Struggling to gain traction in your local SERPs?
Don’t sweat it.
Here are a few ways to find local keywords that make an impact.
What Makes a Keyword Local?
Local keywords are keywords used to target local traffic and build rankings within a particular city, state, borough, neighborhood, suburb, etc.
Intent drives local keywords.
In other words, you want to choose terms or phrases that align with the actions or needs of your existing and potential clients.
You want to be the answer to everyone’s problems. But in order to do this effectively, you must first understand what motivates them.
Pro Tip: Don’t overthink your local keywords. The process is more straightforward than you may think.
Analyze Competitor Rankings and Content
What keywords are your competitors ranking for?
You likely want to rank for those terms, too.
You don’t need access to any expensive tool to do this—although it’s certainly helpful. Just start Googling relevant basic phrases and questions that you want to rank for.
Review the content and ask yourself the following questions:
- What questions/motivations/worries/concerns does this content speak to?
- Would I be satisfied if I landed on this page?
- How can I improve/expand upon this content?
But don’t stop there.
It’s equally as important to understand what local keywords your competition doesn’t own—and why.
If you’re browsing the competition’s website and notice they don’t answer specific questions (or that they answer certain questions rather poorly), then it’s up to you to fill the gap and position yourself as an authority on the subject.
Pro Tip: If you have access to a keyword research tool, check out the rankings of your closest competitors. This will help paint a picture of their SEO efforts and give you insights into new opportunities for your own company.
Pair Your Service With Your Location Target
One of the simplest strategies to building an effective local keyword for a service-based business is to pair the service with the location.
Here are some common variations:
- [Service] + [Location]
- [Service] + [the word ‘company’] + [Location]
- [Service] + [the word ‘service’] + [Location]
For example, a residential driveway repair company operating in Chicago could start by targeting the following phrases:
- Driveway Repair Chicago
- Driveway Repair Company Chicago
- Driveway Repair Services Chicago
From this point, you’d want to find keywords variations related to the topic “driveway repair”—each variation should still satisfy the same intent.
Someone searching for driveway repair—for example—might also search Driveway Paving Chicago.
WARNING: You might think that it’s OK to springboard into something like Driveway Pavers Chicago, but keep in mind that pavers and paving are two different things. One is a noun (a brick paver); the other is a verb (the action of paving). The SERP results may be a little mixed for both phrases due to the overlap between them. This isn’t always the end of the world, but you’ll likely want to consider other options first.
Consider Search Intent
Search intent is one of the most important things to remember about all SEO.
While a local keyword may seem perfect, the intent behind the search could curb your efforts.
For example, let’s recall our driveway repair scenario. Someone might be inclined to target a term like Asphalt Repair Chicago. At the time of this writing, this phrase yields many parking lot and commercial property services in the SERP. This isn’t the most ideal because I want to target residential users who own driveways.
You can also find yourself in hot water if you limit yourself to short-term phrases, such as Driveway Repair because it could yield DIY SERP results, as the search engine thinks this type of content is what will satisfy users who aren’t getting too specific with their requests.
Sometimes, taking on the location at the end of a term is all it takes to change the SERP and realign intent.
Local businesses want to capture audiences who have the intent to hire someone.
You will likely have to give up search volume for intent, but this is a sacrifice worth making if your goal is drive conversions.
Search the Terms Yourself
I’ve discussed it a few times already, but you want to manually search the keywords you’re considering into whichever search engine your users frequent.
See what comes up.
This is a great way to gauge intent and context on the terms before committing to them.
If other local services or a local map pack pop up, it is likely a great keyword to target. If blogs and DIY videos show up, you may need to adjust the keyword before adding it to your keyword target list.
How Logical Position Can Help
Here at Logical Position, we practice transparent, intent-based SEO and have years of experience across numerous industries. We provide our clients with real-time Livestream updates on deliverables, our efforts, and rankings for their local search engine optimization service campaigns.
Contact us today for more information and a free consultation on our local SEO services.