The customer journey of the modern consumer begins with an online search. What’s more, 40% of these searches are made through search engines like Google or Bing. People ask where the best nearby restaurant is and after that dine there the same day. That’s why being visible at the decisive moment is critical to getting new customers.
But an effective local SEO strategy can be an uphill battle for businesses with multiple locations. That’s where the best local SEO tools can step in and add some oil to your marketing machine.
What Is Local SEO and How Does It Work?
Many of you know that SEO stands for search engine optimization of web pages, which makes it easier for search engines to crawl, index, and understand your content. The goal is to show that content to a relevant audience and get more traffic to your website.
We bet you’ve also heard about local SEO, which is utilized for local queries. For instance, businesses with brick-and-mortar locations use it to maintain a steady flow of leads and high conversions. So how does it work?
It’s all about Google algorithms. If they determine you’re an established business, they’ll recommend your service to searchers.
But the SEO game is not a walk in the park. Search engines are getting smarter, moving SEO from manipulative tactics like keyword staffing to an art form that combines branding, content creation, and reputation management to capture highly-qualified visitors to your website.
Let’s zoom in to unveil the difference between the two strategies and decide where it is worth placing your effort.
Organic SEO vs. Local SEO
Imagine a pregnant woman researching strollers. She reads a few blog posts and decides to go to a physical store. She types “buy a stroller in Houston Texas,” and Google detects local intent so shows her the nearest and most trusted stores selling strollers in her area (within a two-mile radius).
Google generates a personalized list of three local companies that best match her search query – the Local 3-pack – and puts them at the top of the page to help her get a fast answer to her request.
Every business can be listed if it’s located within the search area (distance), is relevant (business category), and is trusted (prominence). The first two factors revolve totally around GMP listing data. At the same time, prominence (or reputation) is a result of your customer reviews and ranking.
Organic SEO has less to do with location but works well with less specific search queries, often showing up in business directories like Yelp or TripAdvisor. Your ‘plum cake’ search can lead you to a local cafe website having a recipe page (including a plum cake) aimed at capturing traffic.
Showing up on the first page of those results is critical because 75% of people won’t ever go to the second page. But being listed in the Local Pack helps local consumers find their way to your store, increasing your sales. Leading marketers who decide where to focus their efforts utilize local search marketing tools to grow their visibility and conduct research on competitors.
Top Local Search Ranking Factors in 2022
Studies reveal that search ranking factors differ for local organic results and the Local Pack. The top factors impacting your Local Pack visibility are your GBP (Google Business Profile) and review management, contributing over 50% to your chances of being found.
But suppose you’re trying to rank higher in organic local results. In that case, your company website must be well-organized and cited by other established websites. For the best results, multi-location brands should try to rank locally as well as organically.
Why Is Local SEO Important?
Apart from the fact that local SEO promotes your business 24/7, there are a bunch of reasons for businesses to invest in building a holistic SEO strategy. Here are some of them:
Local SEO helps your business stand out – even if you don’t have a website. When Google algorithms detect that search intent is local, Map Pack results will appear on the first page of the search results. These results are largely informed by your GBP listing, so having a website is not obligatory.
Local SEO offers a unique opportunity to reach ready-to-buy consumers. Every month there are more than 10.3 billion Google searches, with 78% of U.S. internet users researching products and services online. 76% of people who search for a product or service nearby visit a business within a day. This happens because SEO helps customers with an immediate need to find a supplier.
The conversion rate from local SEO is 7 times higher than from a website. Essentially, SEO gives you a chance to reach potential customers in the very last stage of the buying cycle. They’ve already decided what product they want. All they need is someone to sell it to them. The average conversion rate for websites from all sources of traffic is around 2%, and that’s for good websites. But SEO-driven traffic converts at up to 14.6%.
Marketers approach local SEO strategies differently, from optimizing content using local keywords to generating reviews. If you’re serious about boosting your local SEO, we recommend doing your research and picking up some local SEO marketing software to help you out along the way.
11 Top Local SEO Tools
Want to get ahead in the SEO game? These tools help you find out where a fix is needed, what your competitors are doing, and how you can outdo them.
But before we start, let’s turn to the basics. Fundamental and must-have free local SEO tools that most businesses with any online presence should begin with are Google Analytics and Google Search Console. They can help, for instance, to 1) spot trends or errors, 2) tag landing page URLs in local listings, and 3) slice data to get the whole local performance picture.
When your business is ready for a tech upgrade, here are 11 local SEO platforms that can take the weight off your team’s shoulders. Check them out.
PromoRepublic is a unified local marketing platform that helps franchise and multi-location businesses convert searches on Google and impressions on social to in-store sales.
With PromoRepublic’s insights and digital marketing tools, it’s easy to uncover growth opportunities for locations and manage local SEO, listings, reviews, and social media posting & ads all in one place.
The benefits and features of the Local SEO product:
- One of the easiest listing management tools to build citations and keep location data consistent across business directories. Rather than managing your listings one by one across all units, consistent location data is synced with 130+ directories automatically.
- A comprehensive local search ranking tool to oversee how your locations rank for specific keywords in Google.
- Robust Google Business Profile reporting makes it easy to track results like views, clicks, and rating performance from a single dashboard.
- A single or custom view of incoming GBP review streams for monitoring and replying to your customer feedback for every location.
- Posting & scheduling to the ‘What’s new?’ section of Google Business Profile to increase visibility on Google Search and Google Maps.
PromoRepublic has pricing plans for small businesses, marketing agencies, and multi-location businesses, including franchises and other brands with a distributed workforce. PromoRepublic offers a unified, complete solution to cover all digital marketing needs and help increase local business visibility in search. Book a demo to see it in action.
Semrush is an industry heavyweight with over a decade of experience used by large companies to optimize their local search efforts.
- Semrush performs easy site checks on how well your business ranks in your target city. The local SEO audit tools are very simple to use, and it outputs a really-easy-to follow set of instructions for improving your performance in search results.
- Gives ideas for keyword targeting and compares it to competitors’ efforts. Semrush provides a lot of data relating not just to SEO, but to PPC too. Great if you want a tool that covers both areas.
- Provides a local SEO listing management module that utilizes local rankings, tracking, and other areas like local heatmaps. Customer review management costs extra.
Semrush pricing starts at $119.95 per month for one user. The high price is understandable, as you’re not just paying for functionality, you’re paying for access to tons of data. A 17% discount is available if you pay upfront for a year, and there’s also a 7-day trial.
3. Moz Local
A local SEO automation tool that offers keyword research, rank tracking, backlink analysis, and business listing management. It has a cheaper price tag and is very popular among online marketers.
Here are some of its key features:
- Creates and manages your local listings on Google, Facebook, and other sites to help consumers find and choose your business.
- Manages reviews and monitors review sentiment, common keywords in reviews, and customer feedback over time.
- Provides reporting to help you understand how to improve your profiles and identify which listings need attention.
Unlike Semrush, Moz’s entry-level plan is inexpensive, and its standard free trial is considerably longer than Semrush’s – 7 days vs 30 days.
A data-driven local SEO platform for website audit and optimization, competitor analysis, keyword search, and tracking your ranking progress. Ahrefs’ proprietary data is what makes the tool unique.
- Backlink analysis is Ahrefs’ bread and butter feature. Advanced tech is crawling the web 24/7 and backlinks are updated every 15 minutes. Quality data is what the tool is known for.
- Keyword Explorer gives you tons of data on each keyword across Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, and Baidu.
- Content Explorer is a mini version of BuzzSumo designed to show you content that gets lots of social shares.
- Some help with PPC campaigns is included. You can see which ads and keywords generate the most traffic, and which landing pages the most paid visitors end upon.
When you purchase an annual plan, you save 20%. However, before you make an annual commitment, it’s recommended to take their 7 days trial which costs only $7. The Standard Plan is the minimum you should aim for if you need features such as broken pages and daily brand monitoring.
This 5-in-1 local SEO checker provides a set of beginner-friendly tools including keyword research, SERP analysis, rank tracking, link tracking, and SEO metrics and insights.
- Provides a simple keyword position tracker with daily rank tracking updates. A really enjoyable and easy experience for finding new keywords.
- Monitors the SEO authority of your site including top content, backlinks, and competitors.
- Lacks reporting features and research data; is not as in-depth as other tools.
- Has a simply brilliant UI, and you can kickstart your SEO efforts without having to read or watch any tutorials.
- Has capped results, its biggest drawback. As such, to unlock the tool’s full potential, you’ll need to sign up for Mangools’ Agency Plan.
Unlike SEMrush, Moz, and Ahrefs, Mangools’ SEO software is affordable for bloggers and small businesses.
6. SE Ranking
This local search software provides a complete set of SEO tools perfect for small business owners, SEO pros, and agencies.
- Website rank tracking capability is SE Ranking’s key feature and lets you see exactly how your website is performing on SERP. This functionality is very well developed and is among the best in class.
- Very easy to set up: you can set everything up in just a few minutes.
- SE Ranking is not overwhelming compared to other SEO software. Its UI is very easy to use for people new to SEO since short explanations of its features accompany users along the way.
- The white-label feature lets you use SE Ranking to create your own SEO service.
Excellent value for money given its features and functionality. Moreover, its pricing structure lets you find the sweet spot for the power and functionality you need.
A powerful local SEO tool that allows agencies and brands to improve local rankings, manage reviews, and generate more traffic and leads from local searches.
- Has a local search grid that was added in 2021 to show where your business is ranking on a granular level.
- Tracks keywords in Google & Bing with a simple rank tracker that visualizes rank in local SEO reports.
- Provides a local SEO citation tool for tracking and reporting.
- Allows managers to respond to GMB and social reviews in one view.
- Helps streamline review generation via its “Get Reviews” builder, which can be bought separately.
BrightLocal monthly plans start at $29 per month. Annual billing includes 2 free months. You’ll need the Multi-Business Plan for $49 per month for white-label reports.
An advanced SEO rank tracker tool with daily keyword updates, keyword segmentation features, website audits, backlink monitoring, and automated local SEO reporting.
- One of the most accurate rank tracker tools on the market.
- Local SEO audit tools discover broken webpages, links, and missing metadata, segment your audit findings by URL and compare historic data.
- Extensive keyword filtering options provide the ability to quickly organize and segment keywords into distinct groups and save custom views.
- Customized reports. You can include the most important data in reports and schedule report delivery.
Nightwatch provides 3 fixed plans and custom enterprise plans for larger volume use. Annual billing offers savings of up to 40%.
Local SEO software that allows you to see how your business is doing on the most important local directories, search engines, and review sites.
- Local listing management across all main listings (up to 40). Voice search optimization included.
- Interaction monitoring allows you to get instant notifications when customers leave a review or social comment. You can respond to reviews from within the tool.
- Mobile app for adding or removing locations on the go as you grow.
- Help with customer behavior analysis and development of a more accurate customer persona.
Synup users have reported that for SMBs with a single location model, the pricing package is $30/location/device with an annual commitment. However, to get a more comprehensive quote, your business is required to get in touch with Synup’s sales team.
A suite of AI-powered search solutions that offers organizations a modern way to optimize their first- and third-party search experiences.
Yext provides the tools for:
- Listing management: Integration with a large set of maps, apps, search engines, and social networks, so your locations perform better in search.
- SEO-ready landing pages: Pages provide brands with all the tools they need to design custom sites that scale, drive traffic, and boost conversions.
- Review management: respond to reviews using a number of intelligent response methods, and generate first-party reviews for your locations, people, products, and more.
Depending on your business situation, this software can be a good choice, especially if you’re looking for a quick way to push out your business information to online directories. However, once your subscription ends, you may find listings disappear for good.
Serpstat is a complete SEO tool that covers the main aspects of the matter: keyword analysis, competitors, and backlink analysis.
- A local SEO ranking tool that updates daily and makes it easy to see how your site’s rankings are trending over time
- Besides the regular keyword selection, Serpstat offers search suggestions, related keywords, competitive keyword research, and more. Their keywords database parallels the database of major SEO companies like Ahrefs and SE Ranking.
- The SEO audit tool is fast, easily finds and fixes issues, and is thorough.
- Solid PPC analysis: If you rely on PPC ads to drive traffic to your website, you’ll probably get a ton of value out of the PPC tool suite.
Like most tools, Serpstat’s pricing depends on how much data you need and how many websites you manage. Overall, Serpstat is cheaper than Moz, Ahrefs, or Semrush. And if you run an agency or want an enterprise-level tool, Serpstat is also on the more affordable side.
Since almost every buyer experience begins with a search, it’s critical to be seen by local customers at the moment of a buying decision. The conversion rate of traffic driven in such a way is significantly higher, making local SEO worth the investment.
Whether or not your business will make its best showing in local search depends on your local SEO strategy. It takes a cohesive plan seasoned with a combination of marketing tools to drive a meaningful lift for a business. If you want to get ahead in the SEO game and rank higher, choose a technology partner offering local SEO tools that fit your business needs.
PromoRepublic can become a game-changer in your local SEO tactic. The platform helps grow your findability in local search, offer insights on your local landscape, improve your online reputation, and increase your local sales. Visit our website to find out more about PromoRepublic. Book a demo if you’re ready to take your local SEO to the next level right now.