When you improve your local search engine marketing techniques, you will see an influx of customers in your store as well as online reviews. A good search engine marketing strategy will put your business listings in front of people in your area looking for your product or service.
The work that goes into putting your business in front of all these new people can prove to be difficult and time-consuming. That’s why we put together this list of 12 tools that will do most of the heavy lifting for you.
Keep reading to find out how to improve your local SEO!
The Difference Between SEO and Local SEO
As a business owner, the internet will always act as your most powerful marketing tool. The internet is a big place with tons of customer, but there’s also a lot of competition.
Because of this, there are websites that exist that won’t ever receive clicks or visits. If your website stands out from the crowd, you will reach your customer base easier. This, of course, allows you to increase your sales and revenue.
No website will stand out without the use of SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It is the process of using techniques to make your website easy to find in a search.
For instance, if you Google lasagna recipes, the websites that utilize the best SEO practices will be the first to come up in your search.
While there are SEO tools and services you can pay for, using the SEO process is free. General SEO is best for businesses that sell their products and services online.
If you have an online store where you sell t-shirts, you won’t need to focus on the location of your customers. People wear t-shirts all around the world and they are easy to ship.
When your business relies on local customers to succeed is when you can run into some trouble with SEO. This is where local SEO comes in.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO is all about optimizing your website so that you can reach your local customers. You want to make it as easy as possible for people who are nearby to find and contact your business and it works two ways.
If you own a barbershop, for example, a customer can Google “barbershops near me”, see that your shop is only a couple of miles away and get there without a problem. Local SEO also works if you drive to your customers like a plumber or landscaper would.
There’s a major convenience factor with using local SEO. It will bring local customers to your website to see things like pricing, menus, or your business’ backstory.
Keep in mind that there are local SEO strategies that go beyond getting you a good ranking for Google searches. You can use local SEO for business directories like Yelp, Google Maps, Superpages, and Google My Business.
These are places your customers go to leave reviews. Customers use these sites to see if they should do business with you.
Make sure you claim your business on all the business directories like the Better Business Bureau and the ones mentioned above. And keep all your business information like the phone number, address, and website up to date.
Online business directories are a form of free advertising that you shouldn’t pass up. Maintaining these items will also boost your credibility. This is especially important if you’re a new business owner or you’re opening a second location.
Why is Local SEO Important?
Did you know that 75% of people on search engines like Google or Bing don’t go past the first page of search results? If your business shows up on the second or even third page, the people who need your product or service won’t know you exist.
Additionally, searches are the number one way to get more traffic to your website. Search results even beat out social media by 300%.
So, yes, whether your goal is to grow an existing business or get your first customer local SEO will give you a huge boost.
Local Search Engine Marketing Tools
We get it, there are so many different layers of marketing the entire process can become overwhelming. We’ve got 12 tools here that will help simplify the local SEO part of the marketing process for you.
1. Whitespark Local Citation Finder
The Whitespark Local Citation Finder is a user-friendly local SEO tool that gives you access to tons of information regarding your business’ performance. It uses citations (mentions of your business by name or web link) to improve your ranking in search results and online reputation.
The Whitespark Local Citation Finder will also:
- Find citation opportunities
- Give an analysis of your competitors’ citations
- Identify top ranking competitors
- Collect customer feedback and reviews
There are 5 versions of this tool. The least expensive is free while the most expensive is $80 each month.
SEOPressor wasn’t designed to improve local SEO, but it will certainly benefit it. This tool will score the strength of your entire website while also giving you recommendations for improving it.
The audit feature is one that users love from SEOPressor. It will notify you if there are specific pages that need optimization in a particular type of way.
It’s great for small businesses and only costs $9 a month.
3. Screaming Frog
Screaming Frog has free and paid services to help you improve your ranking on search engines. It will also audit your site for things like broken links that can harm your ranking.
This tool will also:
- Find duplicate content
- Integrate with Google
- Generate XML sitemaps
Other Screaming Frog services like digital PR and conversion rate optimization are worth checking out too.
4. Google Adwords Keyword Planner
The Google Adwords Keyword Planner improves your local SEO by making sure you are only using the strongest SEO keywords. When you utilize the keyword research feature, you are able to review the traffic that specific keywords will generate.
The most helpful functionality of this tool is that it will also help you find new local keywords that will perform well based on local searches. You can do keyword researched based on geographic regions with the Google Adwords Keyword Planner too.
Did we mention it’s 100% free?
5. PageSpeed Insights
In 2010, Google released a statement that page speed (the amount of time it takes your site to load) would begin to affect websites’ SEO rankings. Your page speed score can be anything from 0 to 100.
You should aim to have a page speed of 95 or more. This metric isn’t only important to Google, it’s important for your customers too.
Did you know that 40% of people will leave your site if it doesn’t load within three seconds? Or that 79% of online shoppers who don’t like the way your site performs won’t return?
Not only that, they’ll tell their friends about the bad experience which can hurt your bottom line. This is why you need PageSpeed Insights.
This tool grades how long it takes your site to load. It also gives you tips on how to improve your site speed for free.
SEOProfiler offers a wide range of services that all follow Google’s SEO guidelines. This tool will help you find stronger local keywords and you can print all your reports in a customizable PDF.
SEOProfiler also has:
- Website monitoring to avoid downtime
- Web page optimization
- Keyword research
- Ad improvement
- SEO audit for desktop and mobile websites
- Google, Bing, and Yahoo ranking checker
Its wide range of valuable features makes SEOProfiler one of the more expensive tools on our list. It can cost you anywhere between $50 and $1,000 each month depending on which features you want to use.
7. Moz Local
There are two versions of Moz Local you an use based on the size of your business. There is a version that helps smaller businesses with 1-99 locations. Another version helps larger enterprises with 100 locations or more.
Moz Local will help you:
- Improve response times by instantly you of reviews
- Make edits when your business information changes
- Send your business listings to major search engines, apps, and business directories
With Moz Local, you can also have your business listings scored for free. This will help you figure out exactly what kind of assistance you need before purchasing one of their custom packages.
BrightLocal gives you multiple local SEO tools and functionality in one place. Without hardly any effort at all, this platform will allow you to:
- Audit citations
- Track organic, local, and mobile rankings
- Get alerts and monitor online reviews
- Google my business audits
- Google Analytics and social integration
BrightLocal stands behind their product. They even offer a 14-day free trial and won’t automatically charge you when the trial is over.
NAP stands for name, address, and phone number. This is information you need to make sure matches across every platform your business appears on.
Synup makes this easy by submitting your NAP to local directories. It will also analyze your NAP data to make sure it is correct.
With Synup you can review your citations to keep your online reputation clear. Other features include data security, a syncing feature for all your locations, and reports to help you measure your progress.
To start, Synup costs $30 per location per month. However, its price will go down as your volume increases.
Nothing brings attention to your business quicker than an online review. Whether the review is a good or bad one can impact your brand’s reputation. It could help or hurt the image of the products you sell and your customer service.
90% of customers read reviews before visiting your business. You definitely want to track what people are saying about you.
This is where the benefits of ReviewTrackers kicks in. The tool will collect any online reviews and feedback your company receives.
It finds this data on over 70 review websites. This will help you build brand awareness along with a solid reputation.
If you have more than one location, ReviewTrackers will help you determine what locations are getting bad reviews. This way you know which employees to address if a certain location is getting negative customer feedback.
11. Ignite Technologies
If you’ve heard of Placeable, this is the same company. Ignite Technologies acquired Placeable in April 2017.
This program has several tools that you can use for finance, human resources, security, and marketing. It helps you improve your local SEO by improving:
- Landing pages
- Local reviews
- Updating location data
- Proximity Ads
Ignite Technologies also has packages available based on the type of business your run. Its retail, restaurant, and finance packages focus on the marketing needs business owners in each of these areas will face.
Of course, we saved the best for last. Our services include online marketing, website design, consulting, and of course, local marketing.
Our goal is to get you the best possible outcome to help you meet your business goals. We’re so good at it, we post real results on our site.
Here’s an example of what we can do for you:
We built a new website and set up an SEO strategy for our client Digital Hands. By the time we finished, their search engine positioning had improved by 380%.
You couldn’t find them in searches before and now they are everywhere.
Take Control of Your Local SEO Today
When it comes to implementing a strategy for your local search engine marketing efforts, you should use an agency with a proven track record. There isn’t a one size fits all solution to boosting your search engine rankings.
Check out our blog for more SEO tips and insight.