Local SEO Keyword Research: 5 Step Guide

Keyword research is a vital part of any successful SEO strategy. It helps you focus your time and energy on the search terms that actually matter to your business. When it comes to local SEO, this process is even more important because it gives you the opportunity to rank for keywords with local intent. This […]


On This Page

Keyword research is a vital part of any successful SEO strategy. It helps you focus your time and energy on the search terms that actually matter to your business.

When it comes to local SEO, this process is even more important because it gives you the opportunity to rank for keywords with local intent. This can be crucial for businesses with multiple locations and a strong local customer base.

5 Step Local Keyword Research Guide

1. Use Keyword research tools

If you want to improve your local SEO and get better results, you need to conduct keyword research. This will help you find keywords that are relevant to your business, so that your website ranks higher in Google Maps and drives more traffic.

To start, make a list of topics that potential customers might search for. For example, a dog groomer may think about terms like “dog grooming” or “best dog groomer.”

Then, use a tool to check how popular these words are (in terms of search volume). You can find a few free tools that can help you do this, including ahrefs, semrush and ubersuggest.


Ahrefs is a great keyword research tool for local seo. Personally this is what we use here. Even though no keyword tool is 100% accurate at least they give you an idea of which keywords have the highest search volume.


There are many different keyword research tools to choose from but a few of the best ones include Ubersuggest, SEMrush, and Ahrefs. These SEO tools have a lot in common with each other and each one can help you find new content ideas and improve your search engine ranking.

Ubersuggest is an easy-to-use keyword tool that provides users with a range of valuable metrics. It helps users find keywords with high search volume and paid difficulty. However, it has a number of limitations, including a limited free plan.

A free account allows users to conduct three searches per day. For a paid account, users can do unlimited searches. On top of that Ubersuggest offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

While it is possible to generate keyword ideas on Ubersuggest it is not as accurate as SEMrush. Ubersuggest is only about 90% accurate in reporting keyword ideas.

However, the keyword tool can be useful for local keyword research as it can show you popular topics in your industry. This can help you target local customers by creating content that speaks directly to them.

SEM Rush

Another great tool is SEMRush. This service tracks competitors backlinks organic keyword rankings and PPC keyword searches. Using this data you can make smarter decisions about your search engine optimization efforts.

First, you’ll want to find the best keywords. These can be narrowed by keyword text, category and competition. You can also check the bids on each keyword. The right keyword will attract the right customer with the right intent.

SEMrush has a huge database of keywords it also allows you to run SEO audits on your website. With this tool, you can find out how visitors are finding your site and it even shows you how well your site is ranking in Google organic results.

Google Keyword Planner

Using Google Keyword Planner or other tools to source keyword volume data is a great way to get started. You’ll be able to see how often specific keywords are searched and what their competition is like. The information can also be used to help determine your next steps and make future projections.

Google Trends

Google Trends can also be a helpful tool in evaluating keyword search volume data. You can choose to view an exact match or a rolling average of search volume throughout the year. This helps with highly seasonal keywords.

2. Create a Keyword Research Spreadsheet on Google Sheets or Excel

keyword research for local search engine optimization example
keyword research for local search engine optimization example

Doing keyword research for local SEO is essential to optimizing your website for increased visibility in search queries. By targeting specific keywords that are relevant to your business, you can boost your website’s ranking for local searches and drive more traffic and sales.

The best way to start is with a brainstorming session and a list of keywords. Then, use a keyword research tool to identify keywords related to your products or services that are in demand in your local area.

To organize your data, you can use a Google Sheets template that makes it easy to manage keywords and data for local SEO campaigns. It also includes a section for competitors, so you can see who else is ranking for your target keywords.

One of the most useful features of this spreadsheet is the Competitors tab, which shows all of your competitors’ organic search rankings. You can also view their search volume, competition, and keyword data with a click of a button.

3. Group Keywords Together based on Search Intent

There can be hundreds of keywords in one keyword group. You will want to group all of the keywords that have the same search intent into “buckets”.

Keyword research tips

One of the most important aspects of a successful local SEO strategy is keyword research. It helps you understand what customers are searching for to find your business, and it allows you to rank better for these terms.

When doing keyword research, be sure to include a variety of search terms that are relevant to your business. This way, you can find the most popular keywords that will help drive traffic to your website.

It’s also important to do keyword research on a frequent basis. This will allow you to keep track of your progress and make any adjustments you need when revisiting your list.

4. Consider the Search Volume

In local SEO, you need to have a good understanding of how search volume can affect your rankings. When you know how search volume works you can make better decisions and prioritize your keywords.

Searcher intent can also be an important factor in targeting keywords. Identifying what your target audience is looking for is a crucial part of any local SEO strategy. For example, if you’re a florist targeting weddings you’ll want to ensure your content is relevant to the keyword.

While determining search volume is an important element of local SEO you should never neglect other aspects of your overall SEO strategy. To achieve success, you need to continually nurture your campaign and provide high-quality content. That means ensuring your website has consistent contact information and content that’s relevant to the specific keyword or terms you’re trying to rank for.

As with any other aspect of SEO you should be careful not to make your search volume research too specific. Instead, you should aim to identify the most common searches for your local business. If you’re unsure of which specific keywords to focus on, you can do this by using autosuggest or using a tool such as Ubersuggest.

5. Take a look at the Keyword Difficulty

keyword research for local seo

SEO difficulty is a measurement of how difficult it is to rank for a specific keyword. This is usually calculated by a variety of factors. Some factors include the number of websites that target the same keyword the number of top 10 results and the difficulty of on-page SEO.

The first step to calculating local SEO difficulty is to do a little research there are many tools available to help you find local keywords these range from free to paid.

You can use a tool such as SEMrush or Ubersuggest to get a sense of how competitive a certain keyword is. They will also tell you how much traffic the keyword gets. If you have an existing website you should check the difficulty score of the keywords it ranks for.

Keywords with a lower difficulty score will be easier to rank for. For example, if you want to rank for the phrase “pizza recipe”, a term with a low difficulty score will be more likely to return relevant search results. However, if you don’t have a good on-page strategy, you may not rank for this keyword.

A keyword difficulty score can be calculated by a wide variety of tools including the Google Analytics platform. It will calculate the ranking score of the first domain in a search and then divide that score by 500.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert keyword research is an essential part of your SEO campaign.

Get a Complimentary SEO Strategy

Let’s start hitting your business goals. Contact us today to speak with one of our digital marketing experts.

Roger Avila

Roger Avila

Roger is an SEO Manager at JetRank based out of sunny San Diego, CA.
Share this article:

Subscribe to our newsletter

Get a Free Quote

Find out what it takes to take your business to the next level. One of our team members will send over a detailed marketing strategy based on your business goals. 

Rated 5/5
- from over 450 reviews