More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
Reaction score
Google has a HOT new LOCAL keyword research tool called the Keyword Planner.
It shows detailed keyword analysis by city.

The LOCAL keyword research you can do now is pretty amazing! This post will show you why, now that you have a tool, you should be doing research by city to find out how people actually search for that product/service in that part of the country!

In addition to showing you screenshots of the Keyword Planner in action - used for LOCAL research
I'm going to show you some research that points to very specific local keyword theories we've discussed here that answer important local KW questions.

Below I'll show insights that highlight:

.:. How search volume can differ based on the GEO region
.:. How keyword with no GEO modifier is usually significantly higher in search volume
.:. Whether more people search for City Keyword or Keyword City (varies by location and KW)
.:. How for some KWs plural gets more searches with LESS competition

Ready. Set. Go. Let the screenshots begin. (At bottom of each screenshot I annotate highlights for points I want to illustrate with each example









PLURALS - The Local Longtail you Can't Forget to Target

This one also illustrates something I teach in my Local SEO course. For certain search terms MORE search for plurals yet there is far less competition for plurals typically. So it's an easy win.




plumbers san diego 480 searches (More searches)
plumber san diego 390 searches

"plumbers san diego" 169,000 competing (1/2 the competition!)
"plumber san diego" 384,000 competing

This tool also helps to answer a very important question we've discussed many times.

Do more people search keyword only, city keyword or keyword city?

The answer is - it depends on the KW and location. TEST IT!

So there you have it. Just a few juicy examples of why it can pay to do LOCAL KW research to discover what types of searches are most popular in certain markets.

Here's an article from Search Engine Land with more info about the new Google Keyword Planner:
How to Use The Keyword Planner ? The New Keyword Tool From Google AdWords

Questions? Comments?

Like it? Please share it! This is new info I don't believe anyone else has discussed in terms of the impact for LOCAL search.





Colan sent me this post. Thanks for posting this Linda. I never even checked out the Planner when it came out so I'm glad you alerted me :)
Holy [BLEEP]. That is great news - but doesn't come a moment too soon. The lack of location-specific KW data has been a burr in my saddle for years now. Thanks for the intel, Linda!
Brilliant! I had a look at the Planner a couple of days ago but your insight above Linda has just made everything much clearer.

Just wonder how accurate it is, with the continued rising effect of "not provided". Still it's a lot better than a whole bunch of nothing, which is effectively what we had before :)
Thanks Cagro and welcome to our community!

Just wonder how accurate it is, with the continued rising effect of "not provided". Still it's a lot better than a whole bunch of nothing, which is effectively what we had before :)

My guess is "not provided" means they aren't telling us in analytics because they don't want individual site owners to see their all their specific keyword drivers.

But GOOGLE knows what those numbers are! She tracks everything! And I think it's likely they share the aggregate numbers in a tool like this to benefit Adwords clients.

Not saying it's totally accurate or comprehensive. BUT even if they hold back some on the counts, I think it should be fairly accurate for KW comparisons - like does plural get more searches or attorney vs lawyer or NYC vs New York City, etc.
Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this. This confirms what you've always said was your suspicion, in many cases people search city first, then keyword. I do think I've seen an uptick in searches in several clients since we made that adjustment, so thank you again!
I've been using a workaround for years that's similar to this:

And you can still use this to get your variations quickly.

Keyword Lizard, the Free AdWords Keyword Combination Tool!

And I'm sure there are many others allows you to enter your niche keywords in column A and Geo modifiers in column B and choose the combinations you want it to create.

Saves me a LOT of time from typing out individually.

I typically use City, City with State Abbreviation, City with State spelled out and In in front of each of the above (ex: San Diego, San Diego CA, San Diego California, in San Diego, in San Diego CA and in San Diego California)

The shorter the state name the more you see it used, but typically the results come back with just city having the highest search volume followed by City + State Abb and City + State Spelled Out last.

I also put in the top 5 or so national exact match results in the 1st column to get each combination on the local level.

I'll have to see how this matches up with the data that AdWords outputs in this new Planner.

Thanks for bringing to our attn Linda!

BTW - Just me or was the Dentist example listed twice?
BTW - Just me or was the Dentist example listed twice?

Dang you're right! Created a dupe and didn't catch it.
(Google must be rubbing off on me!)

That 2nd Dentist image was supposed to be "Chicago Dentist" for contrast and to show a couple other things. So fixed now. Thanks for catching!
Great stuff Linda
I've been tinkering with this tool since I stumbled on the post a few days ago.
Thanks for your special insight Linda
Am I reading this correctly? In the past I've used tools like SEMRUSH to provide keyword research- knowing that SEMRUSH's data is lower than actual numbers.

But I didn't think it was this off!
The keyword "dentist charlotte nc" averages 9,900 searches each month????


No I think something is wack with the Google tool settings. Maybe you have it set to pull results for any of the KWs or something?

Plus the screenshot you show looks like the regular G KW tool not the new Planner I showed?
If there was a way to like this post more than once I sure would!! I didn't pay attention to this gem when it came out....and thank YOU for pointing it out to us!! LOVE this!

I figured out why the data was so high. Even though I was entering the keywords as exact match - [charlotte dentist], the results were broad match.

You have be sure and select which match type you want.

Still looks like you are in the regular KW tool not the new Planner which is the subject of this post and has additional local benefits. (But maybe you are just in a different part of the planner but the screenshots look like different tools.)
In the immortal words of Roseanne Roseannadanna...

Never mind!

Gotcha. Long long day, week, year. :D
Now that we can do KW Research by City or even sub-regions within a state, does anyone know of a good 500-1000 KW industry list that would be suitable to run through this tool in order to do general search market research customized to an individual or client's specific location?

My hope would be that this would begin to show where certain regional industries could benefit from improved seo, and where other advertising mediums might be useful to bring people to other industry's content if they don't know to search for it or search for it significantly less.
Is this tool not working right now, or perhaps, am I missing a step? Linda - I am replicating your searches like 'atlanta personal injury attorney' and getting totally irrelevant results like 'chicago person injury attorney' and 'california personal injury attorney'. Driving me crazy because I really wanted to use this tool today.

Am I missing a step?

Here's what I'm doing:

- Signing into adwords

- Selecting 'Keyword Planner' from the toolbar

- In the targeting box, I'm adding a geo term for my client (East Haven, Connecticut)

- In the 'your product or service box', I'm adding 'accountant' as this is my client's core category.

-However, the results I'm getting for this do not reflect East Haven in any way, or any other city name. They are totally generic, like 'accounting firms' with an avg. monthly search of 10???

- I am on the 'Keyword Ideas' tab, just to confirm.

So, I'm just not getting anything 'local' out of this, and as I've said, when I tried to duplicate Linda's results, mine are not at all like hers in the screenshot.

What am I missing? Any feedback would be so helpful! Thanks, guys!
Hi Miriam,

I've been playing around with this tool quite a bit today too and I did see something similar to what you are describing. I've found that some cities may have very low searches and don't display the city at all, but when you open it up to the nearest large city, you get some data.

I also seem to have better luck typing in 'accountant Connecticut, accounting firm Connecticut' and a string of other keywords used with the location. If you click back and forth between the keyword ideas and adgroup idea tabs, sometimes you'll see some keyword variations with your city name and if you click that ad group, you'll find your keywords.

I've started to do research with this tool both ways just in case - once with a string of keywords + city and once with just the keywords.

Hope that helps and doesn't sound too confusing!

---------- Post Merged at 03:21 PM ---------- Previous Post was at 03:19 PM ----------

Oh, also when you're looking at the keywords window, be sure you're not on the second or third page. At one point I thought "where are all the searches" and then I realized I was on page 3 of the keyword results. I went back to 1 and there they were!

Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

Live Webinar - Local SEO Audits

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom