The world of SEO is constantly changing, taking marketers on an unpredictable roller coaster that seems to have no end – and one major pit stop that’s taken the limelight is local SEO.
Local SEO entails optimizing your business to successfully generate traffic from local search. It’s an effective way to market your business online and reach new potential leads and consumers from location-based search. Optimizing local SEO has become an essential part of digital marketing today and simply can’t go ignored if businesses want to effectively expand their digital presence.
Whether you’re new to local SEO or have been optimizing for a while, it’s always helpful to take advantage of free resources to monitor your efforts. Here are five essential (and free) tools to help you dominate local SEO effectively.
There are dozens of local search ranking factors that marketers and businesses should constantly make an effort to keep up with. On top of that, there’s many tools that help businesses optimize for rankings and local SEO, but these are the free ones to save the day:
With Yext, you can see how your business listings appear across the web for free. Simply put the information in and you can instantly find your listings from Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and other major search engines. Once you see what’s missing for your online listings, you can edit and fix them to make sure your business information is properly listed for local SEO.
With Maps Connect, you just sign in with an Apply ID, claim your business, and can edit your business information that’s displayed on Apple Maps! With a mass of people who use Apple products and Apple Maps, it’s important your business displays accurate information to reach a wide market.
Bonus Tip: Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) are consistent across all business listings and business mentions!
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Once you enter your business name and zip code, MOZ Local asks you to choose the most accurate listing and checks that your business is verified. It also provides a graph illustrating how complete your listing it so you know where you need to make changes.
Did you know that citations (any mention of your business on the web) are a major local ranking factor? Whitespark works to monitor your listing and citation growth to optimize for local rankings. It offers businesses a free trial and a variety of plans for businesses that want to scale up their packages.
Source: Local SEO Guide
Local SEO Guide’s N.A.P. Hunter is another tool that is used to monitor citations. Simply install the Chrome extension and follow the easy steps on their website to get a free audit of your citation rankings. The N.A.P. Hunter helps marketers save time by working to clean up business data and speed up the process of citation auditing.
With such a heavy load of responsibilities that are under the digital marketing umbrella, it’s hard to find the time to efficiently allocate enough time toward each one. But with the help of tools like the ones listed above and an experienced SEO agency, you can alleviate some of the pressures by allowing them to take on some of the workload and help you prioritize. And the best part is that they’re free.
With essentially nothing to lose, businesses should certainly take advantage of these tools at hand. Don’t lose out to your competitors – boost your rankings and generate qualified leads!