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One thing I’ve often wished that Google’s keyword research tool could do better was produce local keywords for better geo-targeting. While this is a weakness of Google’s tool, I’ve found another keyword research tool that specifically is useful for geo-targeting. It’s called Local Keyword Research Tool.

At first glance, the keyword tool should come in handy. You enter your ZIP code and a radius up to 100 miles (it is currently only useful in the U.S. and Canada). If you want to focus your efforts on a state-wide or regional geo-targeting campaign, then you can leave ZIP code and radius blank. That’s a nice feature.

Next, you’ll see check boxes with the following options:

  • Include Cities in Results
  • Include Cities + State Abbreviations in Results
  • Include Cities + State Names in Results
  • Include Zip Codes in Results
  • Include `Location Keyword` & `Keyword Location` in Results
  • Include all State Names in Locations
  • Include all State Abbreviations in Locations

Here’s my biggest beef with keyword research tools in general and this keyword research tool specifically. Why do you need “location keyword” and “keyword location” in your list? Organically, there’s very little difference. Technically, yes. But the spam effect of people who use keywords that way is tragic. Many of the permutations you receive through that kind of keyword generation are senseless. If you use that tool, then you’ll have to go through your keyword list manually and scratch out the gobbledy-gook. I’d like to see separate check boxes for those two options so you can choose one or the other, or neither.

After that you have a text box where you can enter your keywords one per line. I’d be careful with adding too many keywords. I’d suggest using maybe 5 or 10 and exporting the CSV file for each one. After all of your CSV files have been downloaded, then you can consolidate them.

The advance filtering options are stellar. You can delete cities you don’t want to target, remove ZIP codes, and add additional locations and/or permutations of your keywords. Another useful feature is the Reporting Options feature, which allows you to add wrapping, prefixes, and suffixes to your keywords list.

All in all, I’d say the Local Keyword Research Tool is a useful tool for the local SEO or the Internet marketer who targets local geo-targeted markets.

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