Before we get into the tools, I want to do a quick overview of why it’s important to have a local strategy. SEO, at its core, is about helping the engines better understand your site's content in order to deliver that content to the right person, at the right time. With local SEO, this premise is still true, but throw in the added urgency of a local prospect needing your services near them and often times fast. For local businesses this has huge implications. With the increase of mobile searchers, a great local SEO strategy can set your business apart from the competition.
So let’s take a look at a few awesome tools you can use today, for free!
Ever wonder where your company is actually listed online? Moz, the leader in search marketing, acquired this awesome tool and made some great UX improvements. This great tool will pull your company's data and look to see where you are listed in the most influential business directories online. Just knowing where you are is great, but as G.I JOE taught us “Knowing is Half the Battle.”
Moz local also gives other great info that is very helpful for businesses looking to improve their local search marketing efforts. The overall score is based on 4 main areas; Complete, Incomplete, Inconsistent and Duplicates.
Complete shows all of the listings your company has online. The visual graph is very helpful to understand where your business can improve.
The Incomplete tap shows where you are missing information and on what listing. By taking the advice given, you can improve that listing, which in return will improve your listing's visibility.
The inconsistent tab shows where your listings have conflicting information. Maybe you updated your phone number on one listing, but your old number is still on other listings. This will show you where you still need to update information so people can contact you.
Duplicates will show where you have 2 listings in one directory. Duplicate listings are very bad and can been seen as spam to the search engines. Removing the duplicate is extremely important when it comes to local SEO.
With the rise of the social media era, more and more local businesses are getting on board with social media marketing. For a number of small businesses, social media can be frustrating. You may be wondering what social has to do with local SEO. Well, a lot. Google announced earlier this year that tweets will be integrated into search. (Read More Here) This means if Google thinks your tweet is the best option for the searcher, they will rank it in the results.
For local businesses this can be very useful. In order to make sure you are targeting your buyers you need to be on the same page as them. Trendsmap is a free social media marketing tool that shows you real-time Twitter trends. What makes it really awesome is you can narrow your search down locally and see what people around you are tweeting. This insight can give you content ideas as well as help your business connect with local prospects.
This tool may be my new favorite. Getting reviews is so important for any local SEO strategy. A study done just one year ago found that 88% of people trust online reviews just as must as a personal recommendation. (Read that study here) Reviews are huge. The issue many local businesses run into is actually getting reviews. Unfortunately, you are more likely to get a bad review than than a good one. So take action and make it simple for your satisfied customers to leave you a good review. This awesome tool will generate a customized review sheet you can hand out to your customers. It gives clear instructions on how to leave the review on Google via desktop, mobile or a tablet device. They make it so simple, why wouldn’t you do this? And, it’s totally free.
Don’t build your local SEO strategy alone. With so many great resources out there to take advantage of, the only thing left is for you to take action. If you are a local business owner looking for a way to grow your reputation online and bring in more new local clients, these 3 awesome tools will help you do just that.
Looking to build a strong SEO foundation? Download this free SEO checklist today. This checklist helps you ensure that your site is fully optimized for search marketing. Not to mention, it’s also free!
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