Looking to increase your local business visibility? In this blog, we're featuring our favorite local SEO tools. We use these tools in our agency to help our clients attract customers online and maximize their digital marketing efforts.
We have 10+ years of experience serving local businesses, so we've tested a lot of local SEO tools.
If you get one thing from this article, it is that you don't need a lot of tools to manage and track your SEO; you just need the right tools.
Keep reading to learn which local SEO tools have the best ROI (many of them are free!)
When building a great local SEO strategy, the right tools must be used. Not having a local SEO tool kit is like trying to cut down a tree without an axe. You can try karate chopping it all you want, but the only thing you'll get is a broken hand.
Local SEO takes a unique strategy. Having tools to tackle it specifically will not only save you time but also increase the effectiveness of your strategy. This isn't a comprehensive list, just 7 essential tools that do what they say they will.
Before we get into the tools, I want quickly review why it's crucial to have a local strategy. SEO, at its core, is about helping search engines better understand your site's content to deliver that content to the right person at the right time. With local SEO, this premise is still valid, but with the urgency of a local prospect needing your services near them - fast. For local businesses, this has enormous implications. Especially given the increase in mobile searchers, a great local SEO strategy can set your business apart from the competition.
So let's look at a few awesome tools you can use today to get more visibility for your local business!
Ever wonder where your company is listed online? Moz, the leader in search marketing, acquired GetListed.org and made some significant UX improvements. This tool will pull your company's data and see where you are listed in the most prominent directories online. Just knowing where your business citations live is excellent, but as G.I. JOE taught us, "Knowing is Half the Battle."
Moz Local also gives helpful information for businesses looking to improve their local search marketing efforts. The overall score is based on four main areas; Complete, Incomplete, Inconsistent, and Duplicates.
Complete shows all listings your company has online. The visual graph is very helpful in understanding where your business can improve.
The Incomplete tab shows where you are missing information and on what listing. By implementing the recommendations, you can improve that listing, which 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 the information so people can contact you.
Duplicates will show where you have 2 listings in one directory. Duplicate listings are very bad and can be seen as spam by search engines. Removing duplicates is extremely important when it comes to local SEO.
More and more local businesses are getting on board with social media marketing. However, for many small businesses, social media can be frustrating. You may be wondering what social has to do with local SEO. Well, a lot. Google announced a few years ago that tweets will be integrated into search results. This means if Google thinks your tweet is the best option for the searcher, it will rank it in the results.
For local businesses, this can be very useful. 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 remarkable is you can narrow your search down locally and see what people around you are tweeting. This insight can give you content ideas and helps your business connect with local prospects.
SEMrush is a powerful marketing tool that helps businesses improve their online visibility. One of the key features of SEMrush is the listing management tool, which enables you to track your business listings on various online directories and platforms. Like Moz Local, this tool can be beneficial in keeping your business's information up-to-date and accurate. It can also help you spot potential errors or problems with your online listings. If you want to improve your online presence, SEMrush's listing management tool is worth considering.
Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business, helps local businesses connect with potential customers online. When you claim and set up your Google Business Profile, you add your contact information, hours of operation, and more. Name, address, and phone number (NAP) information helps customers find the businesses they're looking for via Google Maps and makes connecting with you easier.
GBP also allows you to post photos, videos, and updates to help customers learn more about what you offer. In addition, you can use your business profile to respond to customer reviews and messages. This enables you to build trust and credibility with potential customers, leading to more business. Overall, Google Business Profile is a must-have tool for local brick-and-mortar businesses looking to connect with potential customers online through Google Search and Maps.
Check out our complete Guide to Optimizing Your Google Business Profile!
This tool is one of my all-time favorites. Getting customer reviews is so essential for any local SEO strategy. BrightLocal's 2002 consumer review survey found that 81% of people evaluate a local business online and 77% of those surveyed 'always' or 'regularly' read reviews when browsing for local businesses. Reviews are huge. The issue many local companies run into is actually getting reviews. Unfortunately, you are more likely to get a bad review than a good one.
So take action and make it simple for your satisfied customers to leave you a good review. Whitespark will generate a customized link you can send to your customers to leave Google reviews.
Whitespark also offers a local rank tracker so you can see at a glance how your business ranks against your competitors in the local packs, maps, and organic results.
Google Search Console is a free tool that helps businesses and website owners track their site's performance in Google search results. It also provides valuable insights into improving your website to rank higher in search results.
For local businesses, Search Console can be instrumental in helping to track how well your site is performing in local search results. Local search uses different ranking factors than regular web search, so it's important to track your progress and ensure your site is optimized for local search.
Search Console can help you do this by providing data on your site's click-through rate (CTR) in local search results and the average position of your listings. This data can help you understand your search performance and identify areas where you can improve.
Search Console also provides insights into the search queries driving organic traffic to your site. This information helps you understand what people search for when they find your site in search results. It will also help you identify target keywords to improve your site's search rankings.
In addition to tracking your website's performance, Google Search Console can help you troubleshoot any errors that may impact your site. This includes 404 errors (pages that can't be found) and server errors (when a page takes too long to load). Fixing these errors can help improve your website's usability and make it more likely to appear in search results.
Overall, Google Search Console is a valuable tool for tracking your website's performance and troubleshooting any errors that may impact your site. It can help you improve your SEO, fix errors, and ensure that your website runs smoothly. Click here to learn how to set up Google Search Console properly.
No list of local SEO tools would be complete without Google Analytics. Google Analytics helps track your website traffic and user behavior. These two metrics provide valuable insights into how your customers find your business via organic search and other channels and how they interact with your website. You can use this information to measure the impact of your SEO efforts, make adjustments to improve your site's user experience, make marketing decisions, and measure the success of online campaigns.
Google Analytics can also help you track conversions and sales. By understanding which keywords and ads are driving traffic to your site, you can adjust your marketing strategy to focus on areas most likely to result in sales. Additionally, Google Analytics can help you identify which pages on your site are most popular, so you can ensure that your important content is easy for users to find.
Moz shares a great overview of setting up Google Analytics for your local business. Or, if you don't have the time or expertise to DIY it, contact us and let's chat about how we can set up your GA account and start driving leads to your business.
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 local SEO tools will help you do just that.
Are you looking to build a strong SEO foundation and expand your search visibility? Download this free SEO checklist today. This checklist helps ensure that your site is optimized for search marketing. Not to mention, it's also free!
Editor's Note: This article was originally published in 2017 and has been updated with fresh content.
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