How to do Local SEO Keyword Research in 2024
Standing out in the local digital landscape has never been more crucial. This is where the role of local SEO keyword research becomes indispensable. It’s not just about optimizing for “keywords” anymore; it’s about reaching the customers right in your vicinity. Dive in as we explore the intricacies of “how to do local keyword research” effectively in 2024.
What Is Local SEO Keyword Research?
Local SEO keyword research is the process of finding and analyzing search terms or “keywords” that people enter into search engines, specifically targeting those searching for products or services near them. While traditional keyword research focuses on broader terms, local keyword research hones in on specific location-based terms, like “best coffee shop in Brooklyn” or “lawyers near Los Angeles.”
How Is Local Keyword Research Different Than Regular Keyword Research?
- Geographical Specificity: While regular keyword research might yield terms like “best smartphones,” local keyword research will produce results like “best smartphone store in Seattle.”
- Searcher Intent: A local search often implies a stronger intent to visit a physical location or avail of a local service.
- Different Competition Landscape: The competitors for local keywords are usually local businesses, unlike regular keywords where you’re competing on a national or even global scale.
Why is performing local keyword research necessary?
- Higher Conversion Rates: Local searches lead to purchases 50% of the time.
- Staying Relevant: 97% of people learn more about a local company online than anywhere else. Being visible in local searches ensures your business doesn’t get left behind.
- Mobile Search Dominance: With an increasing number of mobile searches being local, it’s vital to be visible when potential customers are on the move.
Implicit vs. Explicit Local Keywords
- Implicit Local Keywords: These are search queries where the user expects local results but doesn’t explicitly mention a location, like “pizza near me” or “car wash.”
- Explicit Local Keywords: In these search terms, the user mentions a specific location, e.g., “bookstore in Boston” or “Parisian bakeries.”
Given the increasing significance of local SEO keyword research in a business’s digital strategy, the above distinctions and understandings are essential for any webmaster, marketer, or online business owner.
How to do local keyword research?
Successfully executing local keyword research for local SEO requires a meticulous approach. It’s not just about identifying the most searched terms but understanding the nuances of your local audience’s needs and preferences. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you started:
Step 1: List out your core products/services
Begin by making a comprehensive list of the primary products or services your business offers. For instance, if you run a bakery, your list might include “cakes,” “pastries,” “bread,” and so on.
Step 2: Build out your local keyword list with specifics
Using tools like the “local keyword tool” or Google’s Keyword Planner, start by inputting your core products/services. These tools will then generate a list of local keywords, e.g., “gluten-free bread in Denver” or “custom birthday cakes in Miami.”
Step 3: List out your area/service areas
Where are you located? More importantly, where do you serve? If you’re a plumber in Atlanta but also serve neighboring areas, those should be part of your local keyword strategy, e.g., “emergency plumber in Marietta.”
Step 4: See what related searches show up for your products/services
Using Google’s “People also ask” and “Related searches” sections can be a goldmine for expanding your local keyword list. These show what else people are searching for in relation to your initial query.
Step 5: Find questions related to your products/services
Platforms like Quora, Reddit, or even Google’s “People also ask” feature can help you understand the questions people have regarding your offerings. For example, “How to store freshly baked bread?” can be a potential keyword for a bakery.
Step 6: Search for your competition
Enter your services or products on Google, followed by your location. Who shows up on the first page? Investigate their websites to find out which keywords they’re targeting. Tools like “SEMrush” can offer deeper insights into your competitors’ keyword strategies.
How to Handle Multiple Locations
If your business operates in multiple locations, it’s essential to create separate location pages or dedicated content for each area. Ensure that each page is optimized for location-specific keywords and contains genuine content pertinent to that location.
How to Track Your Local Keyword Rankings
Track Your Google Search Rankings
Regularly monitor how your keywords perform on Google using tools like “SEMrush” or the Google Search Console. It will give you insights into what’s working and where you need to pivot.
Track Your Google Maps Rankings
Given that many local searches result in a Google Maps click, it’s imperative to monitor your ranking on Google Maps. Tools like “digger” can be instrumental in this regard.
Keyword Research Tools
Free Keyword Research Tools
Google’s Keyword Planner remains a staple in this category. However, there are several other free tools, such as Ubersuggest, that can be equally useful for local keyword research. For a more comprehensive list, refer to our article on free ads spy tools you need to know.
Paid Keyword Research Tools
SEMrush and Ahrefs top the list of paid tools, offering extensive features for local SEO keyword research. They’re followed closely by tools like KWFinder, especially when looking for “local keyword research tools.”
How to Use Your Local Keyword Research
Once you’ve conducted thorough local SEO keyword research, the next step is to implement your findings effectively. Your local keywords can be applied in various areas to boost your online visibility.
The heart of any online business is its website. Use the local keywords seamlessly in:
- Title Tags: Essential for SEO and should include your primary local keyword.
- Meta Descriptions: While they don’t directly influence rank, they can impact click-through rates.
- Headers: Incorporate local keywords in your H1, H2, etc., to structure content and highlight relevance.
- Content Body: Naturally integrate location keywords into your website’s main content, blogs, articles, and more. Remember to keep the user intent in mind. Overstuffing can harm more than it can help.
Listings and Social Media Sites
Ensure your business is listed on relevant directories with consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP). Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing Places are good places to start. Use your local keywords in the business description and services sections. Additionally, optimize your posts and profile descriptions on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
Local keywords can drastically improve the performance of your paid campaigns on platforms like Google Ads. By targeting specific local terms, you can increase the relevancy of your ads, which can potentially result in higher click-through rates and conversions.
Local Keyword Research FAQs
Begin with on-site optimization. Ensure that your local keywords are integrated into your site’s meta tags, content, and URLs. Follow it up with off-site optimization, like getting your business listed in local directories. Regularly monitor and adjust based on performance. For a more in-depth guide on implementing SEO strategies, check out our article on SEO-friendly content.
Track your site’s performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Monitor metrics like organic search traffic, rankings for specific keywords, and conversions. An increase in local traffic and higher rankings for local terms will indicate success.
Local keyword research isn’t a one-time task. As your business evolves and the market changes, so will the relevant keywords. It’s advisable to revisit your keyword strategy at least once every six months.
Local SEO keyword research is an ongoing process, but the benefits of targeting specific local terms are immense. By understanding and applying these strategies, businesses can reach their target audience more effectively, driving increased traffic, engagement, and conversions. Always remember to cater to your audience’s intent and provide value with every keyword you target. For businesses looking to expand even further, our article on mobile affiliate marketing can provide additional insights into reaching a broader audience.
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