Keyword Research Tutorial For Local SEO

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This article will teach you exactly how to find keywords for your business using some local SEO keyword research techniques. 

Keyword research is straightforward if you have the right strategy, and that’s precisely what you will learn today.

Using these techniques can help you rank better on Google bringing in more local leads, customers, and sales to your website.

All right, let’s get started!

How To Do Local SEO Keyword Research The Right Way

All right, so the first thing you want to do is log in to Ahrefs.com. If you don’t have Ahrefs, they offer a 7-day trial for $7, which is worth it. 

Once logged in, you’re going to go to the keywords explorer page. 

keyword explore

The keyword explorer page allows you to search for keywords relevant to your industry and your location. 

Local businesses want to find out what people are searching for locally, right?

So what you can do is type in any relevant keywords for your business, and Ahrefs will give you a ton of information around that keyword.  

For example, let’s say you run a pizza restaurant in New York and you want to find unique keywords to rank for. 

You will type your industry in the keyword explorer in this example, I’m using (Pizza), and then the location (New York).

ahrefs keywords

If you’re in a different industry and location, change the words to suit your business location. 

After you have entered your keywords, hit enter or search. 

What you’re going to do is a dashboard that gives you a ton of information. Now, this can be overwhelming if you’ve never seen this before, but it’s pretty straightforward. 

keyword difficulty

Keyword Difficulty

Although there’s a lot of data in the dashboard, you only need to focus on a few key figures. The first one is keyword difficulty. 

Keyword difficulty will range from 0 to 100 in Ahrefs. 100 is the highest, meaning it’s the most competitive keywords to rank for, while zero will be the easiest. 

As you can see, (Pizza New York) has a KD of 59, which will be pretty difficult to rank for. I usually wouldn’t recommend going for anything above keyword difficulty 20. 

Ideally, you will want to try and target keywords with a keyword difficulty under 10. 

Why is that? 

You want to pick your battles with keyword difficulty. The goal is to find low difficulty keywords that you have a chance to rank for.

So, the lower the keyword difficulty, the easier it is to rank your website on Google. 

Keyword Volume

The next thing you need to pay attention to is keyword volume. 

search volume

What does volume mean? 

Well, this is the monthly number of searches for this particular keyword. 

So you can see this particular keyword gets four thousand two hundred searches per month. In reality, it will be much higher because there will be several different variations of this keyword. 

What do I mean by that? 

If Ahrefs says it’s four thousand two hundred searches, there’s probably something crazy like 40000. 

Think of all the different variations of that keyword, such as pizza near me, best pizza in New York, biggest pizza in New York, etc.

Check out the image below to see what I mean. You can see these by clicking on the Matching terms tab on the left-hand side menu. 

phrase match

Matching Terms

Now, what else can we see with matching terms? 

Well, you can see all sorts of relevant keywords to your industry based on what you initially searched. 

You could potentially rank for all of these keywords as well when targeting the original keyword. 

You can see the keyword difficulty ranging from 0 to 100. The search volume for the matching terms and the number of clicks that keyword gets. 

I recommend filtering down the KD using the filter tabs first. Click the KD tab and enter 20 into the max column.

keyword difficulty

Why is that? 

Well, it makes finding more accessible keywords to rank for much simpler. And like I said, you’ve got to pick your battles here. 

So you want to go for keywords that are low in difficulty and easy to write articles for. 

As you will see, some of these keywords are branded—for example, Domino’s Pizza, Johnny’s Pizza, etc.

It’s going to be very hard for you to write an article on Domino’s Pizza or any brand term. 

It’s likely to be copyrighted as well, right? The same goes with Johnny’s pizza, but we can filter out the other keywords that you can go after. 

A few good keywords from the list would be:

  • Vegan pizza
  • Margherita pizza
  • Giant New York pizza

Just go through the list and pick out the keywords that are relevant to you. 

Manual Filtering Process

Now, you should create a Google sheet that you can add all of your keyword data. It will help you track the keywords that you want to rank.

local SEO keyword research

You want to think about the keyword intent before putting them on the list. A keyword with a buyer’s intent is perfect. 

What I mean by this is, if someone types a particular keyword into Google, what are they looking for?

Is it relevant to you? Is it going to lead to more customers and more sales? 

For example, let’s take the keyword vegan pizza. If you supply vegan pizza, then that’s a great keyword to target. 

Deep dish pizza is another keyword if you’re supplying deep dish pizzas from your pizza restaurant, and that’s also a great keyword to go after and rank. 

Let’s take this keyword and put it into Google.

google maps ranking

The first thing you will see is the Google map of pizzerias in the area. You can check out a video I did on how to rank number 1 using Google Maps below. 

Further down the page, you will also see who’s ranked number one in the reviews section.

You’ll also see the People Also Ask section. Finally, you have the top ten ranking sites for that keyword listed as usual. 

review ranking
people also ask

The whole reason behind keyword research is to appear in these search results. 

Anyways, let’s keep going through the keyword list. 

Low Search Volumes

Now, I would say that you may see some of the search volumes are low for particular keywords. 

Right now, I wouldn’t worry too much about that because usually, on Ahrefs, the search volume for each keyword is much lower than we expect. 

So if you see that just 100 people are searching for a particular keyword, the actual reality could be there are thousands. 

Remember, there are probably ten different variations of that keyword, and also, Ahrefs grossly underestimates the number of searches for that keyword.

So it would be safe to say there are probably more than 100 people searching for that term on Google each month. 

Whatever industry you’re in, you can replicate this same keyword research strategy for your business. 

Ideally, you want about 50 keywords in your list. That way, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to pick and choose between. You can narrow down and focus on the most relevant to you and create a tailor-made list for your business.

Variations

You could do other variations of the location if you felt the need. So, for example, pizza in Manhattan. 

matching terms ahrefs

Don’t forget to check the search intent on Google to see what comes up as well. 

google top ten search

If you deliver pizza to Manhattan or if your restaurant is around that location, you know there will be even more opportunities or keywords to go after. 

You could keep playing around with these location keywords as much as you like. Choose different streets or different areas of New York, for example. 

Find any variations that you can and add them to your list. 

Review Your List

Once you’ve created your list of keywords, copy it, go back over to Ahrefs.

Enter a keyword from your list, such as vegan pizza New York and get the overview for that keyword. 

SEO keyword research

Ask yourself, can I realistically rank for this keyword? Is it relevant to my business? Should I spend a lot of time trying to rank for it? 

Well, you can see the keyword difficulty is a 1, so chances are, yes. 

This will be an excellent opportunity for your business if you offer vegan pizzas in the New York area. 

Investigate all of your keywords and variations to create a bulletproof content plan. Don’t forget to look at your competitor’s keywords and see what they are ranking for in the SERPS. 

Look At Your Competitors

By looking at your competitors, you can see where they are ranking, how many backlinks they have, and how much traffic they get from that keyword. 

Also, investigate the content that they’re using to rank. You can see if they are ranking using a review article such as a top 10 list. 

You might want to reach out to them and say:

Hey, I’m a restaurant that sells vegan pizza in New York. Would you mind putting me on your top 10 list? You’re welcome to come and have a look at the restaurant and check it out. 

Look to see if your competitors are on Yelp. If so, it’s worth getting your website listed on Yelp. 

Outreach

Finally, you should reach out to all of the blogs that have a top list of restaurants and say, Hey, would you mind including us on your list? 

I have no expectations, but we make great pizza. You might want to come up with a restaurant. You’re always welcome. 

And if you think we’re good enough, would you mind including us on the list? 

There You Have It

Now you know the basics when it comes to doing your keyword research for local SEO. 

By following these simple steps, you should be well on the way to outranking your competitors in no time. 

Once you have created a 50-100 keywords list, you will need to implement a content strategy around those keywords. 

Lastly, we’ve helped hundreds of websites like yours improve their rankings with SEO. 

Don’t forget to book your free consultation session, where I will be happy to discuss how we can help you grow your website.