Improving Local SEO Rankings: A Step-by-Step Keyword Research Plan

Discover a step-by-step keyword research plan to improve your local SEO rankings. Learn how to find the best keywords and optimize your online presence.

Local SEO Keyword Research

Welcome to the dynamic world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)! SEO isn't just some technical jargon; it's a game-changer in the digital marketing landscape that holds the key to businesses reaching their potential customers. In recent years, the power of local SEO has grown exponentially, making it critical for businesses striving to establish a strong online presence in their respective local markets.

The concept is quite straightforward- type a product or service into a search engine, and voila! You have a list of businesses near you. That, my friends, is local SEO at work. When your local SEO rankings improve, your online visibility elevates, granting you access to a broad customer base right in your locality.

But, how does one navigate through the vast sea of competitive keywords, backlinks, and Google algorithms to improve their local SEO rankings? Well, the answer, though complex, can be made simple through a well-structured keyword research plan, which will be our primary focus for the coming sections. Buckle up and get ready - the quest to enhance your local SEO rankings starts now!

The Importance of Local SEO

Haven't you ever wondered why your favorite coffee shop seems to pop up every time you look for cafes in your area? That's commendable Local SEO at work. The importance of local SEO in shaping digital traffic can't be overstated. Not just about boosting digital visibility, it's about being the first option a customer sees when they're seeking your type of service or product in their vicinity.

Local and Organic Searches

When discussing local and organic searches, it's intriguing to learn that they collectively contribute to roughly 69% of overall digital traffic. This nugget emphasizes that a solid chunk of online activity is tied to users looking up local businesses or relatable organic results. Consequently, being effectively visible during these instances becomes a key priority for businesses aiming to clinch the top.

Consumer Uses of Google for Evaluations

Nowadays, it's almost instinctive to Google a local business before actually visiting. In fact, statistics show that a seismic 87% of consumers used Google to evaluate local businesses in 2022. A business's emphasis on local SEO, therefore, secures it a virtual, yet significantly influential place in a consumer's decision-making process.

Weightage of Local Searches on Google

The impact of Local SEO becomes more palpable, considering that nearly 46% of all searches on Google are for a local business or service. When it's almost a flip-of-the-coin chance that a Google search might be local in nature, businesses can't afford to ignore their local SEO strategy.

Adding to the importance of focusing on Local SEO, research shows that around 72% of consumers that search locally end up shopping locally, notably within a five-mile radius. Consequently, businesses that effectively leverage local SEO stand a great chance to attract and retain a loyal, proximate clientele who would prefer convenience coupled with quality.

Frequency of Local Business Searches

Moreover, local business searches aren't sporadic events - they're a part of a user's routine online activity. An impressive 78% of people search for local businesses more than once a week. This shows that businesses can benefit from frequent visibility to the same users, nurturing familiarity, trust, and patronage over time.

Click Distribution for Local Business Searches

The competition for clicks in local business searches certainly intensifies, given that the first result garners a considerable 24.4% of all clicks. The rewards of mastering local SEO are therefore not just about being found but often about being found first.

Roles of Review Signals in Local SEO Pack Rank

A crucial part of local SEO strategy is managing the review signals, with these constituting about 15% of the local SEO pack rank. Local businesses that actively solicit and address online reviews not only seem more reliable but also enjoy better local SEO performance.

Local Search Intent

Local SEO undoubtedly gains prominence, considering that about 46% of all Google searches betray a local intent. As users substantially contribute to digital traffic while looking for local solutions, businesses need to meet them where they are - in the vicinity.

Foot Traffic from Local Searches

Lastly, local SEO isn't just about securing a virtual presence; it often translates to tangible in-store visits. A notable 50% of consumers who conduct a local search visit the store found within a day, revealing the potential of Local SEO to convert digital traffic into foot traffic.

In essence, Local SEO isn't just a peripheral segment of your SEO strategy; it's an essential gear in the mechanism. The evolving digital landscape, populated by consumers actively seeking local options, further underscores its importance. It's not just about being visible in the digital expanse, but about being found right around the corner.

Benefits of Investing in Local SEO

Imagine your small artisan bakery or boutique clothing store being the first result consumers encounter each time they type "the best bakery near me or top clothing shop in town," on their search engines. Sounds like a dream, right? That's the power of Local SEO or Search Engine Optimization. It's not just about web domination; it's about driving potential customers to your business. Let's dive into why investing in local SEO is not just beneficial; it's essential.

ROI from Local SEO Campaigns

Having second thoughts about investing in local SEO? You might want to consider the fact that the average Return On Investment (ROI) for a local SEO campaign is over 500% after three years. It might seem like a significant investment initially, but when put into perspective, you can potentially gain five dollars for each dollar you put in!

Let's break it down:

  • Year 1: The phase where you're setting up your SEO foundation. You might not see immediate returns due to the initial investment, but trust the process.
  • Year 2: This is where things start to take shape. Your SEO efforts begin to bear fruit, driving more traffic to your site, improving sales, and consequently leading to a marked increase in ROI.
  • Year 3: This is the sweet spot! Now that your local SEO groundwork is well-established, watch your ROI skyrocket above 500%.

Click Benefits from Top-Ranking Results

But why is a top-ranking result so important? Does it truly make a difference? The short answer to this is, yes! The fact is, 32% of all clicks go to the top-ranking result on Google. That’s a hefty bite from the search engine apple!

Here are some insights:

  • King of the Hill: The website at the top of search engine results gets the lion's share of clicks. This position often correlates with trust and authenticity among users.
  • Higher visibility: The higher your business ranks on search engines, the more traffic your website is bound to get. This, in turn, translates to more eyeballs on your products or services.
  • Building trust: A business that appears in the first few listings is perceived as more reliable, attracting more potential customers who are more likely to make a purchase.

At the end of the day, investing in local SEO is a gateway to gaining more visibility and credibility, ultimately leading to an excellent return on investment. Whether you're a seasoned business owner or a rookie small business owner, there's no denying local SEO's pivotal role in your brand's success story.

Step-by-Step Keyword Research Plan

Perfecting your website's SEO game isn't an abstract art, it's a science- and like any science, it has a method. One of the critical parts of this method? Keyword research.

The magic of keyword research lies in better understanding your target audience and how they are searching for your content, services, or products. Done correctly, it will breathe life into every aspect of your digital marketing strategy. Without further ado, let's dive into our step-by-step keyword research plan.

Identifying Relevant Topics

The first step in your keyword research plan should be to identify the topics that are relevant to your brand or business. Don't rush this step - the success of your SEO strategy relies heavily on this. Look at it as laying a solid foundation for a house; if it's shaky, everything that comes after will be unstable.

  • Start by brainstorming a list of topics that are relevant to your brand. For instance, if you own a vegan café, pertinent topics might include 'vegan recipes', 'plant-based diets', and 'sustainable eating'.
  • Next, delve a little deeper into each of these topics. What are some more specific subtopics you can explore? Under 'vegan recipes', for instance, you might have 'quick vegan breakfast ideas', 'healthy vegan desserts', or 'high-protein vegan meals'.

While this may feel a little overwhelming, imagine how much easier it will be to create content once you have a comprehensive list of relevant topics and subtopics ready!

Finding Local Keywords

Once you’ve identified relevant topics, it’s time to start finding local keywords. As the name suggests, local keywords are essential for businesses that operate in a specific geographic area.

This aspect of keyword research is where tools like KeywordsFX really come into their own. They can generate a list of relevant local keywords, making your job so much easier.

For instance, if your vegan café is based in New York, your local keywords might include 'vegan café in New York', 'plant-based food in NY', or even 'best vegan dessert in Manhattan'. These localised keywords will help to attract the specific audience you cater to.

Checking for Google Penalties

The last step in your keyword research plan is to check for Google penalties. These penalties can seriously affect your website’s SEO performance, so it’s crucial to check for them regularly.

Google penalizes sites that attempt to manipulate their SEO in certain ways- for instance through 'keyword stuffing' or using irrelevant keywords.

Using the right balance of keywords, in a natural and informative way, is the secret to avoiding such penalties. Always ensure you use your keywords in a way that adds value to your content. Remember, content is king and should always be engaging, helpful, and enjoyable to read.

The art of keyword research can seem like a daunting task, but when broken down into actionable steps, it becomes manageable and can massively elevate your digital presence. Keep these steps in mind as you embark on your keyword research journey and you'll find yourself ideally placed to capture the attention of your desired audience.

Competitor Analysis and Google My Business Monitoring

To stay successful in the ever-evolving digital landscape, businesses need to implement the best SEO strategies and stay a step ahead of the competition. A crucial part of accomplishing this is conducting an in-depth competitor analysis and leveraging platforms like Google My Business. This information is essential for local keyword research and local SEO optimization. Let's break down these two factors and see why they are so instrumental.

Importance of Competitor Analysis in Local Keyword Research

Knowing the tactics your competitors are using can help you carve out your unique path in the industry. This is why a thorough competitor analysis is a must. Several key insights can be gained from a well-executed competitor analysis:

  • Discovering which keywords your competitors are ranking for. This helps you inform your keyword strategy, ensuring that your web content reaches the ideal audience.
  • Finding out where your competition gets its backlinks. Backlinks are an important part of boosting SEO rankings, and you can approach the same or similar sites as your competitors to improve your visibility.
  • Analyzing what type of content does well for your competitors can give you a clear idea of what your audience is interested in.

"A wise man can learn more from his enemies than a fool from his friends," a quote from Niki Lauda. Now shift this wisdom to the business field, and you understand the underlying importance of competitor analysis.

Role of Google My Business Profile in Local SEO Optimization

A Google My Business (GMB) profile is more than just a business listing. When effectively optimized, it can be a powerful tool for local SEO. This is because Google values relevancy and immediacy, and a well-optimized GMB profile delivers both. Here are some ways your GMB profile positively impacts your business:

  • Enhancing your online visibility: A well-optimized GMB profile makes it easier for potential customers to find your business in Google Search and Maps.
  • Improving local rankings: Keeping your GMB profile updated with accurate business information, photos, and positive customer reviews can significantly improve your local rankings.
  • Facilitating customer interaction: Customers can quickly learn about your business, share reviews, and even book appointments directly from your GMB profile.

Simply put, the more comprehensive and accurate your GMB profile is, the more likely Google is to recommend your business to local searchers.

By understanding how to brilliantly perform competitor analysis and effectively manage your Google My Business profile, you can stay a powerhouse in the local market. Ignoring these two important strategies might equate to leaving money on the table. After all, in the world of SEO, knowledge is indeed power!


In the end, enhancing your local SEO is a strategic and meticulous process that involves proper keyword research, competitor analysis, and consistent Google My Business profile monitoring. With the right tools and methods, this process becomes dramatically more manageable and effective. A tool like GetKeywords, which offers insightful data, helps businesses understand their local SEO market, find relevant keywords, and effectively target their campaigns. It provides the crucial information needed to make informed decisions and optimize your brand's digital reach. By leveraging this powerful tool, businesses of all sizes can expand their online presence and stay ahead in the crowded digital marketplace. Visit GetKeywords now to begin your journey to local SEO success!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why is keyword research important for improving local SEO rankings?Keyword research is important for improving local SEO rankings because it helps you understand the language and phrases your target audience is using when searching for local businesses or services. By optimizing your content with relevant keywords, you can increase your visibility in local search results and attract more qualified traffic.
  2. What are some effective tools for conducting keyword research for local SEO?Some effective tools for conducting keyword research for local SEO include Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, Moz Keyword Explorer, Ahrefs, and Ubersuggest. These tools provide valuable insights into search volumes, competition, and variations of keywords relevant to your local business.
  3. How can I find location-specific keywords for my local SEO strategy?To find location-specific keywords for your local SEO strategy, you can use tools like Google Trends, Google Autocomplete, and Google My Business Insights. Additionally, conducting competitor analysis and analyzing local search engine results can give you ideas for location-specific keywords.
  4. Should I focus on long-tail keywords or short-tail keywords for local SEO?Both long-tail and short-tail keywords have their advantages in local SEO. Long-tail keywords are more specific and have lower competition, which can be beneficial for targeting a niche audience. Short-tail keywords have higher search volumes and may attract more generic local searches. It's recommended to include a mix of both in your local SEO strategy for optimal results.
  5. How often should I update my local SEO keyword research?Local SEO keyword research should be an ongoing process. It's important to regularly monitor keyword performance, stay updated with trending and season-specific keywords, and adapt your strategy to changing search patterns and local market trends. Aim for quarterly keyword reviews and updates, but monitor performance continuously.