Statistics show that 97 percent of present-day internet users learn about a local business through the internet. 

When looking for something online, one has to type in a keyword related to the product, service or information you need. That’s why as a business, you have to integrate the right keywords that will attract web searchers to your site.

And more than that, you have to use the appropriate local keywords to get your website to appear on the search engine results page (SERP).

Your local keywords must have location-specific phrases that will direct the locals in your region to your site. This will also bolster your overall search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. 

Is Finding Appropriate Local Keywords That Important?

Yes, it is. When it comes to SEO, you need spot-on, targeted keywords to help people locate your business whenever they’re searching the internet.

Keywords are like maps. They give you directions to your target destination. Even when you understand people’s search intent, you need to validate that against data. This way, you’ll know better how to drive them into your site. If you don’t, your competitors will gain an edge.

Local search queries always come with purchase intent.

This means when customers search online for your products or services, they will likely make a purchase right away. This is especially so if they find what they’re looking for within proximity. That’s why you have to find appropriate local keywords to show up first on the results.

But how will you find the right keywords for this type of search? Let’s find out.

Finding the Right Local Keywords To Rank in Search Results

If you want to rank on local SERPs, you need to find targeted keywords for local search.

The best way to acquire local search keywords is by conducting local SEO keyword research. This will help you identify the most popular terms to use in targeting customers.

Plenty of keyword research tools are available, which give you an idea of relevant terms to use in your keywords.

Since generating more traffic for your website is also one of your top SEO priorities, it’s necessary to attract the right audience. And you can only achieve this by choosing effective keywords that will connect your business with your target market. 

Here’s how:

Leverage Industry Keywords

To find relevant local keywords, you need first to identify your target customers and try to think like them. 

If you were a customer, which terms would you use to search for a particular product, business or service in your area? After identifying the search queries people use to find your company, you’ll be able to optimize your website.

Your keyword ideas should revolve around the services or products your business provides. Think about the regions your business serves and include them in the keywords. You’ll be able to come up with different local keyword variations with each keyword you generate. 

Use tools like Google Search Console to see the keywords you already rank for and how they’re performing. This will give you an idea of the terms people use to find you. This way, you’ll create other relevant keywords to target.

Come up with a list containing local keywords and key phrases relevant to your particular industry. For your plumbing business, you can include terms like:

  • Sink repair/installation
  • Faucet replacement
  • Drain cleaning
  • Toilet repair
  • Water heater repair

Ask What Your Competitors Are Up To

It is important to know what is keeping your rivals on top of the search results page. What keywords are your competitors targeting? Knowing this will give you more insights and keyword ideas.

But how do you go about this?

Visit your competitors’ websites to find out the keywords used in their copy. Go through their content, look at the metatags and identify those keywords. 

Tools like Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner can help you pinpoint the keywords they’re ranking for and the pages that drive traffic.

Going through these pages will help you understand the strategies the competition is using to target their keywords. 

Use Keyword Modifiers

Keyword modifiers are more descriptive and can help you specify your services or products. You can use them to describe a service, product, event or quality. Using them to form long-tail keywords will help attract relevant traffic and rank high on Google.

Develop modifiers that people will use to find your company and what it offers. 

Examples include terms like:

  • Top
  • Easy
  • Best
  • Cheap
  • Fast
  • Same-day delivery

Research Location-Specific Keywords

In order to develop keywords that focus on your local demographic, factor in the different areas in which your business operates and the places your target customers are found.

For instance, if you operate plumbing services in New York, focus on ranking for searches like “plumbing company in New York,” “NYC plumbing services,” “best plumbing services in Brooklyn,” etc. Alternatively, you can use a keyword modifier to read as “best plumbing services in Queens, NY.

Include the cities, counties and area names in your content. When searching, most people look for businesses that are close to where they live or work first. You can make it easier for them to locate you when you account for their location.

Utilize Local Keyword Research Tools

There are plenty of tools you can use to carry out local keyword research. These tools can help you build an effective keyword research campaign. Having them in your arsenal means getting accurate information on keyword search volume and trends, keyword difficulty, similar keywords, keyword competition and more.

These include:

  • Ahrefs
  • Ubersuggest
  • Keywords Everywhere
  • SEMrush
  • KWFinder
  • Moz

Combining different local keyword research tools and tactics gives you even better results.

How To Rank for Your Local Keywords on Google

Local SEO continues to evolve, and you have to keep up with the pace if you want to stay on top of your local SEO game. 

Here’s how to go about it.

1. Generate Content With a Local Focus

Remember, you are targeting customers in your business location. When curating content, let it be high-quality, engaging, informative and most of all, city-based.

Whether you’re writing about industry trends, local promotions or other niche-related news, your content should address the audience’s pain points. What is more important is that they find the information they need when they need it.

2. Include Citations

Brand mentions and quality backlinks are some of the key components of an SEO strategy. These two can add legitimacy and credibility to your local business when other people cite your business in their content. 

Local directories like Google Listings and Yelp can assist you in building a powerful local link profile. Having brand mentions on review platforms like Facebook, Yelp, Google Maps and other quality websites can also produce substantial SEO signals.

3. Source for Reviews

Statistics show that 90 percent of consumers take time to read online reviews before they visit a business. And 99 percent of them will utilize a local business if it has a 5-star rating.

A high percentage (88 percent) of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. It is, then, essential to get positive reviews that will improve your brand reputation. Encourage your customers to share their opinions and experiences with your brand because as people recognize you more, so does Google.

4. Leverage Google My Business

As a local business, it is crucial to have a Google My Business (GMB) or Google Business Profile listing. You can leverage this to augment your location-based SEO strategy. 

Google also uses your GMB information to improve local search. When you list your business location here, your customers will notice you first whenever they search for your product or service. And with your pictures, contact information and other details present, it will be easier for people to locate you.

5. Track and Monitor Performance

Keeping track of your results will show if your efforts are paying off or not. Analyze your results after using your keywords in content, metatags, ads and more. You’ll be able to identify what’s working and what’s not. In this way, you’ll know the areas that need improvement and work on them. There are many tools in the market to use in tracking your local keywords.

Final Thoughts

Google has improved search results by taking a local-first approach to ranking. Businesses with a local listing have a greater advantage when it comes to competitive queries with local intent. Research and find the right local keywords to use for your SEO campaign. It is the best way to enhance your SEO efforts, rank higher on Google Maps and increase your web traffic and conversions.

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By Margaret Blank

At the moment I am an expert-analyst in the field of search engine optimization, leading several projects and consulting on website optimization and promotion, I am actively involved in various thematic seminars and conferences.

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