Conducting Better Keyword Research for Local SEO

Keyword research for local SEO is a crucial aspect of digital marketing for businesses that serve a specific geographic area. Local businesses must optimize their website and other digital assets to be found by potential customers. One of the key elements of this optimization process is keyword research.

Keyword research involves uncovering the words and phrases that potential customers use to search for products or services like yours. You can leverage these keywords to provide users with the information they seek, thereby improving your website’s visibility.

By targeting the right local keywords, you can increase your chances of being found by potential customers within your business location. This guide explores the importance of keyword research for local SEO and provides tips for effective keyword research.

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your brand’s online presence for local search queries. Thereby allowing individuals within your business location to find you easily. 

Local SEO is particularly important for businesses that serve a specific geographic area, such as a small town, city, or region.

Local SEO includes:

  • Building local citations.
  • Creating a Google My Business listing.
  • Encouraging customers to leave reviews on Google and Yelp.

Local SEO includes optimizing website elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, and content to ensure they are relevant to local search queries. It also entails strategies like targeting location-specific keywords and phrases and creating location-specific landing pages.

One of the critical elements of Local SEO is keyword research. The process involves identifying the words and phrases potential customers use to search for products or services in their area. And then optimizing your website and other digital assets for these keywords. 

Local SEO also entails creating quality content, building backlinks from authoritative websites, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly. Implementing these tactics will improve your visibility in local search results. And attract customers within your business’ geographical location. 

person using both laptop and smartphone
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Importance of Keyword Research for Local SEO

1. Targeting Local Audience

Local SEO allows you to target a specific geographic location, which is essential for businesses that serve a local clientele. By using location-based keywords, you can increase the chances of your business being found by potential customers searching for businesses in your area.

2. Increase Visibility

Optimizing your website for local keywords can increase your visibility in local search results. This can lead to more website traffic, higher conversion rates, and, ultimately, more revenue.

3. Compete With Local Businesses

By conducting local keyword research, you can identify your competitor’s keywords. And find ways to differentiate your business and stand out in the local search results.

4. Improve Local Engagement

Local SEO can help you to improve engagement with your local audience. You can achieve this by creating local-specific content and optimizing your website for local keywords.

5. Local Directories

Local directories like Google My BusinessBing Places, and Yelp allows you to list your business online. They provide customers with important information such as your location, hours of operation, and contact information. 

You can enhance your visibility in local search results by including your business in these directories and optimizing your listing.

6. Mobile Optimization

With the increasing usage of mobile devices, it’s vital to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Local SEO can help you to optimize your website for mobile devices and improve its visibility in mobile search results.

Keyword Research for Local SEO

Keyword research is at the heart of every SEO strategy, including local SEO. To effectively target local customers, you must understand the keywords they’re typing into search engines to find businesses like yours. 

Here are five tips for finding local keywords: 

1. Research Industry-Specific Local Keywords

Begin by researching topics that are relevant to your industry and location. Enter search engine queries like “[City] + [Industry]” into the Google search bar to uncover popular phrases, topics, and questions for your location and industry. 

Additionally, create a list of words specific to your product or service, such as:

  • Items you offer.
  • Locations where you offer them.
  • Benefits that are only available in your location.

2. Use Location Modifiers in Keywords

You can target local customers by incorporating terms like “near me” or “in [city name]” in your content. This way, your website will show up in the search results when people search for businesses nearby.

3. Consider the Intent Behind Keywords

Consider the intent behind the keywords you’ve collated. Are people searching for a product, service, or information? Tailor your content to match their intent. 

4. Utilize Both Implicit and Explicit Local Keywords

When it comes to local SEO, it’s essential to use both implicit and explicit local keywords. 

Implicit keywords include general terms related to your industry and location without mentioning your location explicitly. For example, “pizza” or “hair salon.” 

Explicit keywords include specific location-based terms, such as “pizza delivery in New York City” or “best hair salon in Los Angeles.” You can target a wider audience by using implicit and explicit keywords and improve your chances of showing up in local search results.

Utilizing Your Competitors in Local Keyword Research

When it comes to local SEO, it’s essential to keep an eye on the competition. With some knowledge about your competition, you’ll be able to establish your business goals better and identify the right keywords to compete for. 

Analyze the strategies of your competitors to gain valuable insights into what works in your industry and location. 

Here are key ways to leverage your competitors to boost your local SEO.

1. Analyze Competitor Website

One way to get ideas for local keywords is to analyze your competitors’ websites. Look at their page titles, meta descriptions, and header tags to see what keywords they are targeting.

2. Use Keyword Research Tools

Keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Moz can give you insight into the keywords your competitors are targeting.

3. Check Competitor Backlinks

Use a backlink analysis tool like Ahrefs or Ubersuggest to see which websites link to your competitors’ sites. This can help inform your content strategy.

4. Look at Your Competitor’s PPC Campaigns

You can see your competitors’ keywords by checking their ad copy and targeting settings.

5. Pay Attention to Local SEO

Check your competitors’ business listings on Google My Business, Yelp, and other local directories. See what information they have provided and how they optimized their listing.

6. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors’ Social Media Pages

See what kind of content your competitors share on social media and which platforms they are active on. This can give you an idea of how they are trying to reach their customers and what kind of content appeals to their audience.


Keyword research for local SEO is crucial for businesses that want to reach their local audience effectively. Understanding the keywords your audience is actively searching for is the first step towards becoming a local authority website. 

Once you’ve identified relevant keywords, create content that satisfies the intent behind the search queries of your audience. By providing users with the information they seek, you benefit from a positive click-through rate, impacting your overall ranking performance.

Also, consider your competitors’ strategies to gain insights into what works and doesn’t. When done right, local SEO keyword research can help you reach your audience and achieve success in the long run.

Co-Founder of INK, Alexander crafts magical tools for web marketing. SEO and AI expert. He is a smart creative, a builder of amazing things. He loves to study “how” and “why” humans and AI make decisions.

Why Businesses Today Need an SEO Strategy

You’ve probably already heard the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) being thrown around in business circles. This is because more…

SEO Strategy Guide to Build a Winning Website

Creating a website without SEO is like building a house without laying the foundation. Although it may look great on…

Why You Need an Effective SEO Strategy and Objectives

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become increasingly important for businesses to incorporate into their online marketing strategy. You need it…

6 Proven SEO Techniques to Boost Traffic

Are you looking to make a mark in the digital landscape? Well, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something that you…

The Definitive Guide to Off-Page SEO Techniques

If you want your eCommerce website to climb up the search engine rankings, you need to level up your Off-Page…

Essential Local SEO Tactics To Win in Multiple Locations

Having multiple business locations presents unique opportunities and challenges in leveraging Local SEO. Let’s say you own a restaurant chain…