Using Local Keywords For Higher Ranking On Google

Setting your goal on ranking in maps and in the top-3 for some great local searches

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Last updated on October 19, 2023

It’s crucial to understand the importance of local keywords for your business. Did you know that a significant portion of people searching for local businesses on their phones will call or visit within 24 hours of finding them online?

Imagine the potential increase in foot traffic to your business by having the right local keywords in place. These keywords can drive physical visits to your business, leading to an impressive ROI that can’t be achieved through other means.

While local keywords may not show the same level of clicks as other high-ranking keywords in your statistics, their impact on sales far outweighs the lower number of visits. Make sure to include local keywords in your SEO strategy for maximum results.

Using Local Keywords For Higher Ranking On Google

Researching Local Keywords

You can start by looking at your current website statistics to see which local keywords are already driving business. For example, if you run a seafood restaurant in Daytona Beach, you might already be ranking for phrases like “seafood Daytona Beach” or “seafood restaurant Daytona.”

These local keywords are likely already included in your website’s content, so now it’s time to find additional phrases to target. By adding related and similar local keywords to your website, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience, as you’ll be relevant for a wider range of local keyword searches.

How To Search For Related Phrases

When searching for local keywords, you can start with a tool like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, and aHrefs.

These tools will show you loads of associated terms that can be added to your website to generate more local traffic.

You do not have to restrict yourself to just one city or location. For example, Daytona Beach is Daytona Beach (the island side) and Daytona (the mainland side.) You could use local terms like beachside Daytona, mainland Daytona, or even Volusia County.

The results may have low traffic volumes, but when you consider the conversion rate these local terms offer, it is well worth using them within your content.

Check The Competition For Local Keywords

Use the aHrefs to check what local keywords your competitors are ranking for.

Copy the domain for your competitor’s site and enter it into the tool.

It will bring up the list of keywords the site ranks with.

Use this to your advantage. Sort them and add the most appropriate ones to your local keyword list.

Set Your Goal To Make The 3 Pack (MAPS)

In the past, search engines would generate results based on relevancy for keywords alone.

If you searched “seafood restaurant,” you could get results in California, Nebraska, and Washington DC as your top results, even though you were sitting on the beach in Florida.

Google changed the algorithm and now ranks on local relevance before all other listings.

This is a good thing for businesses and the people searching.

It’s a real opportunity for local businesses to optimize their websites with quality local keywords to pull in these leads.

The ultimate goal is to make it to the Google 3-Pack.

The Map 3-pack might be the Holy Grail of local search because these three positions generate the most clicks in any search.

Three Steps To Picking The Right Local Keywords

Now that you can see the importance of ranking for local search, the next step is finding the right keywords.

The three-step approach works best:

  1. Identify Common Phrases
  2. Go Next Level With Descriptive Words
  3. Make These Keywords Local

Identify Common Phrases

What do your customers think of when they think of your business or service?

These are the types of keywords that you want.

Make a list of relevant keywords that you think your customers would use. Sticking to the seafood restaurant example, you may choose:

  • seafood restaurant
  • shrimp dinner
  • surf and turf

Go To The Next Level With Descriptions

Take those keywords that you like and get more descriptive:

  • fresh seafood restaurant
  • best lobster restaurant
  • seafood restaurant near the beach

Give Your Keywords a Location

Most people search for businesses close to where they live and work, so add these city names to your search phrases.

  • Fresh seafood Daytona Beach
  • Seafood restaurant Daytona Fl
  • Seafood near Daytona

If you have special services, like outdoor dining, happy hour, or delivery services, you also want to use these as keywords with your location.

Include this as a keyword if you are near a particular venue, such as a convention center or tourist attraction. For example: “seafood restaurant near the convention center.”

Note: Nearly 90 percent who do a phone search will start with a “near me” search or a “near (name of location)” search.

Give Yourself An Advantage Over Similar Businesses

Now that you have improved all your keywords to make them rank high in local search, you can do a few other things to help you reach the 3-Pack position.

Algorithms for local search are constantly changing. Google does this to keep its content fresh and relevant. But a few things help you rank high regardless of the new algorithms.

Google My Business

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to have your company listed with Google My Business. This is an essential marketing tool that must always be noticed.

Businesses with a Google My Business profile will consistently rank higher in any search than companies that do not take advantage of this free service.

Locally Focused Content

You need to have content on your site that is locally themed.
Depending on your industry, you could do anything from a Fun Facts page to a local calendar of events.

Write content that will draw local-based attention and will let you naturally include the name of the city or areas where your business is located.

Brand Mentions From Authority Sites

Make sure you are taking advantage of different ways to boost brand recognition.

Yelp reviews, Facebook postings, and even a mention in your local networking group website can all boost your rankings.

Don’t forget to “mark” your business location on Google Maps. Google Maps helps you rank higher and helps your customers find you.

Reviews Do Matter

If someone tells you that the reviews posted online do not matter, they are lying.
85% of all people will read the reviews of a company BEFORE they decide if they will use their product or service.

Make sure that you have reviews posted for people to see.

If you get a bad review – they do happen – make sure that you respond promptly.

Many people will remove the bad review if they feel that they have been heard.
If they do not, your customers can see that you responded with kindness, and many will overlook the bad review.

Always Monitor Your Keywords

Local keywords are essential. However, just like industry-specific keywords, things change with time.
Monitoring your keywords and their performance is the best way to get maximum results.

Wrapping It Up

Here’s the deal: when people search for local businesses on their phones, they’re likely to visit or call within 24 hours of finding them online. So, if you’re not optimizing your website with the right local keywords, you’re missing out on some major foot traffic and sales.

Don’t be fooled by low traffic volumes regarding local keywords. They might not have as many clicks as those high-ranking, broad keywords, but they’re way more effective in generating sales.

So, ensure you include local keywords in your SEO strategy for maximum results.

Now, the question is, how do you find the right local keywords? Start by looking at your website stats to see which keywords are already driving business. Then, use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMRush, or aHrefs to find related phrases you can add to your website to reach a wider audience.

Remember to check out your competitors’ keywords and use them to your advantage.

Your goal? To make it to the Google 3-Pack, baby! That’s where you’ll get the most clicks and visibility on local search results.

To get there, you need to identify common phrases, get descriptive with your keywords, and add your location to everything.

But wait, there’s more! You can give yourself an edge over similar businesses by taking advantage of Google My Business, creating locally focused content, getting brand mentions from authority sites, and of course, getting those sweet reviews.

Oh, and always monitor your keywords because things change fast in this game.

So, there you have it, folks. Get those local keywords in order, and watch your biz grow like crazy.

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