In this article on search-pilot, you will learn exactly how to do local keyword research for your website.
Did you know that 76% of individuals who look for something nearby on their cell phones visit a business within one day, and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.?
Make sure your keyword targeting strategy is on spot if you want your business to rank for relevant searches in local search results.
If you have a local business and you want to rank higher on Google, if you want to get leads, more customers more traffic going to your website, so that you can make more money and more sales, then this article is seriously going to help you.
The beauty of local SEO is that if you know the right techniques, It doesn’t take much time and it’s very easy to replicate. So I’m going to teach you exactly how to do local keyword SEO research, how to steal your competitors’ keywords and traffic, and overall how to rank higher on Google, so that you can make more sales on your website.
Alright, let’s get straight into it.
What is local SEO keyword research?
Finding keywords that people search for while seeking for local products and services is known as local keyword research.
Ranking for these keywords brings focused local traffic to your website, which leads to increased sales.
But why exactly is local keyword research important?
Why is local keyword research important?
There are two basic reasons why keyword research is an important part of local SEO plan.
The first reason is that users are served personalised results when they perform a search, and one of the main factors that determines the results is their physical location.
If you search for “pizza” on Google, you won’t be shown the world’s top results for the keyword “pizza”.
Instead, you’ll be shown the highest ranking pages within your vicinity.
This is because Google wants to show you the most relevant search results.
If you’re in Texas, listings for pizza shops in Florida aren’t going to be very useful for you.
The second reason is that many users who perform local searches are searching with intent.
That’s to say that they are looking to take action or make a purchase at the moment.
76% of consumers who search for a type of local business on a mobile device call or visit that business within 24 hours.
Companies that thrive on local customers should be looking to leverage this intent by focusing on local SEO, and determining the most effective keywords is a huge part of it.
How to do local SEO Keyword research
The aim of keyword research for local SEO is to find the most commonly searched, relevant terms for your industry.
Google pays particular attention to relevancy when it comes to the SERPs, and 72% of marketers claim that relevancy is the main leading factor for improving SEO.
If your content isn’t relevant to what people are actually searching for, you won’t be appear in their results.
So let’s dive into the steps on how to do local SEO Keyword research.
1. Check for local intent
Local SEO is about ranking for keywords with local intent, meaning the people searching for them are explicitly looking for local services.
What you do in this step is to check that people searching for these services actually want to shop local.
If you live in the same area as the business you’re doing local keyword research for, the easiest way to do this is to search Google for your services.
Google will use your location to personalize the results, so you can tell if there’s local intent by checking the SERP for two things:
a) local businesses ranking in the organic results
b) A ‘map pack’
For example, if we search for “bakery,” we see a map pack and a few local businesses in the search results because this keyword has local intent.
If we search for “worcester bosch boiler,” (by the way, we’re talking about Worcester the brand, not Worcester the location), there’s no map pack and none of the results are from local businesses.
It seems that this keyword doesn’t have local intent and that searchers are just looking to buy a Worcester boiler to install on their own.
For keywords without local intent, put them to one side for the next step.
If you don’t live in the same area as the business you’re working for, here’s a workaround to check for local intent:
i. Go to Google’s Ad Preview tool
ii. Enter a search term (e.g., “bakery”)
iii. Set a local location (e.g. Texas)
iv. Hit search
You should see a local SERP where you can check for local business rankings and the presence of a map pack
2. Check search volumes.
Getting accurate local search volumes for local keywords is hard because pretty much every major SEO tool only shows country-wide and global volumes.
But here’s the thing: people worry far too much about search volumes with local SEO.
Nine times out of ten, even if the search volume for your services is super low, you’ll still want to create a page about it for your visitors.
For example, take a service like boiler installation.
Chances are that very few people are searching for this in a small town. But if it’s a service you offer, you should probably still create a page about it because it’s useful for visitors—including those who found you by Googling something broad like “plumber.”
Given that fact, you might ask: why bother checking search volumes at all?
The answer is simple: so you know which pages to prioritize in your local SEO efforts.
How do you find local search volumes?
It depends whether you want to check volumes for implicit or explicit keywords—a concept that Distilled’s Will Critchlow and Tom Anthony explain in this 2013 video:
Finding search volumes for implicit keywords
Implicit local keywords are the ones where the searcher is looking for a local result despite not mentioning their location in their search query.
Water heater replacement
This is undoubtedly how most people search for local businesses. After all, why bother typing “plumber in new texas” when you’ll get the same results by simply typing “plumber?”
But there’s a problem:
If you check search volumes for implicit keywords in Keywords Explorer (or any third-party keyword research tool), the estimates are for the entire country.
That’s not much use for local SEO because we need to know how many people are searching for these implicit keywords in the area we serve.
How can we find that information?
Google Keyword Planner is arguably the best tool for this.
Here’s the process:
1.Go to Google Keyword Planner
2. Choose the option to “Get search volume and forecasts”
3. Paste in your implicit keywords/services
4. Change the location to your service area
Now you see average monthly search volume ranges for implicit local keywords in your area.
Finding search volumes for explicit keywords
Explicit local keywords are keywords where the searcher explicitly references their location
i. plumber in brighton
ii. water heater replacement brighton
iii. brighton boiler installation
If you found that the implicit searches for some of your services didn’t have local intent, this is where you can add a location modifier to turn them into explicit searches.
For example, the implicit search “worcester boiler” didn’t have local intent—but the explicit search (“worcester boiler brighton”) does:
With explicit keywords, you don’t need to rely on Google Keyword Planner because the query itself tells you the searcher’s location. So you can use a keyword research tool like Keywords Explorer to get more accurate search volume estimates for these keywords.
3. Group and map keywords for url
Local keyword research isn’t just about finding what people are searching for. It’s also about understanding how you’ll target those keywords
Most of the time, your homepage isn’t going to rank for all the services you offer
That’s why most local businesses create pages dedicated to each service
This is where things can get a little confusing because it’s not always obvious which services do and don’t need dedicated pages.
How to apply local keyword research.
Conducting local keyword research is the hard part; implementing it is the easy part.
Once you’ve determined the specific local keywords you wish to target along with the pages you want to rank for these specific keywords, you can begin optimizing your web pages for local search results.
1. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the H1 Tag
one important step is to use your target keyword in your H1 tag.
Your H1 tag is an HTML element that helps both search engines and visitors understand your page content’s hierarchy. It’s also recommended to use only one H1 tag per page.
Avoid using the exact same H1 tag as your title tag because it can appear “overly optimized” to search engines. Instead, create unique tags for each that accurately describe your web page’s content. This also gives you an opportunity to target different keywords or keyword variations on the same page.
2. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the Content
The next step is to use a combination of your target keywords throughout your web page’s content to further suggest what your page’s content is about to search engines and visitors.
Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. You should use your target keywords organically throughout the post if you’re covering a topic in depth.
3. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the URL
If your local business has multiple service offerings or locations, you can use your web page’s URL path to target relevant keywords or locations. For example, if Mayfair offered catering services in multiple locations, they could build out separate web pages for each location, and use location- and service-specific keywords (e.g. https: //mayfair.com/catering-services/lasvegas).
Note: When optimizing your website URLs to include your target keywords, keep these best practices in mind.
4. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the Title Tag
The first step is to use your target keyword in your title tag. A title tag is the primary HTML element that indicates the title of your web page to search engines.
Your web page’s title tag also appears in search results above your page’s meta description.
Mayfair’s homepage’s current title tag is, “Home – The Mayfair Supper Club.” To optimize their title tag for the local target keywords above, we could change the title tag to, “Mayfair Supper Club | Las vegas.”
Keep in mind to Use your target keyword along with your target location to improve your chances of appearing in local search results relating to your target location(s).
5. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the Meta Description
The next step is to use your target keyword, or other related target keywords, in your meta description. Your meta description is an HTML element that provides a brief description of your web page’s content for search engines and searchers.
If your homepage does not have a meta description, Google will automatically generate a meta description from other content on your page.
Always Keep your meta description under 160 characters because Google truncates meta descriptions longer than 160 characters in search results.
6. Use Your Target Keyword(s) in the Image Alt Text
The final step is to use your target keywords in your images’ alt text, which are HTML attributes that help to describe your images for search engines.
Alt tags are a bit of HTML code that helps search engines understand what pictures, videos and other media are on your page.
The issue is that while search engines can read and understand text, they are not yet able to read what is contained in an image.
Therefore any time you include a piece of multimedia on your page, make sure you give it an alt tag. Treat it like a title tag for the specific piece of media.
Keyword Research Tools
Now that we discussed how to conduct and implement local SEO keyword research, look at a few free and paid tools that can supplement your research:
Free Keyword Research Tools
Google Ads Keyword Planner
Google Search Console
Paid Keyword Research Tools
Moz Keyword Explorer
Local SEO is an ongoing process that requires continual nurturing and attention for various ranking factors.
Local keyword research is therefore an integral step to make sure that your efforts don’t go to waste.
The most important things to remember when it comes to keyword research for local SEO are:
Find and focus on keywords with high search volume.
Leverage broad, high-competition keywords for local search.
Make sure your content is relevant to your targeted keywords.
Don’t neglect your overall SEO campaign.
Local keyword research is quite straightforward. But remember, this is only one aspect of local SEO.
You should also create and optimize your Google My Business profile, build local citations, optimize your pages, get reviews, and much more.
What in this post were you excited about? was it helpful? What would you like to read more about?
Or maybe you just have a question about something you read.
Either way, let us know in the comments below.
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