phone number, website address, business type, and operating hours. Because this information will be displayed in search results, be sure it is fully correct and up-to-date.
  • Add Photos and Videos - Your Google My Business page may benefit from adding images and videos to assist display the company and give prospective clients a better understanding of what you have to offer. You may include pictures of your staff, facilities, goods, and services, as well as movies showcasing your company's operations.
  • Encourage Reviews - Reviews are an important factor in local search rankings, so it's important to encourage your customers to leave reviews on your Google My Business profile. Responding to both good and negative reviews may demonstrate to potential clients that you respect their input and are dedicated to providing top-notch service.
  • Utilize Posts - Google My Business Posts allow you to share updates, promotions, and other information about your business. Such articles can improve interaction with your brand and traffic to your website because they show up in search results.
  • Monitor Insights - Google My Business Insights provide valuable data on how people are finding and interacting with your business listing. This includes information on the number of views, clicks, and actions taken on your listing. Track your progress with this data and edit your profile as necessary.
  • Keep Your Listing Up-to-Date - Finally, it's critical to maintain the accuracy of your Google My Business listing. This includes updating your business information as needed, adding new photos and videos, and regularly posting updates and promotions. By keeping your listing fresh and engaging, you can ensure that potential customers continue to find and engage with your business online.

Local keyword research is an essential component of effective SEO, and it's critical for businesses that rely on local customers to drive their sales.

You can identify the keywords local customers in the area use to search for products and services similar to yours and optimise the content of your website to rank higher by following the instructions provided in this guide.

The following are the most crucial points to bear in mind while conducting keyword research for local SEO:

  • Locate and focus on high-search volume keywords.
  • For local search, choose wide, highly competitive keywords.
  • Make sure your content relates to the keywords you've chosen.
  • Be sure to maintain your entire SEO campaign.


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