Thursday, May 30, 2024

5 Best Local SEO Tools to Dominate Search This Year

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Local SEO tools can be a game-changer. From automating review management to dominating local search, the right technology can help your business grow long-term.

For example, KuchyneValent, a local Slovakian kitchen and furniture manufacturer, had reached a maximum annual revenue of $100,000 through offline sales. So, the team was looking for a way to increase local leads and revenue.

In 2017, they invested in SEO to help drive organic website traffic. Including keyword analysis and auditing tools.

With Semrush in their digital toolbox, they achieved over $400,000 in annual revenue. And KuchyneValent has sustained organic traffic since focusing on SEO.

In this article, we’ll review the five best local SEO tools for small businesses and agencies. Let’s get started.

What Features Do You Need in a Local SEO Tool?

Choosing the right local SEO tool helps you improve local search results. And attract more customers.

Look for tools that provide these essential features:

  • Listing and citation management: Maintain accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) data across online directories, local platforms, and review sites. This builds trust with search engines. And improves your local ranking potential.
  • Review management: Track, respond to, and analyze customer reviews. Positive reviews can boost your local reputation and attract new customers. Addressing negative reviews demonstrates professionalism and builds trust.
  • Keyword research: Discover relevant keywords with local search intent. Allowing you to target a specific audience.
  • Competitor analysis: Analyze your competitors’ SEO strategies to identify areas of improvement
  • Rank tracking and reporting: Monitor your local ranking progress for target keywords over time. This allows you to measure the effectiveness of your SEO efforts. And adjust your strategy as needed.

What’s the Best Local SEO Tool?

Tool Best For Stand-Out Feature Pricing
Google Business Profile Optimizing your appearance on Google search Effortless listing management Free
Semrush Local Managing your online presence across all platforms Map Rank Tracker (heatmap) $20+ per month, per location; free plan available
BrightLocal Managing and building citations Citation Builder $39+ per month; 14-day free trial
SE Ranking Tracking and analyzing your local rankings Position tracking for all your target keywords $62+ per month; 14-day free trial
Localo Creating a free website for your business and monitoring your SEO Free AI-powered website builder $29+ per month, per location; free plan available

1. Google Business Profile

Best for optimizing your appearance on Google search

Price: Free

Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business), or GBP for short, is a free local business listing tool. It allows you to publish your business listing on Google Maps. And get discovered through Google Search.

Google Business Profile is a must-have tool if you’re a local business or an agency. Many of the tools on this list use Google Business Profile as a foundation for their features.

Let’s look at the top features.

Listing Management

Easily claim and verify your listing. Then, add all your business information. Like address, opening hours, phone number, and website.

Google SERP – Listing details

Managing your listing ensures potential customers looking for a business like yours can find the information they need. Leading them to your doorstep. Or website.

Google SERP – Map pack

Online Storefront

Google Business Profile lets you create a compelling online storefront for your product or service-based business.

Upload high-quality photos and videos showcasing your products, services, team, and business. Create 360° tours to give potential customers a virtual walk-through of your space.

Fireman Derek's Bakery – Details

If you run a restaurant or a cafe, you can also have a dedicated “Menu” tab. This feature allows potential guests to view your menu before their visit.

Reviews

Google Business Profile allows you to communicate with your customers. Respond to reviews, both positive and negative, to show you value feedback.

Google – Review

Answer questions from potential customers through the Q&A section. Demonstrating your expertise and building trust.

Google – Customer questions

This feature helps you show your audience you prioritize customer care.

When you actively engage with your audience, you can develop stronger relationships. And improve customer loyalty.

Updates

Update your customers with the “Updates” section of your Google Business Profile. Post details about the events hosted at your venue. And announce new offerings.

Google Business – Updates

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Effective way to reach customers looking for local businesses Google Business Profile listings can become competitive, especially in popular areas. So, you still need to invest in SEO
Lets you add all your business details and images so people can easily contact you. And view your product images If you don’t actively monitor reviews, customer satisfaction could suffer

Pricing

Google Business Profile is free.

2. Semrush Local

Best for managing your online presence across all platforms

Price: $20+ per month, per location; limited free plan available

Semrush Local

Semrush Local is a dedicated SEO toolkit. It helps local businesses and agencies attract new customers and retain existing ones. By providing the data they need.

Let’s take a look at the tools included in Semrush Local.

Listing Management

Semrush’s Listing Management tool lets you seamlessly publish your local business details to more than 150 directories. Like Google, Facebook, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.

Add your business details in Semrush. Such as name, address, phone number, images, and videos. And the tool will automatically add or update each listing for you.

The Listing Management tool can also help you audit your online presence. And show you what to fix to improve your online coverage.

For example, it highlights directories with missing or incorrect addresses and phone numbers.

Semrush – Listings management

Map Rank Tracker

The Map Rank Tracker tool lets you track and analyze your Google Maps rankings. And your competitors.

Enter your business location and choose the keywords people might use to find you. The heatmap report will show you whether your competitors rank higher for searches in a specific area—or if you do.

Use this valuable insight to adjust your local SEO strategy. And boost your visibility.

Semrush Local – Map Rank Tracker

You can also set your preferred map grid and target keywords to meet your unique tracking needs.

Review Management

The Review Management tool makes it easy to manage your online reputation and build loyalty. By engaging with customers. And responding to reviews.

Semrush – Review Management

With this tool, you can manage reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, and more in one place. You won’t have to switch between platforms to see and respond to reviews.

Plus, you’ll get data-driven insights like:

  • Reply rate:</strong Helps ensure you engage with every customer
  • How customers perceive your brand:</strong An overview of your historical ratings to identify strengths and weaknesses
  • Online reputation progress:</strong Analyze your online presence trends with metrics like total number of reviews, average rating, and score distribution

Additional SEO Tools

Semrush Local is a stand-alone product (starting at $20 per month) designed to help you manage your local SEO performance. It comes with the tools we just discussed. Like Listing management, Map Rank Tracker, and Review Monitoring.

And you can purchase Semrush Local without buying a full Semrush subscription.

But if you want to expand your SEO efforts further, Semrush offers a range of additional tools through their more comprehensive paid subscriptions. A limited free plan is also available.

These subscriptions start at $129.95 per month and include features like keyword research, website audits, and competitor analysis.

For example, Semrush’s Position Tracking tool lets you check your website’s search rankings. It also monitors your keyword positions and helps you find new ways to get into Google’s top results.

Compare organic rankings against your competitors. Including the top paid search engine results page (SERP) from Google Ads.

Google SERP checker by ranking distribution

On-Page SEO Checker helps you identify weaknesses on your website that affect your SEO performance. And it gives you personalized recommendations to improve your website’s performance.

Semrush Local – On Page SEO Checker

The tool scans your website. And provides a list of semantically related words to include in your content for better SEO.

Keyword Magic Tool lets you conduct in-depth keyword research. To help you find keywords to include on your Google Business Profile and website.

Semrush – Keyword Magic – Bakery

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Semrush Local lets you automatically publish your business details to over 150 online directories While Semrush Local is affordable, a full Semrush subscription can be expensive for beginners
Respond to reviews on multiple platforms in one place

Pricing

Semrush Local – Pricing

Semrush Local offers three pricing plans:

  • Free: Audit five locations per day, see your status in the top directories, and check your average rating for all reviews.
  • Basic plan: $20 per month, per individual location. Includes tools like Listing Management and Review Management.
  • Premium plan: $40 per month, per individual location. Includes Google Maps Rank Tracker and Competitor Analysis. You can also use AI suggestions to respond to your Google reviews.

3. BrightLocal

Best for managing and building citations

Price: Starts at $39 per month with a 14-day free trial

BrightLocal

BrightLocal is an all-in-one local SEO platform that provides tools to manage and grow your online presence.

It helps you track your presence across search engines and maps. Build a strong reputation through review management and gain valuable insights to optimize your local SEO strategy.

Citation Tracker

BrightLocal’s Citation Tracker tool scans the web for your business information across key local directories. Like Yelp, Foursquare, and more.

Citations are online listings that show essential information about your business. Such as your business description, address, and contact details. They’re important for local SEO.

Because they help your business rank higher in local search results on Google Maps. And other search engines.

Citation Tracker’s report includes the following details:

  • Your listed citations: Review all the websites where your business information is registered
  • Missing citations: Identify important directories where your business isn’t listed. Allowing you to claim and optimize those listings.
  • Inaccurate information: Get notified of any inconsistencies or errors in your existing citations to ensure accuracy across the web
BrightLocal – Key citations

Scroll past the citation summary to see a detailed report of the directories where your business appears. And any actions you need to take. Like updating information.

BrightLocal – Citations list

Citation Builder

BrightLocal’s Citation Builder helps you submit your business details to hundreds of high-impact local directories and review sites. Like Apple Maps and Tripadvisor.

BrightLocal – Citation builder

The Citation Builder tool comes with an additional, one-time fee. Pricing starts at $2 per site/directory.

Reputation Management

BrightLocal’s Reputation Management tool shows you all your reviews across various platforms in one place. Including Google Maps, Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Yahoo! Local, Yellow Pages, Yelp, and more.

View your total number of reviews across platforms and aggregated star rating. This provides valuable insights into customer sentiment. Allowing you to understand overall satisfaction.

BrightLocal – Reputation manager

BrightLocal lets you display online reviews on your website using a list or carousel-style widget. Or customize the layout to fit your interface.

BrightLocal – Showcase reviews

Google Business Profile Audit

Audit your Google Business Profile. Make sure your business contact details, opening hours, and images are accurate and up to date.

BrightLocal – GBP audit

Or get more detailed audits for each of your target keywords. This audit shows you how your keywords currently rank.

Additionally, GBP Audit lets you analyze your competitors. Including:

  • Competitor rankings for your target keyword
  • The number of citations they have
  • Total review count
  • Total star rating
  • Number of photos
  • Business category
BrightLocal – Analyze competitors

White-Label Reporting

If you’re an agency owner, you might find the tool’s white-label reports helpful. Add your branding and customize the data your clients can see.

Then, set up an automation to send reports to your clients at the end of each month.

BrightLocal – White-label reporting

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Provides a full stack of tools to manage your local SEO The variety of tools can be overwhelming for local SEO beginners
BrightLocal Academy provides local SEO courses for free

Pricing

BrightLocal – Pricing

BrightLocal offers three pricing plans with a 14-day free trial:

  • Track: $39 per month for one location. Includes Local Rank Tracker, Citation Tracker, and GBP Audit.
  • Manage: $49 per month for one location. Includes everything in Track, plus syncing business data across Google, Bing, Facebook, and Apple. And bulk posting to multiple profiles.
  • Grow: $59 per month for one location. Includes everything in Manage, plus Reputation Management.

4. SE Ranking

Best for tracking and analyzing your local rankings

Price: Starts at $62 per month with a limited 14-day free trial

SE Ranking

SE Ranking’s Local Marketing Tool helps you monitor your search performance. And discover new opportunities to boost your online visibility.

Business Listing Manager

Enter your business’s name, contact information, hours of operation, and business description.

SE Ranking – Listing manager

When you update your information in this section, SE Ranking pushes it to your Google Business Profile.

Local Rankings

To track your local rankings, start by setting up your locations. And common keywords people use to search your business.

SE Ranking – Local rankings setup

You’ll then see a detailed report of your local rankings for each keyword.

SE Ranking – Local rankings report

Local Marketing Audit

Conducting a local marketing audit lets you analyze how well your business is optimized for local search. And gives you an overall score of your local SEO performance.

It checks for any issues that might be hurting your search rankings. The issue report is broken down into “passed checks,” “notices,” “warnings,” and “errors.” Demonstrating the impact and severity of each issue.

The tool then provides helpful suggestions to optimize your Google Business Profile, business listings, and customer reviews.

For example, SE Ranking will suggest updating your company address if it contains errors. If your company isn’t added to all relevant directories, the tool will recommend submitting it.

SE Ranking – Local marketing audit

Google Business Profile Audit

SE Ranking shows you how users interact with your GBP listing.

SE Ranking – GBP Audit

Analyze crucial metrics. Like photo views, Maps views, direction requests, and phone calls. Learn how many searches and website visits you get.

SE Ranking – GBP data

Business Listings Overview

Learn which local business directories feature your business location and which don’t.

This feature helps you ensure your business details are accurate across the web. And identify new opportunities.

SE Ranking – Business Listing

Reviews

Learn what your customers say about your business on platforms like Google, Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, and Tripadvisor.

SE Ranking – Reviews

Reply to Google and Facebook reviews from the SE Ranking dashboard.

SE Ranking – Review reply

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Local Marketing Audit provides an overall performance review and suggestions to increase your rankings While you can use SE Ranking’s core features with a 14-day free trial, SE Local features are not included in the trial
Reply to Google Maps and Facebook reviews from a single dashboard

Pricing

SE Ranking – Subscription

To use SE Local Marketing, you’ll need an SE Ranking subscription:

  • Essential: $55 per month. Best for small businesses. Track rankings for 750 target keywords.
  • Pro: $109 per month. Best for SEOs, small to medium-sized businesses, and digital agencies. Track rankings for 2,000 target keywords.
  • Business: $239 per month. Best for enterprises, large agencies, and ecommerce websites. Track rankings for 5,000 target keywords.

All plans offer a 14-day free trial.

SE Local Marketing is an add-on service that comes at an additional cost:

  • 1 location: $7 per month
  • 5 locations: $29 per month
  • 10 locations: $48 per month
  • 50 locations: $181 per month

5. Localo

Best for building a free website for your business and monitoring your SEO

Price: $29+ per month, per location; limited free plan available

Localo

Localo is a local SEO platform designed to track and improve your online presence. It offers features like monitoring your GBP ranking, a free AI-powered website, and managing customer reviews.

GBP Monitoring

Localo helps you monitor and analyze your Google Business Profile’s performance.

This includes:

  • Track weekly local rankings: Automatically monitor your rankings for relevant keywords in local search results. See progress over time and identify areas for improvement.
  • Check your rankings: Get a snapshot of your current visibility in Google Maps for specific keywords.
  • Get actionable insights: Localo’s algorithm analyzes your ranking data. And generates personalized recommendations to improve your GBP. And boost your local SEO performance.
Localo – GBP monitoring

Local Rank Checker

With Localo’s Local Rank Checker, you can check your Google Business Profile visibility for free.

Start by verifying your language and location.

Localo – Find your business

And add one keyword at a time you’d like to check your rankings for.

Localo – Add keywords

The Local Rank Checker will show your rankings on the map. Which illustrates your rankings across various distances from your business.

Localo – View map

Citation Management

See the list of online directories that mention your company. And check if your business information is accurate and up to date.

Additionally, analyze your competitors’ directory presence. Find where they’re listed and you’re not. Then you can submit your information to those directories to increase your visibility.

Website Builder

Localo uses AI to help you easily create a free website.

Connect your Google Business Profile, and Localo will pull relevant information to create your site. Like photos and customer reviews.

Localo – Website builder

Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Free Local Rank Checker No free trial, so you can’t try premium features before committing to a paid plan
Free website builder and hosting

Pricing

Localo – Pricing

Localo offers three plans:

  • Free: $0 for a single business profile. Monitor your Google rankings and build a free website AI.
  • Growth: $29 monthly for one location. Get a Google Business Profile audit and respond to reviews.
  • Agency: $99 monthly for the first four locations. Use the built-in lead generation tool on the website built with Localo. And white-label your local SEO reports.

Our Top Picks for the Best Local SEO Tools

To optimize your local SEO, we suggest you use a combination of two tools:

  • Google Business Profile: This is a foundational tool. Claim and optimize your GBP to ensure your business information is accurate and consistent on Google Maps.
  • Semrush Local: Semrush offers essential local SEO tools. Including Listing Management, where you can respond to reviews from external platforms like GBP, Facebook, and Yelp in a central dashboard. And Map Rank Tracker to view your hyper-local performance. A full Semrush subscription includes a keyword research tool to identify relevant keywords for your business.

Your Next Step

Effectively managing your local SEO strategy starts with the right tools. And knowledge.

Check out our comprehensive guide on local SEO. This post covers the basics, including how to build citations. And rank in the top three positions on the SERP.

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