By Drew Hendricks
With mobile search expected to surpass desktop search this year, it’s more important than ever to realize how customers are interacting with the websites businesses are building. This includes how customers find those websites to start with. When customers look for your site using a mobile device, an entirely new set of search engine optimization (SEO) rules apply.
The popularity of mobile search means customers are often looking for businesses from a variety of locations. If a customer searches for a “great breakfast restaurant,” that customer will want a list of restaurants that serve breakfast near where they are at the moment, whether it’s at home, at the office, or while in the car on the way to eat. To make sure your websites are showing up when customers search, you’ll need to ramp up your local SEO. These tools can help.
About the Author
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media, and environmental addict. He’s written for many major publications, such as Developer.com, Forbes, and Entrepreneur.
5MinuteSite generates the keywords sites need to create SEO-friendly content that ranks well locally. You can add various keyword combinations and even add multiple locations to create new permutations. The tool allows you to continue adding information to be sure you cover all possible search terms.
Whitespark is a well-known tool for local SEO that helps you manage and optimize your local search engine visibility. The tool focuses on Citations, which account for a full 25 percent of the top 20 factors for search engine rankings, according to author David Mihm. Citations are listings on sites like YellowPages.com and Yelp.com, but unstructured citations are appearances on sites like blogs and local newspapers. When these mentions verify that your business is local, your prominence in local searches increases. Whitespark helps manage these citations to give your sites the best chance to win over the algorithms.
Local marketing goes beyond simple website SEO. LocalVox specializes in helping a business with all its local web-based marketing, including social media monitoring and publishing. The software allows you to syndicate in-store and brand messaging as native content on local publishers, as well as helping you push content to multiple places at once with just one click, saving time and effort.
Moz is already well respected for its suite of search engine marketing tools. With Moz Local, the company provides business listings in the five main aggregators of location data: Infogroup, Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, and Foursquare. Moz Local promises to keep a business’s listing consistent across all five of these databases. However, unlike when the service was provided as GetListed, it’s no longer free. You’ll be asked to pay $84 per year for the service.
BrightLocal Local SEO Check-Up audits a business’s listings across the Internet, including checking to make sure it’s listed in local directories. The audit also includes a check of Google+ Local to match a business against its competitors, as well as a thorough audit of each website to identify problems that could lead to low rankings in local searches. Agencies will pay $34.99 per month for up to six clients and $64.99 for up to 100 clients.
For between $69 and $799, depending on the number of sites you’ll be designing or maintaining, Yoast’s Local SEO plugin will help keep your WordPress sites in check with local SEO. Whether a business has one location or multiple locations, the plugin will gather the information and provide it to Google to ensure that no matter where customers are, they’ll find the nearest location based on the information the business provides.
Once you’ve put serious work into improving the local SEO on your sites, you’ll want to check to make sure they’re still ranking well. SEMRush allows users to monitor a business’s position in the rankings, including tracking local competitors in addition to tracking your own website’s rankings in Google’s top 100 organic and paid results.
Local SEO is here to stay, but that doesn’t mean website developers have to spend hours optimizing every page. Using these tools, you can save time while also making the most of each effort. By regularly monitoring the local search presence for each of your sites, you’ll be able to discover small changes you can make that will allow each site to rank higher than each of its competitors.