How to check what search terms are being used by potential local clients

Research is an important part of effective local optimization. At the base level you need to know if it’s worth your time and effort to even attack a niche and if you’ll ultimately survive as a business. Getting that data is sometimes hard for small, local businesses due to the lack of data at the micro level. But here’s one good strategy to gauge the demand for your services locally.

Google Insights is a valuable tool to study search trends. If you live in Canton Ohio like I do, getting data about your niche or industry is going to be difficult. But by using Google Insights for Search you can checkout the trends for larger cities in your region or even trends in large metro areas in New York City to get a good idea if you’re industry is on the rise or on the decline. You might even find out that searches are increasing in one region but not another.

For example, I’m working with a local furniture store. It’s hard to get data for furniture shopping in their area. It’s one store, in one city in Ohio.

But can we learn more about furniture shopping in Ohio or the country in general?

Searches for furniture stores New York: (Ouch!)

Searches for furniture store San Francisco: (Ouch!)

Searches for furniture store Chicago:

Searches for furniture store Cleveland:

Searches for furniture store Columbus Ohio:

Searches for furniture store Miami:

So what’s this all tell you? Well, it’s just an example and you would have to make your own observations. The important thing is that this is important data that you can use and apply to your own local campaigns and decisions.

What about another example? Maybe you’re thinking about getting involved with the tourist scene in New York City? Maybe developing the ultimate online about New York City Travel and tourism? Well, Google Insights can help you decide if this is a good decision or not?

Looking at these results I’m thinking that you should keep the business ideas flowing because it’s not looking so good for your start-up!

Searches for New York City Tourism:

Searches for New York City hotels:

Searches for New York City travel:

Searches for things to do in New York City:

Searches for sushi New York City:

Searches for best restaurant New York City:


Chris Auman is a veteran Internet marketer, website developer, and designer with over 20 years of experience in the trenches. As President and Senior Strategist at Sanctuary, Chris has successfully guided the online marketing efforts for companies large and small. Chris’ clients range from family owned & operated retail operations with a local footprint of 1-10 stores to multinational Fortune 500 companies.