As we all know keyword research is a very important part of SEO. It helps us to make sure that we are focusing the energy on the right search terms that people are really using. Local SEO keyword research is important for Local businesses.
So, You don’t want to put in months of work to rank #1🏆 on Google for a relevant keyword that no one searches for.
Your website will not generate any traffic, leads, or sales for your business unless you know how to do local SEO keyword research.
If you want your business to appear in local search results for a related search query, make sure your keyword strategy is on point.
Why is Local SEO keyword research so important?
Local SEO keyword research is different from traditional keyword research.
You’re probably going to ask yourself why / how?
It is different because with Local SEO keyword research you are customizing your research to your local target markets. It is also important because according to the statistics 46% of all searches on Google are for a local business or local service. (Source: Backlinko)
That means customers are trying to find and buy something at the moment.
With Local SEO keywords, research search engines provide customers with results based on their area. I’ll take as an example: “coffee shop in Rotterdam”.
When it comes to local search queries, Google’s main goal is to show you results that are important to you, and location plays a big role.
The most important reason why local SEO is so important is that most local search queries have purchase intent behind them.
How do you know if you need Local SEO?
Local SEO is required if your client base is largely located in the same city or metropolitan area as your business (i.e., a local business).
If you’re not sure whether you need local SEO, an easy way to find out is to do some searches for keywords you believe your consumers would use to locate your products and/or services. You’ll need local SEO if you’re doing searches and notice that the results are more localized based on where you’re looking. Also, you’ll need local SEO if Google Maps appears in your search.
Optimizing your Google My Business is the most important part of Local SEO (To optimize for Google My Business, create and verify a Google My Business page and fill it out as completely as possible.) Google My Business listing plays a big role in local SEO strategy. (So, Google My Business is a SEO tool for business owners and organizations to manage their online presence across Google, including organic search( more than half of all traffic comes from organic search ) and maps. Google My Business helps search engines verify that your company is legitimate so they can avoid serving their local search audience junk search results. )
How to do Local SEO keyword research?
Local SEO intends to find the most frequently searched, appropriate keywords for your industry.
When doing local keyword research, focus on keywords ranking factors: high keyword search volume, high search intent, and that your domain can rank for (keyword difficulty). But it is not always that way, sometimes you should focus on a lower search volume, but with the best fitting intent.
If the content isn’t related to what users are looking for, it won’t show up in their search rankings. ( Publish relevant content for local searchers. )
Understand your target audience and their goals
First of all, before we dive into the whole process of local SEO keyword research, it is important to understand your target audience and what their goals are.
And how is this done? 🤔
You can do it by asking yourself a set of questions, and you will figure out these answers.
I’ll take as an example Hopper Coffee Rotterdam as an example. They should ask themselves the following questions to better understand their own target customers:
- What type of coffee shops are people searching for in the Rotterdams area?
- Are people searching for coffee shops?
- Who is searching for these queries? Locals? Tourists?
- How are people searching for coffee shops? What questions or keywords do they use? Do they search on mobile devices?
- Why are people searching for coffee shops in the Rotterdams area?
- Where are the potential customers located? Locally? Out of town?
- What do people currently find when searching for coffee shops?
So, Once you answer these questions you can move on to the next step in the keyword research process!
Find what keywords your Local Target Audience is searching for
To find what your Local Target Audience is searching for you have to come up with a list of keywords that are relevant to your website. And keywords that you think your customers are searching for to find your business.
Put yourself in your customer’s place and ask the question:
If you were a customer, what would you search in Google to find your business?
Think about what services your business offers? Also, think about the location you serve.
Also, these ideas may serve as your seed keywords. Like for example Rotterdams coffee shops, coffee shops in Rotterdam, and coffee shops near Rotterdam.
To view the specific data about the keywords (keyword difficulty (KD), Search Volume, SERP analysis) you can use a free or paid keyword research handy tool. We at Backlinker use Ahrefs.
This type of data helps you to determine if you’re targeting the right keywords. If the keyword is worth targeting and if you have chances to rank high in local search results.
I’ll take an example of the keyword “ coffee shop Rotterdam “
You can see that the keyword has a 500 search volume and a low keyword difficulty level.
Another thing that you can see below are other keyword ideas/terms related to Coffe Shop Rotterdam.
Also, there is the SERP Analysis with which you can determine if your page will even rank for your target keywords.
It’s also a good idea to do a Google search with the same keyword to see if there are any other options for your business to rank.
We don’t want to target a keyword that doesn’t show up in the local map pack when you look for it.
It’s important to know how many searches a keyword gets every month.
The higher the search volume of a keyword, the more difficult it is to rank for in search results. Targeting lower search volume keywords is sometimes a good idea for local SEO, as this will bring you faster results. Once you start to rank and people start clicking or seeing your website as an impression, your website will build trust more easily and you can then start to rank for the harder ones. But you also don’t want to hit keywords with very low or no search volumes or you’ll end up with no traffic to the site.
With the help of the Ahrefs tool Keyword Explorer, you can determine that.
When we enter our keywords into the Keywords Explorer tool, we will receive important information about each keyword, such as its search volume:
We now have a list of keywords with their relevant traffic volume and keyword difficulty.
The difficulty of keyword ranking for a given keyword is referred to as keyword difficulty.
When you use Ahrefs’ keyword explorer, you’ll see a ranking for keyword difficulty ranging from 0-100.
The highest number is 100, which means near-impossibility, while 0 means extreme easy.
So, starting with keywords in the 0-15 range in terms of keyword difficulty, we’ll gradually work our way up to more difficult keywords as we build authority.
When it comes to Search Intent, we typically want to look at the actual search results with a keyword to see what Google has to offer.
If the first page of results contains 10 listicle-style posts, we know we need to create a piece of listicle-style content to rank.
Google is merely saying what sort of content they want with a specific keyword, and we can create the same type of content if we want to rank.
In the case of local keyword research, we have to make sure that “Local Pack” is showing. If it’s showing then we can consider targeting that keyword in our keyword research.
Use keyword Modifiers
Keyword modifiers are terms that are applied to a search term in order to provide a more descriptive, long-tail keyword. Example: (Best coffee shop near me)
Keyword modifiers can take the form of:
Someone who is searching for a “ coffee shop near me” is not more likely to shop than anyone looking for the “best coffee shop near me”.
It’s clear that keyword modifiers play a significant role in local SEO keyword research.
You should also do some brainstorming and consider what keyword modifiers your happy customers will use to find your company and its products or service offering.
Use Tools for Local SEO Keyword Research
Choosing a keyword research tool can be difficult 😖 because there are so many options, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.
These are some of the tools that might help you to do your research:
Maybe you’ve already figured out that Ahrefs is our go-to keyword research tool while reading this post.
So, I am going to walk you through how to do local keyword research with Ahrefs.
First of all, you need to Sign in to Ahrefs.
After you Sign in Ahrefs will show all the tools at its disposal.
And the tool that we need now to do keyword research is Keyword Explorer.
Enter Your seed word for example Coffee shop
And Click Search
Because we started our search with a seed keyword, Ahrefs will show us all types of keyword variations.
The list on the left is the list with keyword modifiers.
The keyword list on the right is the list with all of the keywords that have your seed keyword in it.
You can repeat this as many times as you want with any keyword.
Analyze your competitor’s keywords
The easiest way to get ideas is to look at the competitors and see what keywords they use to rank at the top.
So, there are two options to go:
- Enter the URL of a competitor’s website into the Ahrefs search bar:
I’ll take as an example Starbucks Netherlands
Then, from the left-hand menu, choose “Organic Keywords,” which will bring up a list like this:
You now have a list of all the keywords for which the competitor ranks.
2.Another option is to look at the top-performing sites of the competitors.
Select “Top Pages” from the left-hand menu:
You now have a list of your competitor’s top-ranking sites, listed from most to least frequent.
How to implement Local SEO keyword research
The Local keyword research method is the hardest part but implementing it is the easiest.
You should start optimizing after you’ve decided the specific local keywords you want to target and the pages you want to rate for these specific keywords.
I’ll show you how easy the implementation process is, I’ll use coffee bar Rotterdam as an example.
Focus Keyword: “ coffee bar Rotterdam “
Use your Target Keyword in the Title Tag
The first step is to use your keyword in the title tag.
A title tag is the main HTML feature that tells search engines what your page’s title is. The title tag of your web page appears above the meta description in search results.
Dekoffiebar’s homepage’s title tag is “The coffee bar Rotterdam”
Use your Target Keyword in The Meta Description
Your meta description is an HTML feature for search engines and searchers that gives a brief description of your web page’s content.
Dekoffiebar’s current Meta Description is: “The Rotterdam Coffee Bar, traditional Italian coffee in the heart of Rotterdam.”.
Use the Target Keyword in the H1 tag
The H1 tag is an HTML feature that helps search engines and visitors understand the structure of your page’s content. It’s also a good idea to limit yourself to one H1 tag per page.
Use your Target Keyword in the URL
If your local business has several service packages or locations, you can target specific keywords or locations using the URL path of your web page.
For example: If DeKoffiebar offered coffee services in multiple locations, they could build separate web pages for each location.
Use Target Keyword in the Images Alt Text
Use your target keywords in your images’ alt text, HTML attributes that help describe your images for search engines.
Also, there is another tool/plugin on WordPress that we use to optimize your website and implement keywords in the right way on the website, and its called Yoast ( to tell you the truth it is a very helpful tool 💗)
Putting a plan in place to support your local SEO efforts would make you rank higher in Google Maps and bring more traffic.
You’ll be on your way to success if you can find keywords opportunities for which you can rank.
So, when it comes to keyword research for local SEO, the following are the most important points to keep in mind:
- Look for and concentrate on keywords with a high search volume.
- Make sure the content is relevant to the keywords you’ve chosen.
- Use Local Keyword Tools ( A Keyword Tool is an ideal starting point of local keyword research)
- Analyze your competitor’s competitive keyword list for more keyword suggestions.
- And Implement your Local Search engine optimization keywords in the right way