Local Keyword Research 2024

local keyword research 2024

keyword research plays a pivotal role.

With almost ten years of expertise in keyword research, I’ve helped businesses uncover the search phrases that drive customer traffic. Let’s explore innovative strategies to enhance your digital footprint and outperform your competitors.

Quick Answer

Its my view that local keyword research is finding the search terms people use to look for local businesses online, like “Chiropractor in Islington.” It involves identifying location-based keywords with geographic modifiers to optimize your online presence for nearby consumers.

For a more in-depth look at local seo keyword research please read on.


The goal is to uncover the actual language and phrasing that local consumers use to find local businesses through search engines.

This allows you to optimize your website, content, and online presence to be visible for the right keywords and capture that high-intent local search traffic.

Why is it Important for Local SEO Ranking

Understanding why it matters for your business is crucial, as it greatly improves your visibility to nearby customers actively seeking your services.

Investing in this type of research is not just about appearing in local results; it’s about connecting with your community.

By targeting local search intent, you’re not only enhancing your engagement but also increasing the likelihood of positive reviews, which further solidifies your local reputation.

Benefit Description Impact on Business
Increased Visibility Targets local consumers Improves discoverability
High Intent Targeting Focuses on targeted local searches Drives qualified traffic
Competitive Edge Outranks local competitors Captures more local market share
Cost-Effective Low investment, high return Optimizes marketing budget

Local keyword research can help tailor your marketing efforts to meet the specific needs and behaviors of your clientele.

Local vs Regular Keyword Research: Key Differences?

Local keyword research is ideal for you if you’re targeting customers in specific geographic areas.

Unlike regular keyword research, which may target a broad audience, local keywords, hones in on specific cities, neighborhoods, or even post codes.

You’ll often find that local keywords like plumber include precise modifiers like city names or phrases such as ‘near me’, which are less prevalent in more general keyword strategies.

This approach not only narrows your focus but guarantees you’re attracting an audience with a more immediate need or intent to purchase.

Furthermore, while regular keywords might pull in higher total search volumes, local keywords typically boast a higher conversion rate.

They speak directly to potential customers who are actively searching for services or products in their immediate vicinity.

This specificity in SEO can be a game-changer for businesses aiming to capitalize on nearby consumers.

Best For businesses seeking to attract customers within a specific geographical area for immediate and high-intent interactions.


  • Targets potential customers with high commercial intent who are searching for immediate solutions.
  • Increases the likelihood of conversion by focusing on users in close proximity.
  • Enhances visibility in search results, which is critical for local business success.


  • Limited audience reach due to the focus on specific areas.
  • Lower overall search volumes compared to non-localized keywords.
  • May require more frequent optimization due to competition and changing local search trends.

How to Do Local SEO Keyword Research

To begin effectively, first identify the core services or products your business offers.

Then, location modifiers can be added to target potential customers in specific areas.

Use research tools to analyze search volumes and competition, which will help you categorize keywords by their intent and optimize your strategy accordingly.

1. Identify Your Core Services/Products

Start by listing all the products, service keywords, and solutions your business provides.

Once you’ve identified your services, you’ll need to create a thorough list, including the seed keywords people search with.

This list of keywords you want will serve as the foundation for intent keyword mapping, helping to optimize your visibility for customers looking for services or products.

Service/Product Potential Keyword Customer Need
Handmade Jewelry Local Handmade Rings Unique accessories
Organic Bakery Locally Baked Bread Health-conscious eating
Auto Repair Trusted Local Mechanic Reliable car service

This table exemplifies how to align your offerings with specific local searches, maximizing relevance and attracting the right customer base. Keep the focus tight and relevant.

2. Add Location Modifiers

After identifying your core services and products, you’ll want to expand your keywords list by incorporating location modifiers to target specific markets.

By integrating geographic terms such as city names, neighbourhoods, and postcodes with your seed keywords, you improve search engine optimization and boost visibility in searches.

For instance, combining ‘joiner’ with ‘Newcastle’ or adding ‘near me’ to ‘tattoo shop’ tailors your keywords to the audience. This strategy is crucial for attracting potential customers who are searching for specific services in their area.

google search for joiner newcastle

Local keyword research helps guarantee that your business appears prominently in search results, making it easier for customers to find you when they need your services the most.

3. Use Tools

You’ll find tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and SEMrush invaluable for uncovering high-volume keywords, and locally targeted search terms.

These platforms help you pinpoint keywords with explicit intent that are vital for your local research.

Start by exploring Google Ads Keyword Planner to identify popular search terms specific to your area.

Then, explore the SEMrush keywords magic tool to broaden your scope and uncover additional relevant terms.

These tools not only suggest keywords but also provide insights into search trends, helping you to tailor your content more effectively.

4. Analyze Search Volume and Competition

Once you’ve identified potential seed keywords, analyze their search volumes and competition levels to prioritize those offering the best chances for high rankings.

Focusing on local search volume and competition is crucial. The search volume for keywords gives you an idea of how many people are looking for local services, specifically in your area.

At the same time, competition metrics for keywords help you understand how many businesses are competing for the same terms.

Aim to find a balance between decent search volumes and manageable competition to improve your ranking opportunities.

This strategy guarantees you’re not wasting efforts on highly contested keywords but rather capitalizing on those with enough interest and lesser competition.

5. Categorize by Intent

Now, categorize your final list of local keywords by their search intent—be it commercial, informational, or navigational—to target them effectively on your site’s relevant pages.

Understanding intent is essential for optimizing your content and enhancing user experience.

  • Commercial Keywords: Focus on users ready to purchase. Examples include ‘buy,’ ‘discount,’ and product names.
  • Informational Keywords: These answer users’ questions and provide insights. Look for ‘how to,’ ‘guide,’ and ‘tutorial.’
  • Navigational Keywords: Used when searching for a specific website or location. Commonly include brand names and service types.
  • Keyword Categorization: Organize keywords methodically to streamline content creation and make sure each page targets the right audience with appropriate intent.

6. Monitor and Refine Targets

After categorizing your local keywords by intent, it’s important to keep track of their performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Continuously monitor your rankings and search trends to gauge the effectiveness of your current SEO tactics.

As you observe these trends, you’ll need to refine your keywords list, adding new keywords that emerge as relevant and discarding those that aren’t performing well.

This ongoing process helps to maintain your SEO performance to remain strong and responsive to market changes.

Keep a close eye on how these keywords perform in real time, and don’t hesitate to tweak your strategy to better align with current search behaviours and preferences.

This proactive adjustment is key to maintaining your visibility and relevance in search results.

Examples of Typical Local Search Queries

Let’s investigate some common search queries that potential customers might use when looking for services in your area.

These queries often include modifiers highlighting this keyword has intent, such as ‘near me’ or specific locality names like cities or neighbourhoods.

These terms not only guide the search engine results but also impact search volumes greatly.

“plumbers near me”
“pizza delivery in [city]”
“dentists in [neighbourhood]”
“car repair shops [postcode]”
“best restaurants [city]”
“emergency locksmith [city] open now.”
“hair salons near [landmark]”
“[service] + [city]” (e.g. “roof repair Cheshire”)
“[product] + [neighbourhood]” (e.g. “furniture stores Hackney”)
“open [business type] [city] today
These local keyword searches often include geographic modifiers like:
City names (e.g. Southampton, Bradford)
Neighbourhoods (e.g. Boldmere, Mere Green)
Postal codes (e.g. G45 2TY, G77 5NE)
Landmarks (e.g. London Bridge, Edinburgh Castle)
Proximity terms like “near me”, “closest”, and “nearby.”
They also frequently contain:
Business categories/types (e.g. plumbers, restaurants, stores)
Services (e.g. delivery, repair, installation)
Qualifiers (e.g. best, open now, emergency, affordable)

Best Tools for Process

To enhance your local SEO strategies, it’s essential to use tools designed for the purpose. Begin with Google Keyword Planner to gather broad keyword ideas.

Further, refine your search using advanced tools.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner, a free tool, lets you filter ideas by specific locations—be it country, region, city, or postcode—to pinpoint the keywords your target audience is searching for.

Here’s how you can make the most of this tool.

  1. Identify Local Intent: Use the tool to distinguish keywords with a high search volume, indicating a strong local intent.
  2. Analyze Competition: Evaluate the competition level for each keyword to strategize your SEO efforts better.
  3. Customize Search Filters: Tailor your searches to focus on specific localities relevant to your target audience.
  4. Track Trends: Monitor how search trends evolve to adjust your strategies in real-time.

google keyword planner tool

Semrush Keyword Magic Tool

Semrush’s Keyword Magic Tool offers an extensive database that allows you to pinpoint local keywords effectively by incorporating location modifiers and filtering options.

When you’re diving into research, it’s important to target keywords with local intent that reflect the subtleties of search engine behaviours.

Using Semrush magic tool, you can discover a variety of keywords specific to regions and cities, making your marketing efforts more precise and impactful.

If you’re looking to optimize for local visibility, use a tool like this to sift through the options and identify the most promising ones.

Local research tells a story of community-focused strategies that can greatly improve your visibility in regional searches.


Ahrefs Keyword Explorer

While Semrush offers powerful tools, Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer greatly enhances your ability to conduct with its detailed metrics and location-specific data.

Here’s how you can utilize this tool:

  1. Search Volumes: Assess the popularity of keywords specific to your area, helping you prioritize your efforts.
  2. Local Rankings: Track how well keywords perform in specific locales, giving you a clearer picture of competitive landscapes.
  3. Location-Based Keyword Groups: Use the ‘Parent Topic’ filter to find new, relevant keywords grouped by location.
  4. Detailed SEO Metrics: Analyze clicks, ranking difficulty, and more to refine your strategy and increase local visibility.
    These features empower you to optimize your local SEO strategy effectively.


Moz Keyword Explorer

Moz’s Keyword Explorer offers another comprehensive option for delving into local keywords, featuring extensive data such as search volumes, difficulty scores, and SERP features like the local pack.

This tool delves deep into the specifics, providing you with the insights needed to target regional audiences effectively

The Keyword Explorer doesn’t just provide numbers; it gives context to these metrics, helping you understand what makes a word competitive or worth pursuing.

By analyzing search volumes and difficulty scores, you can prioritize which keywords are most likely to drive localized traffic to your site.

Understanding SERP features, such as the local pack, allows you to tailor your SEO strategies to boost visibility in specific geographic areas.


BrightLocal Local Search Rank Checker

Bright Local’s Local Search Rank Checker offers a valuable tool for tracking rankings in various cities and zip codes.

It is essential for those involved in local word research and seeking to enhance visibility in local searches. Here are some key reasons why this tool is indispensable:

  1. Targeted Local Data: The tool captures precise rankings for local intent searches, providing insights into your position in specific markets.
  2. Competitive Analysis: Users can compare their local rankings with competitors, gaining a better understanding of the competitive landscape.
  3. Historical Tracking: The tool monitors changes over time, allowing users to evaluate the impact of their SEO strategies on local rankings.
  4. User-friendly Reports: It generates clear, actionable reports that simplify complex data, enabling users to make well-informed decisions.

How to Choose the Right Keyword Tool

You should carefully select a local research tool that aligns with your business size, budget, and specific SEO needs.

For detailed data, larger firms might lean towards premium SEO tools like Semrush, while smaller enterprises might find a tool like Google Keyword Planner, a free keyword research tool, sufficient.

Make sure the tool you choose can filter data by location to capture local intent keywords effectively.

It’s vital to check whether the tool offers important data points like search volumes and word difficulty.

Also, the ease of use and integration capabilities with other platforms should be considered. Testing different tools through free trials helps in making the right choice.


In summary, mastering local keyword research is essential for enhancing your business’s online visibility.

By tailoring searches to local contexts, you can effectively target potential customers in specific areas.

Utilize powerful tools to streamline the process, and always refine your strategies based on analytical insights.

Remember, choosing the right keywords impacts your SEO success greatly, thereby influencing your business’s growth and local relevance.

Start implementing these strategies today and witness a tangible transformation in your digital marketing effectiveness.

Get In Touch

I can help get your small local business to the top of the search engines with affordable local seo services. Download my FREE pdf guide to local SEO guide via this link.


  • John Johnston

    John Johnston is a seasoned local SEO specialist with 8+ years of experience. He has built and optimized numerous lead generation websites, showcasing his versatility. Currently, John works with a top London skincare clinic, leveraging local SEO to drive targeted traffic and visibility. With a data-driven approach and expertise in keyword research, content creation, and on-page/off-page optimization, John consistently delivers outstanding results, helping clients outrank competitors and attract qualified leads in the local search landscape.

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