When you segment a search engine results page (SERP) for the search of a local business, it’s separated into three different types of entries… local advertisements, the map pack, and organic search results. If your business is regional to any extent, it’s critical that you prioritize being found on the map pack. Surprisingly, this has little to do with your website. Local SEO focuses on local searches in directories, social media platforms, review sites, and visibility in the map pack.
Optimizing for local SEO requires an ongoing strategy of:
- Citation Management – ensuring your brand is consistent and that you share quality content across all quality local directories – the primary being your free Google Business listing.
- Review Management – visibility in most directories is dependent upon capturing great reviews from your customers. Having a methodology to solicit and track your reviews is essential. Having the means to publicize them automatically on your site will influence visitors as well!
- Reputation Management – consumers and businesses alike both review business listings to not only see the reviews but to request information or publicize a critique of your business. Your staff must be alerted and respond to these to ensure you can maintain a great reputation online.
SEO Versus Local SEO Platforms
With our local SEO clients, their visibility in the map pack performs just as well, if not better, than their organic search results. And while we have invested heavily in an enterprise SEO platform, it actually lacks all the features necessary for local SEO. For that reason, we invest in BrightLocal for our clients.
Simply put… in order for your local business to drive retail visits, schedule appointments, drive phone calls, and improve your local search visibility, you must manage your citations (listings), ensure they’re consistent and not duplicated across the array of sites, solicit reviews from customers, and respond promptly to requests from the array of platforms. Brightlocal empowers agencies, SEO consultants, marketers, or business owners to manage all of this from a single platform.
Local SEO features of Brightlocal include:
- Local Search Grid – a map-based view of how your business ranks on regional searches. While typical rank trackers display your average or overall ranking, the local search grid reveals how you rank across your region so that you can focus on keywords and reviews from regions your competitors are winning in local search for.
Typical Rank Tracker
Local Search Grid
- Local Rank Tracker – Knowing exactly where your local business ranks online doesn’t have to be complex. Cover every angle with accurate rankings for local search, maps, organic, and mobile results.
- Local Search Audit – Superfast, fully automated local SEO auditing that reveals the issues that are holding you back, and your best opportunities to improve search visibility.
- Citation Tracker – Citation Tracker pulls in citation information from across the web so it’s right at your fingertips. Track your existing citations for accurate NAP, identify and remove duplicate listings, and find new quality citation sites.
- Google Business Profile Audit – Uncover what’s holding you back with your GBP, why competitors rank higher, and how your map pack listing is really performing.
Brightlocal is a complete platform to monitor, audit, and improve your local search visibility and drive regional engagement with your brand. It’s an affordable solution for any business and extremely well-priced for agencies. They even offer their own Agency Directory to promote the agencies who subscribe to the platform.
Disclosure: Martech Zone is an affiliate of Brightlocal and I’m using our affiliate links throughout this article.