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The simplest ways to do local keyword research

By Alexandra Gavril - March 10, 2014

Since the Venice update, local keywords research has been a hassle. Sure, you could still use the Google Keyword Tool to find out search volumes for keywords with Geo Modifiers such as “City Name +Keyword” but is that enough to get the data you need?

The Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a much better solution as it combines the data from the Keyword Tool and Traffic Estimator thus providing you with a more complete and accurate data.

Start with some local research

The first thing you should do is do some research in your niche. Here are a few nice and simple tools you could use to get some keyword ideas:

  • Local Marketing Source’s Keyword Research Tool – This will help you get an idea of surrounding areas you want to focus on
  • Google Autocomplete – This can also be a good tool when conducting local keyword research as it gives you a list of keyword variations based on the keyword you typed in.
  • Google Analytics – There’s no better data like your own data. So, check you Analytics and see which local keywords are already bringing traffic to your site. Use these keywords to increase your visibility as they’re already performing well and getting results.

Getting started with the Google AdWords Keyword Planner

You probably already have a Google account so just login to the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.

Google AdWords Keyword Planner

Add your keywords

Now just click on “Search for new keyword and ad group ideas” and then add your researched keywords and variations in the box below.

Google AdWords Adding Keywords

For our example, we’re going to focus on “car repair” which means we’ll include variations like:

  • car repair
  • car mechanics
  • auto repair
  • car servicing repair

Choose your location

Google AdWords Choose Location

Under “Targeting” you can choose your location or the cities you want to research. This allows you to find out how many people in a specific city or surrounding area are searching for your keywords. So, simply add the cities you want to focus on…

… and then click on “Get Ideas”.

Get Ideas

This will return the data you were searching for. You should see your ideas in the Keyword Ideas tab…

Google AdWords Keyword Ideas

… and if you scroll down, you’ll see Google’s suggestions – keywords that the search engine believes are relevant to your search terms.

Google AdWords relevant search terms

What next…

Well, now that you have all this data, start using it to target your campaigns towards cities where you know search volumes already exist and try to increase visibility for your business.

Another great thing you can do is to start developing awesome content using those keywords, thus making it easier for potential customers to find you online through those long tail searches. Not to mention that using those keywords will help you to create that kind of content that your audience is actually interested in.

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