How to Do Keyword Research for Local SEO

Angel Nwoha Solomon

Keyword research is the cornerstone of any successful SEO strategy, and this holds particularly true for local SEO. Whether you’re aiming to attract customers from a specific region or targeting a global audience with a local focus, understanding how to conduct keyword research for local SEO can significantly enhance your online presence.

This guide will provide a detailed overview of the process, tailored for both global and Nigerian audiences, complete with relevant examples.

Understanding the Importance of Local SEO

Local SEO focuses on optimizing your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches. These searches take place on Google and other search engines. According to research, nearly 46% of all Google searches are seeking local information. Therefore, if your business isn’t optimized for local search, you could be missing out on potential customers who are ready to purchase in your area.

Benefits of Local SEO:

  • Increased Online Visibility: Appear in local search results, maps, and business listings.
  • Higher Traffic and Conversion Rates: Attract local customers who are more likely to convert.
  • Enhanced User Experience: Provide accurate and relevant information to users searching for local businesses.
  • Competitive Edge: Stand out from local competitors by optimizing your site for local searches.

Also Read: National SEO Vs. Local SEO: Which is Best for Your Business?

Step-by-Step Guide to Local Keyword Research

1. Understand Your Local Audience

The first step in local keyword research is to understand your local audience. Knowing who your potential customers are, their interests and their search behaviors can help you target the right keywords.

Tips for Understanding Your Audience:

  • Analyze Demographics: Consider age, gender, occupation, and other demographic factors.
  • Identify Local Interests and Needs: What are the common needs or interests of people in your area?
  • Use Google Analytics: Gain insights into who is visiting your site and where they are coming from.

2. Identify Localized Keywords

Unlike National keywords, localized keywords are search terms that include a specific location, such as cities, neighborhoods, or regions. They are crucial for capturing local search traffic.

How to Identify Localized Keywords:

  • Think About Local Modifiers: Keywords that include city names, neighborhoods, or regions (e.g., “Lagos restaurants,” “plumber in Abuja”).
  • Use Google Autocomplete: Start typing your primary keyword and see what Google suggests. This can give you ideas for localized keywords.
  • Check Local Listings and Maps: See how businesses in your area are listed on Google Maps and local directories.

Example:

If you run a bakery in Lagos, your localized keywords might include:

  • “Lagos bakery”
  • “best cupcakes in Lagos”
  • “Lagos cake shop”

3. Use Keyword Research Tools

Several tools can help you expand your list of localized keywords and provide insights into search volume, competition, and trends.

Recommended Tools:

  • Google Keyword Planner: Offers data on keyword search volume, competition, and more.
  • Ahrefs: Provides comprehensive keyword analysis, including difficulty scores and search volume.
  • SEMrush: Offers keyword suggestions, competitive analysis, and local SEO insights.
  • Moz Local: Helps you manage and optimize your local business listings.

4. Analyze Competitor Keywords

Analyzing your local competitors’ keywords can provide valuable insights and help you identify opportunities to outperform them.

Steps to Analyze Competitor Keywords:

  • Identify Local Competitors: Look for businesses ranking for the localized keywords you are targeting.
  • Use Tools for Analysis: Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can show you the keywords your local competitors rank for.
  • Find Gaps and Opportunities: Look for keywords that your competitors are not targeting or areas where you can provide better content.

Example:

If you discover that a competitor bakery in Lagos ranks for “Lagos birthday cakes” but not “Lagos wedding cakes,” you can target the latter to attract more traffic.

5. Evaluate Keyword Metrics

Not all localized keywords are equally valuable. It’s important to evaluate keywords based on various metrics to determine their potential value.

Key Metrics to Consider:

  • Search Volume: The number of times a keyword is searched each month. Higher search volumes can indicate more potential traffic.
  • Keyword Difficulty: A measure of how hard it will be to rank a keyword. Aim for a mix of high-volume, low-competition keywords.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): The average cost of a paid search ad for the keyword. This can indicate commercial intent.
  • Search Intent: The underlying motivation behind a search query (informational, navigational, transactional). Align your keywords with the intent of your audience.

6. Optimize for Google My Business

Google My Business (GMB) is a powerful tool for local SEO. Optimizing your GMB profile can help you appear in local search results and maps.

Tips for Optimizing Google My Business:

  • Complete Your Profile: Ensure all information is accurate and complete, including your address, phone number, and business hours.
  • Use Relevant Keywords: Include localized keywords in your business description and posts.
  • Encourage Reviews: Positive reviews can boost your local rankings and attract more customers.
  • Add Photos: High-quality images can make your listing more attractive and informative.

Example:

For a Lagos bakery, your GMB profile should include keywords like “Lagos bakery,” “best cakes in Lagos,” and “custom cakes Lagos.”

7. Create Local Content

Creating content that is relevant to your local audience can help you rank localized keywords and engage with potential customers.

Ideas for Local Content:

  • Blog Posts About Local Events: Write about events in your area and how they relate to your business (e.g., “Best Wedding Cake Trends for Lagos Brides”).
  • Local Guides and Resources: Create guides that are useful for locals (e.g., “Top 10 Cafes in Lagos”).
  • Customer Stories and Testimonials: Share stories and testimonials from local customers to build trust and credibility.

8. Use Local Backlinks

Backlinks from local websites can improve your local SEO. They signal to search engines that your business is relevant to the local area.

How to Get Local Backlinks:

  • Local Directories and Listings: Submit your business to local directories and listings.
  • Local Partnerships: Partner with other local businesses and organizations to get backlinks.
  • Local Press and Media: Reach out to local newspapers, blogs, and media outlets for coverage.

Example:

A bakery in Lagos could partner with local event planners or caterers to exchange backlinks and referrals.

9. Monitor and Adjust Your Local SEO Strategy

Local SEO requires continuous monitoring and adjustment to stay ahead of the competition and adapt to changing search trends.

How to Monitor and Adjust:

  • Track Local Rankings: Use tools like Google Search Console and Ahrefs to monitor your local rankings.
  • Update Your Content and Strategy: Based on performance data, update your content and strategy to improve results.
  • Stay Informed About Local Trends: Keep up with local trends and events that can affect your business.

Conclusion

Effective keyword research is essential for local SEO success. By following these steps and utilizing the right tools, you can identify valuable localized keywords that will help you attract more local customers and grow your business. Remember, the key to successful local SEO is continuous monitoring and adaptation to ensure your strategy remains relevant and effective.

Ready to Elevate Your Local SEO Strategy?

If you’re looking to take your local SEO and digital marketing efforts to the next level, contact Angel Nwoha Solomon at Angelchukwu. Angel is an expert in SEO and digital marketing with a proven track record of helping businesses achieve their online goals. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to boost your local online presence and drive more traffic to your website.

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About the author

Angel Nwoha Solomon blends mechanical engineering expertise with digital marketing prowess. He specializes in Google Business Profile Optimization, content writing, social media, SEO, and local SEO. On angelchukwu.com, he shares insights on making money online. His data-driven approach and innovative strategies empower businesses to thrive digitally across the globe.