Businesses with a physical location are always trying to stand out and ensure that their store is easy to find for customers. Today, one of the best ways to do this is by employing local search engine optimization (SEO) tactics.
Local SEO is something that any local business must do. It involves creating an online presence for your business, maintaining your presence, and ensuring that customers easily find it.
But, how do you do this?
The rapid rise in technological advances has given way to software that plays a meaningful role in offering good, local SEO services. With the best local SEO software, the task is simple: to help build, maintain, and monitor your online presence.
Fortunately for small business owners, using this software to improve local search rankings is simple, affordable, and necessary. Using the best local SEO software will ensure that you do everything you need to do to almost guarantee that your business will rank (highly) in local search results.
After going through many local SEO tools, we have identified the best local SEO software that every business owner needs to use. Local SEO tools offer businesses an excellent resource for their company or brick-and-mortar store to be found in local search results by customers.
It would be best to start your local SEO journey by getting a Google My Business page for any business with a physical store location. It is completely free to create your page.
You must create a page for your location and if you have multiple stores, it's just as important that each store has its own Google My Business page. This will help your customers find a particular store they are looking for if they are in that specific part of town.
Google My Business is the best way to provide customers with information about your business. On your page, you should include your store's hours, your website (if you have one), and your store's address.
Google My Business also gives small businesses the ability to upload images of their store and products. Engage with your customers by responding to reviews and posting informative posts about your business on your page.
We'll let Oprah tell you how much it costs to use Google My Business.
For people that have a comprehensive SEO strategy and already use SEO tools such as Moz, integrating Moz Local into your SEO strategy is a great way to have everything in one place.
Moz is known for being one of the industry leaders when it comes to SEO. Moz Local only helps to supplement the excellent features they already offer in their regular SEO package.
Moz Local is great to use, especially for business owners that manage multiple locations. That's because, within the Moz Local software, you can use it to manage all of your locations. You can make the necessary changes to your online business listings and then Moz Local will do the rest in distributing these updates to the right directories.
If you have experience using Moz, you'll already know how clean and easy it is to navigate their interface. It's easy to find exactly what you want to do or see within Moz and they also offer great resources to help you find what you need.
Moz Local is not cheap by any means which can be the make or break feature for small business owners. Every month, Moz Local will cost you anywhere between $129 and $299.
Another one of the best local SEO software is GeoRanker. GeoRanker is great at finding local citations of your business. According to Moz, a local citation is, "A local citation is any online mention of the name, address, and phone number of a local business. Citations can occur on local business directories, on websites and apps, and social platforms."
It's also well known for its local rank tracker feature that allows you to see exactly where your business ranks in online searches. If you want to keep tabs on how your local competition is doing, you can run a local SEO analysis of all your competitors.
GeoRanker is great for people looking to leverage data to formulate and adjust their local SEO strategy. While it's great for data and analytical insights, it slightly lacks real-time management of your business' information online.
Good, actionable data does not come cheap and for these insights, users should expect to pay $99 to $490 per month for GeoRanker's local SEO services.
GrowthBar is another excellent local SEO reputation builder tool. The catch with this software is that you can use it as standalone software or install it as an extension on your Chrome web browser. Because of its uniqueness, we'll cover GrowthBar's features as a Chrome extension.
Since Google is one of the largest search engines globally and if you already have a Google My Business page, using the GrowthBar chrome extension gives your local SEO efforts more consolidation.
As it is installed on your Chrome browser, GrowthBar provides unique and actionable insights when you type in a search on Google.
As you can see, you get a keyword ranking difficulty score and a host of suggested keywords. This can be a beneficial feature if you are new to local SEO or just looking for fresh keyword ideas.
On top of this, GrowthBar also offers competitive analysis on their top organic keywords. All this and more is accessible by clicking the Chrome extension or viewing the results in online searches.
GrowthBar offers three distinct pricing plans and you can choose one that's best for your current business needs.
When you sign-up with Synup, your business is getting one of the best local search engine trackers. Its biggest selling feature is that it can search and crawl through over 200 local search engines to see if the information about your business is correct.
If the information is incorrect or there are inconsistencies between different search engines, it will alert you to make the necessary changes from the Synup software.
Synup is helpful for businesses that have more than one location as its software allows you to manage the activity of all of your locations. You can set up real-time alerts for any new messages, comments, or reviews that come in and you can respond to them all in Synup.
Like most of the best local SEO software, Synup provides good reporting features that show you the performance of your business's local SEO efforts.
Synup does not make its pricing publicly available on its website. However, they are known to offer their local SEO tool for approximately $30 per month and for each location you have.
They encourage you to contact them to inquire about rates and rates for businesses with more than one location may be flexible.
Yext is another terrific local SEO software but the one area where this software has a leg up on others is their integration with other platforms. It offers integration with over 175 different 3rd-party apps and some of the bigger ones include Facebook, Google, Hubspot, Alexa, and more.
Using Yext is important for businesses keen to manage their online presence and optimize the information presented on these listings.
You need your information to be easy to read — both for customers and for intelligent systems. Yext Directories, Locators, and Local Pages are built according to industry standards and best practices. We tag every field, from categories to hours, to events, ensuring search engines understand all your information, so it shows up in search and powers the rich experiences provided by intelligent services.
Yext's pricing is done a bit differently than most software today. They advertise their prices weekly and there might be some psychology involved in that. Prices shown weekly will obviously 'appear' to be lower, even though they are not. Take this into account when deciding which Yext plan is best for you.
Local SEO is a marketing process that every local business should use to have a visible presence online. When we say online, we mean the pages and businesses that appear in search engines.
Search engines take into account many different factors to give users the best results. Businesses would be wise to carefully monitor and ensure that the information they give on their website, social profiles, the links to pages, and customer reviews are as accurate as possible.
If everything is aligned and tells the same story, search engines will see your business as reputable and rank you higher within a local search.
It's no longer just good enough to be listed in the Yellow Pages for customers to find your business. We live in the digital world, and as such, your business' presence needs to be online as well.
While you used to get away with just listing your business in the Yellow Pages or a local business listings directory, that case no longer applies. That's because the overwhelmingly vast majority of people are doing their local business research online.
Take a look at the graphic below that neatly illustrates people's dependence on using the Internet to help them find what they are looking for.
When you consider that 86% of consumers rely on the internet to find a local business and that 97% of search engine users searched online to find a local business, it's easy to understand the importance of having an online presence.
Not having your business listed online is akin to almost not even existing. For businesses, having that online presence is what will propel them with local search rankings.
As the best local SEO software has shown, they can find incremental ways to ensure that local search visibility is dramatically better than if you were doing it yourself.
There are several ways local SEO software can help local businesses be discovered and remain relevant online.
List Your Business
First off, if your business is not already listed online, this software can list your business online for free. What's great is that since Google is the most used search engine today, this software will be able to create your Google My Business for free.
Increase Chances of Being Found Online
If your business listing is already on Google My Business, great! However, if your profile is more complete in terms of the information in your profile, images, and reviews, then the chances of local listings being found are greatly increased.
Measuring Your Progress Through Analytics
Let's also not forget that local SEO software not only helps you with your local business listings online but they also help track your progress. With this software, you can monitor the performance of your local SEO efforts by tracking the clicks, page visits, and conversions that come from the channels in your local SEO strategy.
Getting to Know Your Customers
As painful as some reviews might be for businesses, they are vital pieces of feedback that any business should not take for granted.
Not only do reviews help with local search results, but they also let a business know exactly what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong.
Local businesses would be wise to read and, if they can, respond to every review their business receives, whether it's good or bad. Doing so will help future customers see that you care enough about your business to respond to reviews and that you are striving to improve.
While there isn't a right or wrong answer here, it's probably best to at least start with creating a Google My Business page if you own a physical store.
After that, take a look at all of the local SEO solutions that are right for you. Some of the best local SEO software comes with a short trial opportunity. If you're unsure which one to use, you can get started by taking advantage of these trials.
If you own a business or a store with a physical address, you need to create an online business page.
Creating business listings is a common way for customers to find businesses and creating an online one is no different. Your Google My Business page will help your business be identified on Google and help local search rankings.
If your business has multiple locations, it's also advisable to create a separate Google My Business page for each location. The goal here is to make finding your store as easy as possible, and creating a different Google My Business page for each location helps them do just that.
When you factor in Google's algorithm, you should be, at a minimum, posting at least one post per week to your Google My Business page. That's because posts expire seven days after it gets posted.
Google favors business listings that are updated frequently and posting once a week will help with that. On top of posting, try and enriching and providing more value to your page by adding images and information customers might find helpful.
This can be your regular store hours, holiday hours, and answering customer reviews. This is a great reputation builder and customers will see that you are engaged as a business owner.
When it comes to promoting your business online, using the best local SEO software will give you a leg up on the competition. There are so many features this software can do and automate for you so that you're not left trying to figure out what to do.
In today's world, where everyone is online and customers are finding all of their information online, you, as a business owner, need to meet them there. Creating a Google My Business page for your store is the first step but there's plenty more you need to do.
With the best local SEO software, you can manage your local SEO efforts from one centralized location while also seeing what your competitors are doing well.
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