If you are trying to rank your business locally, you already know why local keyword research is crucial. It is the first step to getting your website ranked higher and getting more relevant people to visit it.
This blog will cover the essentials of local keyword research for SEO. We'll dive into why implicit and explicit local keywords matter and how to do local keyword research — from putting together a list of your services to analyzing SERP results.
The blog also offers handy tips on how to track your local keyword rankings and recommends the best tools to use. By the end of this post, you'll clearly understand how to conduct effective local keyword research and start ranking higher in search engines for your target audience.
What Is Local SEO Keyword Research?
Local SEO keyword research is the process of finding keywords relevant to your business and the local market based on your target location.
It helps businesses target local customers by creating content that caters to their needs. By focusing on local keywords, businesses can get more traffic from local searches and rank higher in search engine results for queries related to their business.
For example, if you're a restaurant located in San Diego, targeting local keywords like "best restaurants near me" or "restaurants in Harbour Island" can help you attract more customers looking for food in your area.
If you use local SEO keyword research as part of your SEO strategy, you can get more targeted people to visit your website, move up in the search engine rankings, and get more customers as a result.
Why does local keyword research matter?
Local keyword research is a crucial aspect of SEO that every business should focus on for sustainable growth. It helps you learn the exact words and phrases used by customers in your area. By doing this, you can optimize your content and ads for the customers.
When you focus on local keywords, you make sure that your business shows up in local search results, making it easier for potential customers to find you. With local keyword research, businesses can make sure their SEO strategy is geared toward the customers they want to reach.
Implicit Local Keywords
Implicit local keywords are location-based searches that don't mention the location but are clear from the context.
For example, terms like "within walking distance" or "nearby" are often used in search queries to indicate a desire for local results. Other implicit local keywords can include terms such as "today," "tonight," "best," "top-rated," "cheap," "affordable," and "local."
Using implicit local keywords in your website's content and meta tags can help your website appear in local search results and increase search engine rankings. Businesses aware of the criticality of implicit local keywords are more successful in targeting and finding local customers.
Explicit Local Keywords
If you want to target a specific geographic area, using explicit local keywords like city, county, or state names helps ensure that people in the neighborhood see your content. By using these keywords in your content, you can reach a more specific audience and move up in both free and paid search results.
Explicit local keywords are essential for businesses that rely on local customers.
For example, if you own a restaurant in New York City, using "best pizza in NYC" as a keyword can help attract customers searching for pizza specifically in that city.
By using explicit local keywords, you can make it more likely that people looking for businesses like yours in their area will find your content.
How to Conduct Local Keyword Research
To do local keyword research, you need to find the keywords and phrases that people in a specific area would use to look for businesses, products, or services. This can be done using tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, Google Trends, and Scalenut.
The process involves analyzing your website's current target keywords and finding areas for improvement. Then, you can develop a list of keywords relevant to your business and target audience.
Use these keywords in the content of your website to help it rank higher on local search engine results pages (SERPs). With the right approach to local keyword research and optimization, you can make your business more visible in local search results and get more customers from your target audience.
Let’s understand five crucial steps for conducting the best local keyword research.
1. Compile your service offering
To get started, make a list of the services or products that your business offers. This will help you determine what kind of terms and phrases people in your area will likely use in their search.
To put together your service offering for local keyword research, list everything your business sells or does. For example, if you own a florist business in Los Angeles, your service offerings might include bouquets, arrangements for weddings, funeral flowers, etc.
Once you have a comprehensive list of your service offerings, identify the specific terms or phrases that people in your local area might use to search for that service. In the case of the florist business in Los Angeles, potential customers might search for "wedding flowers in LA," "funeral flower arrangements near me," or "local florist in Los Angeles."
These phrases can be used as the basis for your local keyword research. The goal here is to come up with keyword variations that have commercial intent. Here is a comprehensive Scalenut guide on a similar topic you can refer to: How To Find Commercial Intent Keywords? (+25 Examples)
2. Find Relevant Local Keywords
Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Scalenut to improve your list of keywords, find out how often people search for them, and the level of competition. This will help you optimize your website content and improve its ranking on local SERPs, making it easier for potential customers in your area to find your business.
To find relevant local keywords for the florist business in Los Angeles, you can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner or Scalenut. Start by entering your first list of services as keywords, and then look at the keyword suggestions that these tools give you.
It is important to select relevant keywords with a high search volume but a low competition level. For example, "wedding flowers in LA" may get more searches than "flower arrangements for weddings" and have less competition, making it a great keyword to target for local SEO optimization.
Local keywords are usually considered long-tail keywords. Here is an in-depth guide on that topic: 10 Smart Ways To Find Long Tail Keywords With Low Competition
3. Check rankings of Competitors
To do local keyword research well, it's important to look at where your competitors are in the rankings. This will give you valuable insight into which keywords are working for them and which ones could be worth targeting for your own SEO efforts.
There are several tools available that can help you check competitor rankings, including Scalenut SEO Reports, Ahrefs, SEMrush, and Moz.
The Scalenut SEO Report, for instance, provides valuable data on their NLP key term profile, content structure, sources of information, image count, word count, and other SEO metrics that can help you identify areas where you can improve your own SEO strategy.
By looking at how your competitors rank and finding ways to make your website better than theirs, you can show up higher in local search results and get more targeted traffic to your site.
4. Analyze local keyword SERP results
When doing SEO research for local keywords, it's important to look at the SERP results for the keywords you've chosen. This step will give you valuable insights into what kind of content is already ranking for that keyword. The insights can help you decide what type of content you should create.
By analyzing the SERP results, you can also identify who your competitors are and what kind of content they are producing. You can use this information to help you plan your own content strategy and make better, more targeted content.
Additionally, analyzing the SERP results will give you an idea of how difficult it may be to rank for a particular keyword, as well as any potential opportunities that may exist. Overall, if you want to do local keyword research for SEO, you need to analyze the SERP results.
5. Note Keywords to URLs
When conducting local keyword research, it's important to note the keywords you're targeting and assign them to URLs. This helps you keep track of which keywords are associated with which pages and optimize your website for better search engine rankings.
Creating a spreadsheet of your keywords and URLs is a good practice. You can easily refer to it when making changes or updates. If you're targeting multiple locations, make sure to keep track of which keywords are associated with each URL so that they can be optimized properly.
Track Your Local Keyword Rankings
It is important to track your local keyword rankings if you want to achieve SEO success.
Set up a schedule to check your website's performance regularly for targeted keywords. Use Google Search Console and Google Analytics, along with keyword research tools such as Scalenut's Keyword Planner, to find new opportunities and optimize your content for them.
Track Your Google Search Rankings
Keeping track of where your local keywords rank is important if you want to know how well your website is doing and how visible it is in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
One way to track your rankings is by using a tool like Google Search Console, which tracks your Google search rankings. This tool will show you how your website is ranking for specific keywords and phrases in the search engine results pages.
By keeping track of where your keywords rank, you can see which ones are doing well and which ones need work. With this information, you can improve the content you already have or write new content that targets high-value keywords.
Tracking your local keyword rankings will allow you to monitor the progress of your competitors and stay ahead of them in the SERPs. Overall, tracking your local keyword rankings is an essential part of any SEO strategy.
Track Your Google Maps Rankings
Google Maps rankings show how visible you are and how you can improve your local SEO results. Keeping track of your Google Maps rankings can tell you how to make your site more visible and get more traffic from search engines.
This data can also help you understand which keywords are driving the most traffic to your business and optimize them for better results.
Tracking your Google Maps rankings can also show you how effective your website changes or marketing campaigns have been.
To track your Google Maps rankings, use tools such as Google My Business Insights, BrightLocal, or Ahrefs. These tools give you valuable information about how well you rank in local searches and can help you figure out where you need to make changes. Tracking your Google Maps rankings is one of the most important things you can do to improve your local SEO and make your business more visible online.
Best Local SEO Keyword Research Tools
It is important to do research on local keywords so that you can use SEO to reach people in your area. Scalenut’s Keyword Planner is a tool that shows you multiple groups of relevant local keywords in your target location, along with information like CPC, search volume, and how they relate to your primary keyword.
All you have to do is simply enter your target local keyword and select the target location, and the Scalenut Keyword Planner will produce multiple groups of keywords in a few seconds.
Local SEO keyword research is an integral part of SEO for businesses looking to do well in local markets. By optimizing your website and content with the right local keywords, you can increase your chances of ranking higher on search engines and getting more traffic from potential customers in your area.
To do successful local keyword research, make a list of the services you offer, find relevant local keywords, check the rankings of your competitors, analyze SERP results, and keep track of where you stand.
There are several tools available that can help with this process. Scalenut’s all-in-one SEO and content marketing platform has everything you need to do local keyword research and make search-engine-optimized content for higher local rankings.
Local keywords are not the only kind of keywords that can help you rank higher and get more lucrative web traffic. Check out this Scalenut blog on “14 Types of Keywords Every Smart Marketer Should Know” and discover all the different types of keywords you can target.
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