Local SEO Keywords for Beginners

What are Local SEO Keywords?

Local SEO keywords are search terms or phrases that are specifically targeted toward a local audience. These keywords often include location-based terms such as the name of a city, town, or neighborhood, and they are used to optimize a website or page to rank higher in search engines for users searching in a particular geographic area.

For example, a local keyword search term could be “electricians near piccadilly circus, london”, which reveals the following map pack results in Google:

Why are Local SEO Keywords Important?

Local SEO keywords help businesses attract customers within their service area or target market and can be highly effective in driving local traffic and generating leads or sales.

Here are some benefits of using local SEO keywords:

Increased Visibility

By using local SEO keywords, your website or content is more likely to rank higher in search engine results for users within your target area. This increased visibility can help your business get noticed by potential customers in your community.

Targeted Traffic

Local SEO keywords attract users who are actively searching for products or services within a specific geographic area. This targeted traffic often has a higher intent to purchase or engage with a local business, resulting in better conversion rates.

Increased Customer Engagement

When your website or content is optimized with local SEO keywords, it becomes more relevant to local users, which can lead to higher engagement, more positive reviews, and repeat business.

Competitive Advantage

By focusing on local SEO keywords, your business can gain an advantage over competitors who may not be optimizing their content for local searches. This can help your business stand out and capture a larger share of the local market.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Local SEO is often more cost effective than traditional advertising methods, as it targets users who are already searching for your products or services within a specific area. This means you’re reaching potential customers with a high likelihood of conversion, maximizing your return on investment.

Builds Local Reputation and Trust

Optimizing your content for local SEO keywords can help establish your business as an authority in your area, building trust with local customers and improving your reputation within the community.

Implicit vs. Explicit Local Keywords

Implicit and explicit local keywords are two types of location-based terms that can be used in local SEO. They serve different purposes in targeting local audiences and optimizing content for search engines. Here’s a brief explanation of the differences between the two:

Implicit Local Keywords

Implicit local keywords are search terms that do not directly mention a specific location but are related to the local context. They target a local audience by focusing on the services, products, or topics that are relevant to the business or specific area. These keywords can help you rank for location-specific searches without mentioning the location itself.

For example, a search query like “best coffee shops” might be an implicit local keyword because it doesn’t specify a location but implies that the searcher is looking for coffee shops in their local area.

How does Google determine the implicit location?

  • Your device location
  • Your labeled places
  • The home address you set in the Google Home app for your speaker, Smart Display, or Smart Clock
  • Your previous activity across Google products
  • The IP address of your internet connection

Explicit Local Keywords

Explicit local keywords, on the other hand, directly include location-specific terms within the keyword phrase. These keywords explicitly mention the name of a city, town, neighborhood, or other geographic identifiers, making it clear that the search is intended for a specific area. They can also mention “near me” which then uses their device location to determine which local area they intend to search.

For example, a search query like “best coffee shops in London” is an explicit local keyword because it specifically mentions the location “London” within the keyword phrase.

How to Do Local Keyword Research

To do effective local keyword research, there are a few essential steps to follow:

List Your Business Solutions

In this step, you want to come up with a list of all the products or services that your business offers, along with what your business is about.

For example, if your business is a bicycle shop:

  • Bicycle shop
  • Bicycle repairs
  • Mountain bikes
  • Bicycle accessories
  • Bicycle helmets
  • Bicycle gloves
  • Bicycle rentals

…and the list could go on! Of course, list only those products and services that you actually offer.

Now we’ll move on to the next step:

Add Keyword Modifiers

Next, you want to modify your phrases with keyword modifiers, that fall into the following categories:

Quality: Best, Top

Price: Cheap, Cheapest, Lowest Price

Occasion: Winter/Spring/Summer/Fall, Birthday/Wedding/etc, Easter/Christmas/etc

Type: [A Product or Service your Business Offers]

Features: Same-Day Shipping, All-Inclusive, Gluten Free, etc.

Intent: Buy, Order, Reserve

Add Keyword Modifiers

The next step is to add location modifiers that explicitly mention a landmark, street, postcode, neighborhood, town, city, county, or area, for example:

  • Greater London
  • London
  • SW1A
  • North/East/West/South London
  • City Centre London
  • Leicester Square
  • Big Ben, London Eye, etc
  • Westminster
  • Baker Street

Modifier + Keyword + Location Combinations

Based on the previous steps, you can now generate a large list of keyword phrases based on the modifiers, business keywords, and locations. You can also leave out modifiers or places if you want a more broader term. Here are some examples:

Explicit:

  • Best bicycle shops near me
  • Top bicycle repair London
  • Bicycle shops Baker Street

Implicit:

  • Cheap bicycle rentals
  • Bicycle shops
  • Best bicycle repairs

Note: There could be hundreds of possibilities, so you might want to use a spreadsheet to generate these automatically using simple concatenate formulas.

Validating Local SEO Keywords

Once you have a comprehensive list of local keyword phrases, it’s time to validate whether they have local intent.

You can tell if a local keyword has local intent if when you do a local search in Google, you see:

  • A “Map Pack”
  • Local Businesses Ranking in the Organic Results

Finding Local Competitor Keyword Gaps

Another way to find the best local keywords to go for is by discovering local businesses in the SERPs that rank for the keywords you are looking for and then using an SEO keyword gap tool to compare all of the top 5 or 10 competitors to spot keyword gaps.

These keyword gaps show you what keywords most competitors are not ranking for, giving your business the opportunity to rank for those keywords, after you create pages and content around them.

Filtering Local Keywords

Once you have your list of keywords, it’s time to prioritize them. As with any keywords, the most valuable keywords are the ones that have low difficulty scores, and high search volume. Along with this, they should have local intent, and be relevant to your business, products, services, and local areas.

This should give you a shortlist of keywords that are the highest priority to start with in terms of your content strategy.

Mapping Local Keywords

Finally, it’s time to map the keywords to existing pages on your website, or if you don’t already have those pages, to create new ones. You want to have useful, helpful information on each of those pages that relate to each page’s primary keyword. Write for the user always, then think about optimizing for search engines last.

Remember the one unique topic per page rule: Every page should target a keyword that is unique enough to warrant its own page, otherwise if the keywords are too similar in meaning, Google and other search engines might get confused as to which page to return in the search results.

How to Handle Multiple Locations

If your business serves multiple locations, it’s important to map location-specific keywords to individual location pages.

For example, if you have a bicycle shop in London, Manchester, and Birmingham, and you offer repairs and rentals, then you could have the following pages:

  • /london/services/bicycle-repairs/
  • /london/services/bicycle-rentals/
  • /manchester/services/bicycle-repairs/
  • /manchester/services/bicycle-rentals/
  • /birmingham/services/bicycle-repairs/
  • /birmingham/services/bicycle-rentals/

Don’t use boilerplate (template) content for location pages. Instead make each page as unique and relevant as you can to that location and service, so that it’s useful and valuable for local users landing on those pages.

Local SEO Questions

When you are doing research for the content on each of the pages that you are optimizing for local keywords, check for common questions that relate to that keyword.

Potential customers searching for your products or services most likely want to get a few questions answered before they buy anything.

You can view existing commonly asked questions within the Google search results, or use Answer the Public to come up with question ideas. Or use your industry knowledge to think about what customers would ask if they are considering buying your product or service.

Groove + Local SEO Keywords

You can use Groove SEO to conduct your local keyword research to discover keywords with low difficulty scores and high search volume. From there, you can map these local keywords to existing pages on your website or new pages that you will be creating soon.

Groove makes it super easy for small businesses to improve their local SEO. With a plethora of tools that even beginners can use and a list of actionable steps they can take within the time they have available each week, it empowers small business owners to take SEO into their own hands and start getting more organic traffic and sales to their businesses.