A Quick Guide to Doing Local Keyword Research for Your Business

What’s the most crucial step of building a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy? Of course, you need to create a fast, secure, and easily navigable website that offers a great user experience. Also, you need to attract high-quality backlinks to establish your website as a trusted and authoritative source of information.

However, the foundation of every successful SEO strategy is keyword research. If you want to boost your website’s search engine ranking in the long term, you must identify relevant and meaningful keywords with a high search volume and the right intent.

Otherwise, your website might end up ranking for keywords that barely attract any traffic. Worse still, you could’ve chosen keywords that send the wrong kind of traffic to your website. In either case, your SEO strategy won’t yield the desired results.

Keyword Research for Local Businesses

Keyword research isn’t just about using an SEO tool to find generic high-volume search terms in your niche. You must have a deep understanding of your target audience and marketing goals before you choose keywords for your SEO strategy.

It becomes all the more crucial when you’re running a local brick-and-mortar business. This is because you need to attract consumers who are located in your business area. For instance, if you’re running a home bakery in London, you wouldn’t want your website to attract visitors looking for baked goods in New York.

This is all the more crucial because modern consumers often rely on search engines to find reliable local businesses. In fact, 29% of consumers who use mobile search to find a type of local business call or visit that business within the next day. Imagine the number of potential customers you could be missing out on if your website doesn’t show up in the right search engine results.

But how do you attract qualified traffic from the location of your choice to your website? The key is to identify and rank for relevant keywords with local intent. Even if you hire a professional SEO company to work on your website, you must have a deep understanding of what local keyword research involves.

In the following section, we’ll delve deeper into the steps for performing local keyword research for your business. Let’s get started.

1. List Your Products/Services

First things first – you must have a clear idea of the types of products/services your business offers. This is crucial because your potential customers might be using specific services in their search queries when they’re looking for a local business.

Let’s go back to the example of a home bakery. You could be selling a wide array of products, including artisanal bread, wedding cakes, gourmet chocolates, etc. A consumer looking to order a cake for their wedding might use “wedding cake baker” instead of “home baker” in their search query.

That’s why it is essential to create a list of all possible products/services you provide. Make sure you consult your staff and partners to brainstorm more suggestions. Remember that these may not be the precise keywords you’re going to target on your website.

2. Identify Local Intent

Now that you’ve got a comprehensive list of your services, it’s time to find out which of these keywords is associated with local search intent. In other words, you need to find out whether people searching for these terms actually want to buy local products/services.

If you’re situated in the same neighborhood/locality as your business, the easiest way of checking local intent is to type one of your services into Google. Watch out for the presence of a map pack or local businesses in the organic search results.

If the results don’t include any local businesses or a map pack, the corresponding keyword doesn’t have local intent. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t target the keyword at all. Instead, you could try appending your business location with the service and check the search engine results. Also, you could try adding keyword modifiers, such as “top” or “best” to the search query.

If you aren’t situated in the same area as your business, you can use Google’s Ad Preview tool to check the local search engine results pages (SERPs) and find out whether a service/product has local intent. By the end of this step, you’ll have a rough idea of the keywords you wish to target.

3. Find Out Search Volume

Next, it’s time to check what kind of search volume is associated with each keyword. When it comes to local SEO, it isn’t mandatory to select high-volume keywords. But having an idea of the average search volume will help you prioritize keywords. You can use a keyword research tool for this purpose. Make sure you choose the right location on the tool.

Optimizing Your Website for Local Search

This simple three-step process will help you identify relevant keywords for your local SEO strategy that’ll drive qualified traffic to your website. Once you’ve selected the keywords, make sure you create dedicated service/product pages using them. Optimizing the content by answering common questions your customers might ask.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.