Sometimes, we underestimate our dependence on search engines. Even as I type this, I have a tab open regarding the nearest café to deliver a mid-day snack from. When you think about it, a lot of our inquiries on the internet come under local search.
Whether it be choosing the perfect salon, restaurant, or fashion store, most of us want services within our city (and area, if possible!). This might explain why local searches make such a vast chunk of search engine queries.
In fact, according to GoGulf, 46 percent of total searches on Google are local in nature. And SEO Tribunal further reports that 97 percent of people learn about local companies via search engines. Searches with local keywords like “near me” as well as “close by” have witnessed an increase of 900 percent in the past two years.
Take the game of Local search in your hands
Realizing its importance, it would be a grave error for local businesses to ignore the power of local SEO. While it is imperative for all brands to maintain a strong online presence locally, it is not always easy. This is where local SEO tools can come in handy.
Here are the top tools you can use to dominate local searches.
1. Yext – For Innovate Local Search Solutions
Having a strong presence on local directories is imperative for a robust online presence. Yet, as per WebFx, a whopping 56 percent of local businesses have not claimed their Google My Business page, which is among the most popular directories out there.
What I love about Yext is just how easy it makes to list your business in local directories. Apart from this, the tool offers various local search engine optimization services, including knowledge graphs, reviews, analytics, pages, and Yext answers.
To ensure that your target audience receives complete and accurate information about your business regardless of what source they search it on, Yext Listings helps in managing the facts about your business on a variety of platforms.
This includes Google, Apple Maps, Bing, Amazon Alexa, Yahoo, Yelp, etc. Rather than manually updating information on every platform, all you have to do is manage it all from a central source, which then relays the information to a variety of listings and platforms.
Therefore, for instance, rather than changing your number on every listing, you can cater to local phone number availability search via one dashboard.
Rather than having your content marketers draft answers to popular consumer queries, Yext provides a service that does it for you.
This site search product puts dynamic answers to user queries on your website. The language of the answer is carefully drafted to seem natural and inviting, thereby increasing the chances of conversion.
Additionally, the business gets insights about the queries site visitors had, which the website does not cater to. This allows you to better optimize your website for relevant local search.
Point to note- The platform does require a monthly subscription for its services. However, considering how efficient it is in managing directories and queries, it seems like a good enough investment to make if you are a local business.
2. Ahrefs – For Local Link Building
Link building matters for local search engine optimization, just like it matters for general search engine ranking. Yet, it is often ignored. As per Social Media Today, 94 percent of all content in the world features zero links. Yet, Google includes backlinks among the top ranking factors as well.
Ahref is an excellent tool for implementing local search SEO. The paid platform allows you to identify link building opportunities, conduct site audits, and analyze your competitors. While it offers various tools to help optimize for local search, I will be focusing on its link building tools.
To compare your backlinks with your competitors, you can make use of the Link Intersect feature. You won’t find this feature unless you know about it. To access it, you must click on the “more” tab and then proceed to “Link Intersect.” Put two websites on the search box, and then you will get all the sites that link back to the two sites mentioned.
You can use Ahref’s site explore feature to identify websites that do mention your brand but have not linked back to your site. Manually, it is close to impossible to find such websites. But, with Site Explorer, you can easily find and reclaim your backlinks.
The feature also has various features you can use. After all, not all brand mentions are worth tracking. To find the right links, you can opt for the “Do Follow” filter.
When it comes to link building tools, there aren’t many quality platforms available. Ahrefs is surely an exception, with its easy navigation and insightful functions.
3. Ubersuggest – For Keyword Research
Keywords are by far the most important element of a local search. After all, unless you know what local words your brand needs to rank high for, you cannot optimize your content for it.
Ubersuggest is an excellent tool that will come in handy during the keyword research and content creation process. And the best part is that the tool is free to use. All you need to do is sign up for Neil Patel’s platform.
This local SEO tool offers quite a lot of features. Personally, I like that it delivers keywords and topic ideas as well as keyword overview.
Keyword Ideas and Overview
Enter your primary keyword to get a list of long-tail keywords for your business. You will also be provided with details about each word like PPC, monthly search volume, SEO competition, and average CPC.
Filter your keyword results by searching for a specific type of word. This includes related words, questions, prepositions, comparisons, and suggestions that encompass words that cover the topic.
Apart from helping you in coming up with long-tail keywords, Ubersuggest provides a detailed analysis of the words you search for.
This includes details like the search volume trend, domain score, and the number of backlinks required to enter the first page of Google local search results. When you combine this feature with keyword ideas, you can effectively choose the right set of words.
The best way to use this resource is by using a mixture of different types of keywords, each ranging different in their performance. For instance, you might opt for a keyword that features lower traffic than some only because SEO competition for the word is low as well.
As per Search Engine Land, high-quality content is among the top ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. Therefore, merely knowing how to optimize your website for local search is not enough. You must develop content that cohesively incorporates your researched keywords.
This is where the content idea feature comes in. For every keyword you choose, you will be provided with a list of topics that you can cover. With each content idea, insights like social media mentions, backlinks, and traffic will be mentioned.
In short, you will be able to visualize which content idea is most popular among your local audience and then develop material accordingly.
4. Moz Local – For Holistic Local Search Engine Marketing
The last tool I will mention is one which I feel is perfect for local listings. In fact, it is among the most popular SEO tools out there as well, thanks to the brand image created by its developer – Moz.
Just like Yext, the platform allows you to manage your online listings. But unlike Yext, it is comparatively more affordable. Apart from managing your business listings, the platform also helps in identifying and closing down any duplicate pages that may exist. Two of my favorite features are:
Local Listing Dashboard
This allows you to manage, optimize, and track all of your online listing from a single dashboard. This helps in gaining key insights about the performance of your local search marketing efforts. Not to mention that any new listing information is shared in real-time with all key directories.
Additionally, the platform also offers detailed reports about the reach, average score, and accuracy of each listing. This helps businesses in deciding whether they need to take action to improve a given listing or not.
Review Monitoring and Management
According to Qualtrics, 93 percent of consumers’ purchase decision is influenced by online reviews, while 91 percent of people within the age bracket of 18 to 34 years trust online reviews more than personal recommendations.
With such glaring statistics, it is imperative to monitor and manage reviews about your local business. Moz enables businesses to do so. It allows you to monitor your rating and reviews on all popular review sites. It also helps in responding to Google reviews directly.
By managing reviews and listings, Moz does an excellent job of improving off-site local SEO for businesses.
Optimizing your online presence for local search is now a necessity. In a world where, as per Statista, 50 percent of the global population is online, and Ecommerce is on the rise, you wouldn’t want to miss out only because your business wasn’t reflected in the right search results at the right time.
I find these local tools really helpful for local SEO optimization. Try them out and see whether they tick the right boxes for you too! You can always opt for the trial version for those that require a subscription. Once you have found the tools that are best suited for your need, go ahead, and implement a killer local SEO strategy for your business. And let us all know by sharing your experience