Many local businesses are only interested in ranking in search results for their local city or region.

Google displays these localized search results in response to two types of queries:

Implicitly Local: if I search for “wrongful termination lawyer” or “best burritos”, it’s likely that I’m looking for a lawyer or a burrito in my area, so if Google knows my location they’ll boost results for my location.

Explicitly Local: if I search “wrongful termination lawyer SF” or “best burritos in San Diego”, I’m telling Google I definitely want local results, so they’ll give me only results for my location.

So if you would like to see how competitive your website would be for the localized search results in your city, the easiest way to do is to use an explicitly local keyword that includes the city name before or after your primary keyword, such as:

  • dentist philadelphia
  • seattle real estate
  • water park houston tx

The results for explicitly local search queries aren't always 100% identical to implicitly local search queries, but they are certainly close enough for our purposes of assessing your website's competitiveness and determining what you need to improve in order to rank better.

One final tip: make sure you also set your Country Preference correctly if you haven't already done so.