How to do keyword research for local SEO?

Keyword research is fundamental because it helps your SEO strategy. 81% of marketers use it in their SEO campaigns. Yet, with all of the data out there, it can be difficult to decide what to focus on. You don’t want to choose keywords that don’t have enough volume or that aren’t very profitable. But keyword research isn’t just finding keywords — you can fine-tune your business so it’s positioned for greater success.

It is one of the most important aspects of local SEO. Local businesses often struggle with finding the right keywords to optimize for, due to low search volume. To make this process easier, we’ve created a guide for how to do keyword research for local SEO.

What is Local SEO?

Local SEO, also called local search engine optimization or geo-targeted SEO, is an umbrella term that covers all of the tactics you can use to improve your ranking on Google maps and other local search engines.

It is the process of optimizing your website for local search. Local search engine optimization (LSEO) can help you rank in local search results, which are typically displayed on a map, and also include a list of local businesses.

It is the practice of optimizing websites and local business listings to appear in relevant search results for local customers. Local SEO is a subset of search engine optimization (SEO), which is the process of optimizing websites to help them rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). Local SEO specifically focuses on local searches, which are searches done by people who are looking for businesses or services near their physical location.

What is Local Keyword Research?

Local keyword research is the process of finding out which terms people are searching online, and then using that information to optimize your business website or local listing. The goal is to make it easier for people to find you when they’re searching for something local.

It is an important part of SEO and local marketing online campaigns because it helps you determine which keywords are most relevant for your business. These targeted keywords allow you to reach local customers and increase your chances of converting them into paying customers.

Why is local keyword research important?

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in any SEO campaign. It helps you determine what keywords and phrases people are searching for, which in turn helps you optimize your content for visitors.

Here are a few reasons why local keyword research is important:

Local search volume is increasing. Google’s Keyword Planner shows that the average monthly search volume for local keywords has increased dramatically over the last few years. Although most people still use traditional search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo! to find products and services online, they’re also turning to apps like Yelp, Foursquare and Google Maps when they’re looking for something nearby. It’s important to understand how these apps work so that you can optimize your website for them.

Local consumers have high expectations when it comes to mobile optimization. According to one recent survey, 85% of consumers expect businesses to have optimized mobile sites or apps; 68% expect them to provide location-aware services and 50% expect them to provide real-time updates about their business during off hours.

How to do Local SEO Keyword Research

  1. List The Services You Offer

    Before you even start looking for keywords, you first need to understand the services offered by the business. You also need to know what kind of language your potential customers use when they talk about your products or services.

  2. Understand Your Target Audience & Goals

    The first step in creating a local SEO strategy is to understand who your target audience is and what they want from your business. This will help you determine which keywords they would search using when searching for products or services in their area. Think about how they would search — do they use long-tail keywords? Are they looking for specific businesses in their area?

    Once you know this information, it’s time to set some goals for yourself as well as your customers. What do you want them to do after visiting your site? Do you want them to contact you directly? Or perhaps purchase something online? Maybe even read reviews about other businesses.

  3. Find What Keywords Your Target Audience Is Searching For

    Before you can start optimizing your content for SEO, you need to know what keywords people are using to find your site.

    There are a number of ways to find out which keywords people are using to search for your business or product, from Google’s Keyword Planner tool to third-party keyword research tools.

    But one of the most effective and affordable ways is by using the free keyword research tool SEMrush. This tool allows you to see what keywords people are searching for within specific geographic areas.

    If you’re a local business, this information can be incredibly valuable when it comes time to write blog posts or create content for your website. It also helps you understand what types of topics will resonate with your audience in their local area.

  4. Determine Search Volume & Keyword Difficulty

    The first thing you should do is determine how much traffic you’ll get from each keyword. This will help you prioritize which keywords you want to target, how much time you want to spend on them and how much money you can expect to make from each keyword.

    To do this, I recommend using Google’s Keyword Planner tool. You can also use SEMrush’s Keyword Difficulty tool to find out which keywords are easier or harder to rank for (based on their difficulty score).

    Keyword difficulty is a metric that indicates how hard it will be to rank for a given keyword. There are lots of different ways to measure this, but Moz’s Keyword Difficulty Tool is one of the best because it takes into account how competitive the keyword is in terms of both search volume and how many other websites are ranking for it (also known as “SERP” – Search Engine Results Page). You’ll want to pick keywords with low competition because they’re easier to rank for and also tend to convert better than highly competitive ones.

  5. Group and Map Keywords

    Keyword research is the process of identifying and researching keywords that your target audience is using in search engines. It’s a crucial part of any digital marketing strategy because it helps you understand what people are looking for and how they engage with content.

    Keyword research can be divided into two main categories:

    Keyword mapping – This is when you look at the intent behind a search query, essentially trying to figure out what someone wants to know or do when they type a particular word into Google. You can do this by analyzing the top 10 results for different variations of your keyword and looking at what they have in common. This will give you an idea of whether people are searching for something specific, or just looking for something related to your topic.

    Keyword grouping – This involves analyzing multiple words as one entity, rather than individually. For example, if someone searches for “how to write an essay,” they might also be interested in “writing prompts” or “how to write a book report.” Grouping these terms together will allow you to create more targeted content and drive more traffic than if you had simply used “essay” as a keyword alone.

  6. Analyze Your Target Keywords’ SERPs

    At this stage, you want to take a look at the SERP. This is where the magic happens. The SERP will show you what your target keywords are ranking for, how many other sites are competing for that spot, and how well your competitors are doing for those keywords.

    You can get a detailed look at your target keywords by using a free tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. These tools will give you insight into what keywords are ranking on page 1 and inside the top 10 search results. They’ll also show you which Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques have been used to achieve those rankings. You’ll notice that some of the results will have negative keyword listings next to them (e.g., “not provided”). These are keywords that aren’t being tracked because they aren’t relevant to organic search anymore (they’re only showing up in paid ads). Don’t worry about these.

  7. Look for ‘Things to Mention’

    Keywords are a great way to find topics that are relevant, but they aren’t the only thing. You can also look for “things to mention” in your topic. These are words or phrases that people might use when talking about the topic you’re researching. They’re not quite as specific as keywords, but they can give you more ideas for content.


In the end, local SEO keyword research is much like other forms of keyword research, with a few caveats. It requires a lot of experimentation, and while it’s based on similar criteria to other kinds of keyword research, it also has its own unique metrics that make it somewhat distinct. The good news is that by understanding the basics, you’ll have a great head start on doing your own local SEO keyword research.


Why is SEO important for small businesses?

Here are some reasons why SEO is important for small businesses:
It helps people find your business online. The more people who find your business online, the more clients you’ll get — and the more money you’ll make.

It helps boost your website traffic. When you optimize your website content and design with SEO in mind, Google will rank it higher in search results, which leads to more visitors coming to your site. This means more potential customers for your business

Where should small business owners begin?

The first step in starting a small business, or any business for that matter, is to research the market. You should check out what other businesses do, who they are and how much they charge for their products or services. This will help you to decide whether there is a market for your product or service and how much you should charge.

What does a successful SEO strategy look like?

A successful SEO strategy is one that’s tailored to your business, industry and audience — as well as the online world in which you operate. It’s one that evolves over time as you learn more about your customers’ needs and preferences.

How much should small businesses invest in SEO?

In general, small businesses should allocate between $250 to $2,500 per month on SEO. However, this number can be even higher depending on the goals of your campaign and the level of competition in your industry.

What can SEO do for a small business website?

SEO can help a small business website generate more leads and sales. The better your website ranks in Google’s search results, the more likely it is that someone will find it when they’re searching online for products or services like yours.


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