21 Best Local SEO Tools in 2021
The internet. A massive digital landscape and Rolodex of services, products, and things of all sorts! How does one swim through this expanse and get seen by the right customers at the right time? Of course, you already have a website, a logo, and all the necessary social media accounts, but maybe you aren’t getting customers online like you thought you would…
As a local business or service provider, you’ll already have lots of fierce competition when it comes to showing up online. Countless pages of search results, monster e-commerce sites, and the growing expanse of businesses can make it look daunting, but with the help of Local SEO, you could be showing up on page 1 of Google Search Results in your local market in no time.
As a performance digital marketing agency offering organic search engine optimization (SEO) and local SEO services, we are here to give you the inside scoop on how to boost your organic traffic, conversions, revenue and more. These are our favourite local SEO tools that you can easily use to optimize your strategy and reach more local customers immediately.
This guide will show you what local SEO is, why it is incredibly important, and how you can boost your ranking quickly with amazing online tools (many of which are free).
What is Local SEO and how is it different from SEO?
SEO – Stands for Search Engine Optimization. These are strategies undertaken by a company to boost organic traffic. Local SEO, therefore, is simply strategies that help companies gain local visibility & search rankings. This means that local SEO strategies are especially valuable for businesses with a physical location or that serve a specific area.
Both play hand in hand with each other. In order to have a successful Local SEO strategy, your overall SEO needs to be strong. You will need to incorporate many factors into your approach, but some of the big ones include; directory listings, backlinks, keyword research, page speed optimization, & review management!
Sounds like a lot to tackle, right? Don’t worry. This list is a great place to start, and we are here to walk you through the gnarly path to make sure that you end up on top (of Page 1 that is!).
Why is Local SEO Important?
Have you ever just gone to the third page of a Google search and bought something? Picked a place to eat? I thought not. People don’t venture into the deep dark areas past the first page. In fact, SearchEngineWatch did a study noting that the top three Google results received 58.4% of all clicks!
Local SEO allows you to be seen in proximity to local customers who are likely to invest in your products and services. So even if you have the best late-night pizza, if you don’t optimize your local SEO then your culinary delights may not ever be seen by the hungry late-night online wanderer.
No need to worry, though. Here’s our list of our favourite tools for you to get your Local SEO in check, pronto!
The List: 21 Best Local SEO Tools in 2021
The following list of tools will give you and your business everything you need to optimize your local SEO ranking factors:
1. Google My Business
Tool Box Summary: Directory Listing
If your website is your “online store,” then Google My Business is your “online storefront”! And shoppers won’t go inside unless things look enticing. Also, Google loves everything “Google”. The more you dial into the fantastic features that they offer, the more they’ll reward you. Beyond that, Google is the most widely used search engine, so optimizing to be seen and show up in local search engine results (SERPs) will do you and your business a world of good. Google My Business is that little side profile that shows up on the right-hand side when searching for a business or service.
Think of it as a little snapshot that will show potential customers the details they need to take the next step towards doing business with you . Your brand name, hours, services you offer, products, reviews, and essentially all the info people want to see will be stored here.
Why We Like it: Google My Business is free (for now), easy to use and set up. It’s flexible, and any business owner can be proactive with the messaging and reviews of their business. So if you don’t have an account, don’t wait! Set it up right now before reading the rest of this post.
2. Bing Places
Tool Box Summary: Directory Listing
Even though less used than Google, Bing is a browser you will want to set your business up on. Similar to the fashion of Google My Business, Bing Places will showcase all of your business’s vital information when a potential customer is searching for a specific product/service in an area near you. Promote deals, add photos, show you hours, add social profiles and more.
Why We Like it: Bing Places is easy to set up, free, shares many of the same capabilities of Google My Business. Would you rather show up for potential customers that use Bing as their search engine or not? I’m betting the former, so get going to set this easy tool up.
Pro Tip: You can quickly import your business information over from Google My Business once you’ve verified your account there, so start with Google My Business, get verified, then set up your Bing Places account.
Price: Free audit with $20-40 Premium Listing Management Services
Tool Box Summary: Listing Auditor & Management
SEMRush has so many amazing features, but the Listing Management tool they have is pretty hard to beat when it comes to Local SEO marketing. Simply type in your business name to see current directory listings that you have, listings with issues, and listings that you don’t have just yet. All of that, done for free!
With a premium account, you can go even further, sending your business info to high authority directories that you may not have yet, monitoring reviews, & receiving reports on search queries. Appearing on high authority directory sites will get you seen by the right people and allow you the visibility you are searching for.
Why We Like it: The possibilities of the SEMRush toolkit are extensive. While the free tool gives you some insight on where your business sits with current listings, we love that the paid account (which is pretty reasonably priced) helps kick things up a notch. The platform is easy to use and walks you through the necessary steps you need to make. You will be thankful that you paid that $20 or so dollars to boost your online appearance.
Price: Starting at $99/Month for a lite a version, upwards to $999 for large businesses
Tool Box Summary: Backlink Builder, Site Auditor, Rank Tracker, Content Recommendations & Linking Opportunities
Although a little pricey compared to the other tools on this list, Ahrefs is a one-stop-shop for your SEO and Local SEO marketing strategy. Audit your site, take a look at your competitors, run backlink intelligence reports, look at what keywords people are using to search for similar services/products, and track your online ranking – all in one place. If you are looking to do it all (well, mostly all, you still need help from a couple other tools on this list like Google My Business), then Ahrefs might just be your end game answer!
Why We Like It: Boasting a huge toolbox that is sure to up your onsite and offsite SEO, we think that Ahrefs, while pricey, will maximize your local SEO ranking. Also, having all of these things in one place is an excellent little time saver. The fewer clicks, the better!
Price: Starting at $129/Year for a lite a version, upwards to $999 for large businesses
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Review Management, Google & FB Posting Capabilities, Reports & Insights
Another impressive toolbox for your SEO needs is Moz Local. While cheaper than Ahrefs, with fewer instruments, you will have plenty to play around with. List your business on multiple sites, find out what categories your business is listed under, make your information cohesive, remove duplicates, keep an eye on your business’s reputation and more. Not sold yet? Take a little sneak peek at the software by getting your free listing score. You’ll be shown where your business currently stands in the Local SEO pool and any opportunities that you can pounce on to boost your visibility easily.
Why We Like It: Moz Local offers an affordable and easy-to-use way to gain the visibility you need online. The platform is powerful yet simple to navigate, and there are tons of free SEO tools on their site that you can use to boost your business.
Price: Starting at $29/Month for a lite a version, upwards to $129 for large businesses
Tool Box Summary: Backlink Audit, Keyword Research, Content AI, Chrome Extension
For the savvier SEO-focused business, we have Growth Bar. While it lacks the link-building capabilities that other toolboxes may have, it comes at a moderate price with easy-to-use capabilities like keyword research, backlink auditing, and content creation AI. To add to that ease, use Growth Bar’s chrome extension to allow you to see quick SEO snapshot’s wherever you are browsing.
Why We Like it: For a very affordable price & the help of a nifty little Chrome extension, you can see SEO data in the blink of an eye. There is no need to run a competitor through software because you already have a snapshot when you turn your extension on.
Price: Starting at $99/Month with a lite version
Tool Box Summary: Competitor Analysis, Local Rank Tracking, Keyword Analysis, Analytics
Find out where you and your competitors are in the Local SEO realm and from there, use that information to boost yourself up even higher than them. Growthranker compiles a very strategic report that will show you a map of where you want to be and how to get there. With their affordable services, you could be seen on page one in no time.
Why We Like it: The rank tracking report can be made to be very granular. For example, city-level allows you to dial down into rank tracking, unlike other platforms without this capability. Georanker also displays these reports with heat mapping to show hotspots and areas of opportunity. They also offer a free trial, so you can see how everything works and check if it is the right software for you!
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Review Management, Review Acquisition, Automated Review Responses
Building your listing empire and managing your reputation online has never been easier with Synup. Scan, edit, and analyze your business’s NAP listings. Cohesiveness is key to listing your business, so this is a great software to include for quick and easy improvements. This software also specializes in review acquisition and automated review responses, meaning that you could be sending customers a ‘how’d we do email’ without even having to click a button each time. Having a high review ranking is a massive player when it comes to SERPs and we get that sometimes it can be hard to get people to give that feedback… well, it was before Synup.
Why We Like it: Synup is an easy and affordable way to manage your online presence and gather the amazing (or sometimes negative… but hey, areas of growth, right?) feedback that people are just hanging on to, but not putting out into the world.
Price: Starting at $199/year for 30 basic listings
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Review Management, Review Acquisition, Landing Page Development
Up next, we have Yext, Synup’s AI based competitor. Yext boasts incredibly powerful software for search, listing and reputation management. Their network is absolutely huge and allows for immediate listing populations. However, to list your business on those big players, you are going to have to pay. Although Yext is more expensive than Synup, if you are a business with multiple locations, looking to build out our directory on high authority networks, this software might just be for you.
Why We Like it: The listing network that Yext has is pretty hard to beat. So if you are looking to list on the high rankers of the web, then this is your spot. Plus, the custom web pages that they build using AI & intensive SEO research will be sure to boost your ranking, presence, and authority even more.
Tool Box Summary: Local Keyword Search, Link to Google Analytics
Here is another free high-value tool from the Google Toolbox. Search Console is a tool that allows you to manage & monitor your business’s search presence on Google. This handy platform will enable you to see what people search for when they click on your listing. You can even narrow down the results to ‘local keyword search’ to see how you appear to local customers near you and any opportunities to improve your organic traffic and overall keyword rankings. Using this tool gives you a glimpse into the eyes of your searcher and will let you see several areas of opportunity.
Why We Like it: An excellent and easy-to-use tool that lets you see what people are searching to find you. What is not to love here? It’s free, links up with your google analytics and can benefit you and your business immensely. Similar to Google My Business, this is a must for every business and website.
Tool Box Summary: Apple Listing Management
Mobile users will probably never start to decrease, so you want to continue to optimize your online presence on ALL things mobile. Apple Maps is one of those easy places for you to claim your listing and start showing up when your local hungry connoisseur is out for a late-night walk. But, first, you will need to register for Places on Maps & verify your business. This process is much like Google My Business and has lots of potential to bring you closer to your local clientele.
Why We Like it: We like any software that you can optimize on mobile. People often overlook this, and we think that it is great low-hanging fruit to benefit from! Easy to set up, easy to show up. Get started asap.
Price: Starting from $29/month or $2/Citation, $8/month for reputation management, Also try this out for Free for 14 days – no card required!
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Link Building, Local Search Audit, Rank Checker, Google My Business Audit, Reputation Management, Review Acquisition
With all of these tools, your Local SEO ranking is about to take an incredible turn for the better. If you are a small business with up to three locations, this software is pretty affordable for what you get. Where it starts to get a little hairy is if you are building out citations for many locations. The citations are not directly linked to your monthly cost, and depending on the types of data aggregators you want to be a part of these campaigns, things can get a little pricey. That being said, BrightLocal is a fantastic tool for boosting all things Local SEO in one place and is an excellent investment to increase your visibility.
Why We Like it: BrightLocal ticks off several of the boxes when it comes to optimizing your local SEO strategy. The platform is easy to use, the customer service is incredibly helpful and they have several pricing options, no matter your business size and budget.
Price: Offering an array of pricing for different tools – Free very basic account for listing management & citation building where pricing plans start at $39/month, Reputation management & review acquisition starting at $79/month
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Link Building, Local Search Audit, Google My Business Audit, Reputation Management, Review Acquisition
Similar to BrightLocal’s toolbox, Whitespark offers you a pretty comprehensive database to crack down on your Local SEO. You will be able to audit your business, manage your listings, build citations, manage your reputation and acquire reviews. They also have a free local SEO checklist for you to run through to tick off all boxes leading to your improved visibility and online presence.
Why We Like it: A great way to quickly and efficiently audit your listings, find new citations and manage your reputation. We suggest trying out the Local SEO checklist. It’s housed online, and you can manually add your business to it, allowing you to see your progress towards your improved ranking!
Price: Free version with crawl limit or around $250/Year
Tool Box Summary: Listing Management, Link Building, Local Search Audit, Google My Business Audit, Reputation Management, Review Acquisition
Screaming Frog is an in-depth onsite audit, showing you the key areas of optimization on your site. Even if you tick off all of your boxes for listings, reputation, keywords and more, you still need to optimize your onsite SEO. This SEO crawler will scan through your site’s HTML and metadata page blocks, duplicates, errors, redirects and more so you can score higher on overall site ranking on search engines.
Why We Like it: Quick, easy to use, and thoroughly helpful at looking at all pages on your site to see the areas you need to optimize. Even their free version gives you lots of value, but if you need to crawl larger websites, then the paid version is still a pretty digestible price for one year.
Tool Box Summary: Local Keyword Planning
Google continues to provide valuable free tools for you to use to build and tone your Local SEO strategy. Keyword Planner allows you to find new keywords based on local search queries or by simply showing you other keywords of opportunity by manually adding in your own keywords. Showing you estimated monthly search volume and average cost per click, this tool will allow you to plan content around keywords that are more likely to target that local market & get you in front of the people that matter.
Why We Like it: Keyword planner is a fantastic tool to hash out a bidding strategy on search keywords and a great place to start when creating your content marketing strategy. If you are already using Google Ads, this free tool is a well of untapped information.
Tool Box Summary: Schema Markup Generator & Indexing Management
Although computers and search engines are mind-bogglingly effective, they lack the ability to take in data and words that a person would. That is to say; they need a little bit of help when it comes to context. Schema markup is the computer’s language of context via specific code placed into HTML. This markup generator allows you to create schema microdata to place within your HTML script to point search engines in the right direction, thereby appearing in search engine results in a more relevant manner and boosting your ranking. You want to give people value as soon as possible and having your business show up with relevant results for a search is a great place to start!
Why We Like it: JSON schema markup generator is free to use and allows you to choose from a drop-down menu of the type of data you are trying to tag. The layout is simple and easy to use and also links you directly to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and Rich Results Test Tool so you can check your results after you implement it into your HTML script. Use the “Local Business” Schema markup generator to create JSON code for the location pages on your website.
Tool Box Summary: Desktop & Mobile Page Speed Scan
It takes a lot of box-ticking to make Google and other search engines happy, but page speed is a big one. Simply put your website URL in the tool to see your speed score, areas of optimization ranked by level of importance and time saved by implementing said fixes. It’s kind of a no-brainer that people are more likely to stay on a page if it loads quickly. Remember how long dial-up took? We do, and it’s a “no thank you” from us!
Why We Like it: Fix your page speed and people have a better experience on your website. That logic seems like a simple enough reason to make sure that both your desktop and mobile sites are performing in the most efficient and effective way. This tool gives you a quick and insightful report of the areas that need a little bit of TLC on your page. Common culprits include large image file sizes, lack of caching, too many redirects and more.
Tool Box Summary: Step by Step Local SEO Checklist
This web page walks you through all you need to do to make sure that your Local SEO strategy is bulletproof. Follow the 30 step checklist to strengthen your local SEO, optimize your site and show up for local customers searching for your wares and services.
Why We Like it: We love lists, so this web page is a pretty fantastic resource. Easy to follow with comprehensive walkthroughs that are concise, leading you to specific software (many of which are on this list). Get started checking things off your local SEO list now!
Price: Dependant on number of business locations and a per month fee
Tool Box Summary: Reputation Management, Review Acquisition, Listing Management, Competitor Analysis
Reviewtrackers is your one-stop-shop for everything reviews and online reputation. Keep an eye on reviews from 70+ sites, acquire new customer reviews, create up-to-date high authority listings, and keep an eye on your competitors. If you are looking to not only boost your local SEO but also really get a hold on your authority, this may be the software for you.
Why We Like it: Reviewtrackers is easy to integrate with a slew of other apps, meaning that you can have all of this data in one place without having to switch. Ease is important when dealing with most things digital marketing, so we like Reviewtracker for making this simple, yet incredibly effective software.
Price: Choose between a monthly subscription: starting at $29/month, or lifetime subscription: starting at $290 all in
Tool Box Summary: Keyword Search, Competitor SEO Page Analysis, Backlink Analysis, Content Analysis
Ubersuggest, the practical software from the Guru of SEO himself, Neil Patel, helps you find keywords, analyze your competitors, check out backlink data, and even see top-performing content based on keywords. Much like SEMRush with a smaller toolbox but at a price sure to make your wallet happy, this tool is an excellent resource for boosting your Local SEO. Plus Neil’s blog features tons of easy-to-read articles and videos touching on all aspects of SEO and local SEO optimization strategies. This combo of advantageous software and free in-depth knowledge will have your business in tip-top shape while helping you understand all the complexities of navigating your digital presence.
Why We Like it: Ubersuggest offers excellent value. The lifetime price for this easy-to-use and easy-to-understand software is pretty hard to beat. Your SEO and local SEO will be kept in check, especially if you supplement it with all the free content like Neil’s SEO Unlocked Free Training. Immense value, free training, and beneficial tools, all in one place!
Price: Dependant on how often software checks ranking and duration of subscription (check out their pricing plan calculator for more info)
Tool Box Summary: Search Engine Ranking Audit & SEO Planner, Keyword Ranker, Backlink Monitoring, Competitor Analysis
Several software platforms can show you your search engine ranking, but not many of them also develop a comprehensive checklist on how to fix and boost it. SE Ranking allows you to keep tabs on your site’s ranking and shows you the path to total optimization. Their easy-to-use platform is a simple, no-fluff look into SEO and Local SEO.
Why We Like it: As mentioned before, simplicity is key. This platform does it all but only shows you the important things. You’ll be able to work your way through their recommendations & even speak to their incredible support team to help you build up your local SEO to its peak.
The Local SEO Wrap Up
Well, there you have it. Twenty-one tools to boost your Local SEO, increase your visibility, and attract the right local customers to your business. There is no shortage of incredible software out there that can help you on your journey. We suggest tackling the free items on the list first *cough cough, Google My Business is so important*, and then making your way through the vast inventory of paid tools that will take you the extra mile.
At Ollo Metrics, we are always testing new digital marketing software and methodologies. Our team of experts is passionate about helping you understand digital marketing so that you can grow your business predictably and effectively online.
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