Are you planning to launch a new website? Is your current website not generating the traffic you want? For both situations, researching what keywords to optimize your website for is one of the most important tasks you’ll face.
If you’ve done it before, you know just how much work goes into researching the right keywords to target. If your business has a physical location, or more than one, then you need to focus on finding the right local keywords.
Thankfully, there are many local SEO keyword research tools to help.
So, What Is the Best Keyword Research Tool?
We’ve found that the “best” keyword tool depends heavily on your needs. Every business or SEO agency all has different workflows, budgets, personal preferences, experiences, industries, and so on. As a result, determining the best for you is more subjective and circumstantial.
However, in general, a good keyword research tool will have a baseline of features to help your business plan a campaign:
- Look up search volumes by keyword and location
- Show you keyword ideas based on other keywords you look for
- Show you what keywords your website and/or your competitor’s website get traffic from
- Show search volume trends over time
When you’re planning a local SEO campaign, knowing what keywords you should be targeting is crucial. You can see what your competitors targeted to reverse engineer their strategy. You can also know how to optimize your local landing pages to rank and convert better in your market.
Local Keyword Research Tools
Here is a list of the 15 best local keyword research tools we’ve used. We recommend that you pick a few that sound the most promising for your needs to research them in depth, and try some demos.
One of the oldest and biggest SEO tools out there, Ahrefs’ Keyword Explorer tool is a great start for beginners. You can access tens of thousands of keywords in its database from 171 countries and 10 search engines. They include Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, and more.
You can find phrase matches, search suggestions, newly discovered keywords, question-based keywords. It also includes difficulty score to show you how competitive a keyword is, and a SERP overview to show you the intent behind specific keywords.
SEMRush might be the best keyword research tool you will find, but it is also the most expensive. It includes a topic research feature, keyword suggestion tool, long-tail keyword tool, and content idea generator. It is simply more comprehensive and in-depth than any others.
For your local SEO campaign, you can do a keyword search by location in very narrow geographic areas, including smaller cities. For beginners, it includes an SEO Content Template to give you a head start on writing localized content for your landing pages.
Keyword Tool is most effective as a research tool for keywords and topics based on Google’s auto-suggest feature in searches. It does not require a subscription to use, making it one of the best free keyword research tools you will find.
However, in order to access some of the features — such as search volume, competitiveness, and trends — you will need to upgrade to a paid plan. It’s other calling card is the ability to find keyword ideas by search platform. That’s a great feature when planning your local SEO campaign across multiple platforms.
4. Keyword Keg
Keyword Keg is made up of 5 keyword tools, all mostly geared towards research. You can use them to enter your core keywords and receive thousands of new suggestions sorted by various SEO metrics.
For local SEO, you can filter them by country and add localized keywords to the core set you use in your searches. Another very tool can scrape Google’s “people also ask for…” SERP feature for related queries.
KW Finder is a more specialized tool for keyword research. It’s excellent for finding long-tail keywords that are easier to rank for than higher volume but more competitive seed keywords. It’s also arguably the best free local keyword tool for your research.
You can find excellent quality-related keywords to your search that has a strong semantic connection. It estimates search volume, cost per click, volume trends, and SERP insights on what already ranks. You can filter down your results to be hyper-local according to city and region.
Moz’s Keyword Explorer is very similar to Ahrefs’ tool of the same name. It is an exhaustive tool that covers all the basics and necessities you would need. You can either find keywords based on some you search for, or enter a URL to see what keywords are ranking.
The latter is a great way to find keywords your competitor has optimized for that you haven’t. You can access search volume, save lists, export data, and more. For local SEO campaigns, you can find keywords in question-based queries and analyze the current SERP rankings in your market.
Google Search Console is a free-to-use tool that is effective for analyzing your current website. Once you connect your domain, you can use it to see what keywords your pages are being shown for. It includes average position, click rate, total impressions and clicks for each page.
You can also see each of those metrics trending over time, and filter the results by domain, page, device, and city.
8. Keyword Sheeter (formerly Keyword Shitter)
Keyword Sheeter is a useful and free tool to find new keywords to target in your local SEO campaign. You can add positive and negative filters and add geographic words to find localized ideas. It is straightforward to use, but also not as comprehensive or sophisticated as others on this list.
For example, you cannot organize the keywords after you get the results. You will have to do that manually. For a quick brainstorming session to get your keyword research started, however, it can be useful.
Answer the Public looks slick and has handy features geared towards topic research. It focuses on the questions that people ask based on the topics and keywords you enter. It includes the standard set of metrics with the suggestions it shows you, such as search volume and competition.
For customer insight into your market, it can be advantageous when planning your local SEO campaign. It is excellent for planning blog content, for example. However, you do need to have a paid plan to access local-specific results.
For any local PPC campaign you are planning, one of the oldest keyword research tools can also still be very useful. If you have an AdWords account with Google, you can access their Keyword Planner tool. It lets you find search volumes of keywords you search for or find new ones based on core keywords you add.
It lets you find volumes and suggestions based on local markets you set in the filters, and segment by desktop vs. mobile. You can even add keywords you find to your account when making a new campaign. Or, you can export results to a spreadsheet to target in your localized pages.
11. Google Trends
Google Trends is a free tool that doesn’t require you to register. You can select the market or location you want, and add up to 5 keywords. It will show you the search volume and trend data for those keywords in your chosen market.
It does also have related topics and queries in the results, but they are far more limited than other tools listed here. This tool is good to narrow your core keywords down to the local language choice. For example, does your market search more for luggage or suitcase?
Keywords Everywhere is a very intuitive keyword research tool. It is a plug-in you can add to your browser (Chrome or Firefox), rather than a full platform. It doesn’t have a lot of features, but it does the necessary work of finding keyword volume and suggestions superbly.
It works very simply: you install the plug-in, and when you search it will show you related keywords and “people also searched for…” data. That data is shown on the same search results page, which you can then export into a CSV. Use it for local searches to see what new keywords you can find!
Soovle is a free research tool that uses the auto-suggestion feature in multiple search engines to find new keyword opportunities. You can pull data from Google, YouTube, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon, Wikipedia, and more. You can conduct your search by the source to find the results for that platform.
Use it with local keywords to see how you can optimize your website for local searches across multiple local search platforms.
Ubersuggest is a simple but effective tool. You enter a keyword, or a website, and see what suggestions it churns out. You can narrow the search by country or region, and then export the very long list into a spreadsheet.
We recommend you run that list through something like Google’s Keyword Planner to see the search volume and competitiveness data. It will help you find the right longtail and local keywords to target in your campaign.
15. Google (Autocomplete, PAA boxes & Related Searches)
Many of these tools work by scraping the results that appear in Google’s searches. If you need something quick and simple, you can always go right to the source. You can start writing a core keyword into the search bar and see what the auto-complete suggests.
You also can see the related searches list at the bottom of the page, or the “people also searched for…” list of questions. These are good to use at the start of your keyword research period so you can find as many variations and new ideas based on your core keywords.
Researching keywords, topics, and content ideas can be a long and gruelling task. Thankfully, these tools listed above help you make it easier than ever to manage every step of the job. You can find new ideas, search volumes, pick keywords to target based on competitiveness, and more.
Depending on the nature and scope of your local SEO campaign, you can pick the tool that suits your needs the most. Find one that helps you find local content ideas for blogging, or to optimize your location landing pages. There are tons of tools to try, many of them are free and the rest usually have a free or affordable demo!