A Guide on How to Do Local Keyword Research

Keyword research is a critical SEO component that allows you to bring the right customers to your website, and ultimately to your business, by choosing the best keywords to focus on for your online marketing. 

SEO can be time-consuming. The last thing you want is to spend months working on attaining a number one position on Google for a keyword nobody is using. Local keyword research is essential for organizations that rely on local customers and want to get the most from mobile and local searches.

What is Local Keyword Research?

Keyword research involves finding search terms that people are entering into search engines when looking for a business like yours. Over 92% of internet users use Google to search for what they want online.

While optimizing your website for search engines, an important process is figuring out specific keywords or phrases that people actually use to search. Then, you can implement these keywords into your site and appear high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

The search volume (the parameter for how often people are searching for a particular term on Google) is important when determining your focus keywords. Website content, individual site pages, and what competitors are using on their sites are also important.

Localized keyword research is a more specific version. This involves finding keywords for content that resonates with particular locations, so people see you as an authority for the search terms.

Examples of local keywords include a generic business keyword combined with a city location, such as “restaurant Sioux Falls”, or a service keyword with a region or area, such as “car servicing Buffalo Ridge”.

Why Local Keyword Research is Important

Potential customers performing local searches do so with intent. This means they are looking to take action or make a purchase at that moment.

Four in five searchers use Google to find local information. Out of that number, 88% of them are conducting searches via their smartphones and likely to visit the store they choose through search within seven days.

Businesses that depend on local customers must focus on their local SEO in order to capture customers from these searches.

Online users receive personalized results from Google SERPs, and a critical factor that determines these results is their physical location. For example, when you search for “coffee shop”, Google shows you the highest-ranking pages within your location. This is because the search engine is showing you the most relevant local search results. 

Know the Keywords and Locations to Target

You are missing out on the opportunity to benefit from local searches if you don’t know which keywords and geographic locations are most likely to deliver the best results. Mobile internet use has overtaken desktop use, so it’s also critical that you consider mobile users who want to act right now!

How to Conduct Research for Local SEO Keywords

The aim of researching keywords for local SEO is to find the most relevant, commonly searched terms within your industry. 

Relevancy is a key factor for improving SEO. Google’s algorithms pay attention to relevance for ranking pages. If your content is not relevant to what potential customers are searching for, you will not appear in their SERPs.

Find the Right Keywords

Many marketers are unaware of the things their customers are actually typing into search engines when looking for a specific service or product. Researching local keyword search volume and search intent ensures that you are working with the right terms.

It is tempting to use high-volume keywords that are not relevant to your site to gain more traffic. However, this is unwise, because page content relevancy is a critical Google ranking factor for all its searches.

Ranking your site for a search term that is not relevant is difficult. Plus, visitors are likely to click away from your site with no interaction. A high bounce rate tells Google that the web page is not useful for the keyword, and they will move it further down the SERPs.

How to Find Local Keywords

There are multiple ways to find relevant keywords for your business’ website, but here are the most effective strategies. 

Discover Industry Related Keywords

Identify the keywords specific to your industry. This includes considering common words and phrases that customers use to search for your products. 

These terms can be anything from industry-specific terms to your product names, especially when conducting B2B marketing. Your competitors can also serve as an inspiration for keywords to use. 

Introduce Keyword Modifiers

Leverage keyword modifiers that are relevant to the searches. These are words describing the quality, occasion for use, service, or type of product

Keyword modifier examples include:

  • Top
  • Where
  • Cheap
  • Best
  • How

Adding these words changes the intent behind keywords, improves clickthrough rate, and makes your offer more enticing. Think about adding modifiers that apply to your industry, even if they do not mention your industry, such as “delivery” or “wedding.”

Add Location-Based Keywords

People are looking for businesses close to them, so leverage your business’ geographic location, areas you cover, or areas your target market works in and lives. Provide relevant content for these searchers by creating location-specific landing pages.

Also, mention the countries, cities and districts within page meta tags and on-page content. Use the location keywords on social media and in blog posts to improve your association with the areas you are targeting.

Bonus Local SEO Keywords Tips

Use your main business keywords. The primary keywords to target are fairly obvious for many local businesses. These are your main products or services, plus your location.

Make sure you add the keyword-location combination in the site metadata. You can also use Google’s Autocomplete feature to find relevant keywords. Look at what the competition is ranking with, and try to do it better.

How to Choose the Right Keywords

Try to find a balance between high search volume and relevancy to your own business. This helps bring in more traffic and maintain a good ranking by showing search engines that your site is a relevant result.
However, you will compete for limited spots on the SERPs. So, boost your local SEO by focusing on the following to provide your site with a solid foundation:

Remember the User’s Location

Google considers the user’s physical location, so your local business can benefit from targeting broader, more competitive keywords. For instance, a term like “restaurant” is highly competitive but vague. Combining local SEO and personalized search results is an excellent way to show up in top positions for such high-traffic, high-competition terms.

Always maintain good SEO health for your site through quality content, link building, and social media. Poor SEO will punish your ranking, regardless of the search terms, their search volumes and difficulty.

You will also need to use a few key tools to see keyword volumes and ranking difficulties.

What is the Best Keyword Research Tool?

If you are a business or a marketer focused on a results-driven local SEO strategy, you must use keyword monitoring tools. These tools help you:

  • Find profitable keywords
  • Look for visibility on keyword performance
  • Track your keyword ranking
  • Look for in-depth SEO capabilities such as backlink and competitor analysis


Without having paid or free keyword research tools at your disposal, you cannot:

  • Monitor your most relevant keywords to ensure their positions are not dropping
  • Change your SEO strategies
  • Determine the right keywords to target
  • Analyze the keyword’s profitability

Here are two of the most popular local keyword research software tools that businesses of all sizes and marketers can use.

Google Keyword Planner

This simple keyword tool serves up several basic features. It is one of the most accurate keyword data sources available since it comes directly from Google.

Standout features of the Google Keyword Planner tool include:

  • Location of commercial keywords via the “top of page” bid range tool
  • Offers you accurate search volume results coming directly from the Google search engine
  • An excellent choice when doing local SEO for business websites
  • The tool is available for free use

Semrush keyword magic tool

tool is good for finding keywords with a high search volume and analyzing how competitive they are. It also features a robust set of similar terms, questions, and difficulty scores.

Google Autocomplete Results

is a good place to start for some keyword inspiration and even better, it is free.

Keywords Everywhere

This extension displays right on the search engine results page with keyword statistics

Don’t Ignore Your Local SEO

Local SEO is an ongoing process that requires attention and continual nurturing. Therefore, local keyword research is an integral process that will ensure your marketing efforts do not go to waste by bringing relevant foot traffic into your business, and more.

Do you have questions about local keyword research? The team at Jax Digital can help you. Contact us today and let us help you rank!

Hero Photo by Stephen Phillips - Hostreviews.co.uk on Unsplash


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