Local SEO (or search engine optimization) helps small businesses increase their search visibility in local searches and connect with more potential customers in their vicinity. It’s about getting the right eyes on your product or service.
So, what are the must-have local SEO tools? Buckle up because we’re about to embark on a journey of the best local SEO tools that can help boost your visibility and reach the right audience.
Google Tools, AKA Free Local SEO Tools
1. Google Business Profile
Diving straight into the Google tool chest, let’s start with the behemoth that is the Google Business Profile (GBP). All local businesses — yours included — need to make full use of this tool.
You know when you Google a business and a box pops up on the right-hand side of the search results? Or when you get a Maps result and click on a business for more info? That’s the GBP at work. It showcases your name, hours, phone number, customer reviews, and more. It’s no wonder it’s the most popular local SEO tool!
To claim your Google Business Profile:
- Go to www.google.com/business and click the “Manage Now” button. Begin by typing your business name into the search field. If the business is already listed in the database, it will appear in the dropdown list. Click on your business.
- If it doesn’t appear, click the “Add your business” option and provide the necessary business details in the fields provided.
- Once you’ve submitted your business details, Google will send a postcard to your business address containing a unique code for verification.
- Enter this code into your Google Business Profile account to verify your account. Note that the delivery of the postcard may take up to two weeks.
Google Business Profile is free. That’s right: All those features — Maps location, customer reviews, Q&A, photos — won’t cost you a penny.
Google Business Profiles give you the ability to respond to reviews, share updates through posts, and upload photos to highlight what you do.
Most importantly, you can optimize your Business Profile to display essential details such as operating hours, contact information, and location to potential customers. The ‘Insights’ tab also gives you a glimpse of how people are finding your business and what actions they take on your profile.
2. Google Search Console
Next up: Google Search Console (GSC). This tool is a must-have for anyone interested in improving their organic search visibility.
GSC can tell you how often your site appears in Google search results and which keywords trigger its appearance. This is local SEO gold, as it lets you see how effective your current keyword strategy is so you can adjust it as necessary.
Google Search Console also tells you when Google last crawled a page, whether it’s encountering any problems (like 404 errors), and it even lets you submit new pages for crawling.
Note: Google Search Console doesn’t provide information about how your pages appear on other search engines or organic search traffic from other search engines.
Google offers this resource entirely for free, making it a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes.
- Performance Reports: Google Search Console provides detailed reports on your site’s performance, including total clicks, impressions, click-through rates (CTR), and average search position. You can also see which search queries result in your site appearing in the SERPs and which pages most commonly appear in search results.
- URL Inspection: This feature lets you check specific URLs to see their current index status and if any indexing issues exist. You can also request indexing for newly created or updated pages.
- Sitemaps Report: By submitting your website’s sitemap to GSC, you can help Google’s crawlers better understand the structure of your site and discover new pages. The Sitemaps report allows you to view and manage your sitemap files, as well as see any errors or issues that Google encounters when reading them.
3. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is another local SEO tool from the Google suite, and it can become your go-to for insights into your website’s performance. With the ability to dive deep into data about your site visitors, this tool truly packs a punch.
Google Analytics does a great job of demystifying user behavior. Knowing where your traffic comes from lets you tailor your local SEO strategies more effectively. You can:
- See which channels are driving the most traffic.
- Identify your most popular pages.
- Visualize the user journey on your website.
Google Analytics 4 is free to use, and it provides a broad array of features that should be sufficient for most small to medium-sized businesses.
- Geolocation data: Make sure you’re connecting with customers in the areas you’re targeting.
- Conversion tracking: See which pages are helping you meet your business goals. You can even create custom events to measure specific user actions that are valuable to your business.
Remember, data becomes powerful when transformed into action. So start putting these free Google tools to use!
Keyword Research Tools
Every SEO aficionado needs to have a trusted set of keyword research tools in their back pocket. These tools offer insight into what users are searching for, helping you align your content with user queries. Here, we’ll look at four options that deserve mention.
4. Keywords Everywhere
Why do we champion this tool? For starters, as you explore the internet, Keywords Everywhere reveals useful data on search volume, cost per click (CPC), and competition for keywords right there in your browser. This means you can conduct keyword research as you work, rather than needing to switch between different tools.
Keywords Everywhere also presents related keywords, allowing you to explore new ideas and opportunities you might not have thought of before. And for local SEO, its location-based keyword insights help you pinpoint what customers in your area are searching for, ensuring your business pops up when it matters most.
As of 2023, Keywords Everywhere is priced at a reasonable $10 for 100,000 credits (1 credit = 1 keyword).
- Keyword Volume: This feature provides the average number of times a specific keyword is searched for in a given period. It’s invaluable for understanding which terms have the most potential to draw traffic to your website.
- Cost Per Click (CPC): Keywords Everywhere provides data on the average cost per click for each keyword in Google AdWords. This metric gives you a sense of how competitive a keyword is and how much you might have to spend to rank for it in paid search.
- Related Keywords: This tool shows you keywords that are closely related to your search term. It’s a great feature for expanding your keyword list and finding new opportunities.
5. Keyword Surfer
Next up, Keyword Surfer. This is another Chrome extension that’s designed to make your keyword research a breeze.
If you’re looking for a tool that simplifies complex data and delivers straightforward, actionable insights, Keyword Surfer could be for you.
It compiles crucial metrics like search volume, similar keywords, and estimated traffic right in Google search results. Similar to Keywords Everywhere, this tool removes the need to navigate to another page or platform to conduct your research, resulting in a more streamlined and efficient workflow.
For local SEO, Keyword Surfer excels in revealing location-specific data. It breaks down search volumes by country, allowing you to target your content to the audience that matters most to your business.
And if you’re after more in-depth data, the correlation charts offer a treasure trove of knowledge, showing how factors such as word count and keyword density impact Google rankings.
Good news for budget-conscious marketers: Keyword Surfer is entirely free!
- Search Volume: Just like Keywords Everywhere, Keyword Surfer provides information on how often a particular keyword is searched for in a specific time frame.
- Keyword Suggestions: This feature provides related keyword ideas directly in the Google Search interface, saving time and helping you explore new potential keyword opportunities.
- Correlation Charts: These charts present visual data on how different factors, such as word count, keyword density, and others, might impact Google rankings. It’s an excellent feature for gaining more in-depth insights and fine-tuning your SEO strategy.
In the realm of SEO tools, Ahrefs is a beast to have in your arsenal for local SEO strategy.
Ahrefs stands a cut above the rest, known for its robust backlink analysis features.
Need some intel on your competitors? Ahrefs gives you an eagle-eyed view of their backlink profiles, illuminating areas to outrank them in local search results.
Additionally, it lets you do a deep dive into your own backlink profile, uncovering opportunities for link building.
Depending on the features you need, Ahrefs’ pricing is a sliding scale. Costs start at $99 per month for the Lite package and stretch all the way up to $999 for the Agency plan.
A noteworthy feature is the local keyword research tool. It enables you to target location-specific keywords that your potential customers might be searching for.
A powerhouse in the SEO space, Semrush delivers an array of tools for a comprehensive local SEO strategy. While most of the platform is not focused specifically on local SEO, it offers some features to support local SEO strategies.
Semrush starts at $119.95 monthly for the Pro plan and scales up to $449.95 for the Business plan. Yes, it’s an investment, but the returns in terms of enhanced local visibility are certainly worth it.
- Listing Management Tool: Manage your business listings across a plethora of platforms, ensuring your data is consistent.
- Keyword Magic Tool: Get location-specific keywords, turning your local SEO game up a notch. Add in the
- Traffic Analytics: Gain insight into local competitors’ traffic sources.
Citation and Listing Tools
When it comes to local SEO, maintaining accurate and consistent business information across various platforms is vital. This is where local citation finder and listing tools come into play. They ensure your business shines in all the right places, boosting your visibility in local searches. Let’s explore some leading tools in this area.
BrightLocal zeroes in on the fine art of managing local citations.
Accurate citations (online references to your business name, address, and phone number) can boost your SEO. So what makes BrightLocal a standout choice?
For one, it provides a singular, comprehensive dashboard that makes managing your business a breeze. It saves you time from searching for all your listings across various directories.
Quality doesn’t come cheap, but with BrightLocal, you’re getting a bang for your buck. Packages start at $29 per month and go up to $90/month for the SEO Pro Plan. There’s also a nifty 14-day free trial for you to get a taste of all its features.
- Local Citation Building and Tracking: BrightLocal tools let you build, track, and manage your business listings across a multitude of directories, ensuring consistent and accurate information about your business everywhere.
- Local Search Rank Checker: This tool enables you to keep track of your local keyword search rankings. It’s like having a bird’s-eye view of how well you’re performing in the local search landscape.
Yext ensures that your business information stays consistent across various platforms and directories. A standout feature of Yext is the ‘Duplicate Suppression’ feature. It zeroes in on any duplicate business listings lurking in the corners of the web, deleting them before they cause trouble for your SEO rankings.
Yext packages kick off at $199 per year for a single location.
- Duplicate Suppression: Duplicate listings on the same site can create confusion and harm your SEO performance. Yext’s ‘Duplicate Suppression’ feature identifies and eliminates any duplicate business listings, ensuring your business information is consistent.
- Review Monitoring: Yext lets you keep an eye on customer reviews across different platforms. This tool will notify you of new customer feedback and give you the opportunity to respond promptly.
- Listing Sync: With Yext, you can effortlessly sync your business information across more than 100 digital services globally. This feature makes sure that wherever your customers are looking for you, they find accurate and consistent information.
Whitespark is a handy tool that shines in its ability to manage online citations. Its Local Rank Tracker keeps tabs on your keywords and their standing across different locales, helping you better understand where you are winning and where you could use a little extra help.
Whitespark offers various pricing for each of its tools, so check out the website for more info. You can sign up for a free trial, and prices range between $39/month and $149/month.
- Citation Finder: This tool sniffs out where your business gets mentioned across the internet. This helps you identify potential opportunities for improvement since accurate citations boost your local search ranking.
- Local Rank Tracker: This powerful function tracks your local and organic search performance for specific keywords. It doesn’t just show you how well you’re doing — it helps you gain actionable insights to do better.
11. Moz Local
Moz Local makes sure that your business’s name, address, and phone number are correct everywhere on the internet. If your information is the same everywhere, more people can easily find your business when they search online. Plus, consistent NAP is critical for establishing trust.
The best part? Moz Local even fixes any errors or repeated information without you having to do a thing.
Moz Local offers three pricing tiers, each designed to cater to different business needs.
The Lite plan is $129 per year per location, the Preferred plan is $179 per year per location, and the Elite plan is $299 per year per location. Each tier, aside from varying features, provides access to Moz’s resources and customer support.
- Duplicate Deletion: Moz Local automatically scans for and deletes duplicate entries within the same platform. This prevents conflicting information from hampering your local search ranking.
- Local Search Analytics: This provides actionable insights into your local search performance. By tracking your visibility in the local search ecosystem, you can make data-driven decisions for better results.
Don’t Tackle Local SEO Alone
Picture juggling these tools while trying to manage all the complexities of SEO on your own. Daunting, isn’t it? It doesn’t have to be that way.
Rather than tackling a handful of new tools while trying to learn all the ins and outs of SEO by yourself, consider working with a local SEO agency. Reach out for a free consultation to learn how our local SEO experts at Victorious can help with your local search marketing efforts.