As discussed in my previous post, if you have a local business that relies on a certain amount of footfall, then you need to carry out local SEO in order to be found before the competition.
With this in mind, you will of course need to use tools, if you’re going to get the most from your local SEO efforts. The problem is finding these tools as, just like traditional SEO resources, it’s sometimes very difficult to see the woods for the trees.
For US readers, you can use the Moz local SEO tool GetListed, but unfortunately it’s only available in the States at the moment (as are many of the local tools), so I shan’t go into any detail here. Suffice to say you can read all about it on the Moz Local website.
Yext Power Lister
Yext PowerLister allows you to input basic information and gather data on local listings that are missing. You just input your business name, telephone number and your name and hit ‘scan’ and then a list appears telling you where you could be listed.
You can then build your listings before going on to checkout. However, bear in mind that I didn’t follow the entire process so I don’t know how much it charges for building your listings, the scan is free though. Despite this, it appears to be a great tool and offers analytics, review monitoring and enhanced listings. Great tool if you’re going to be carrying out a lot of local SEO, depending on price, not so good if you’re a small, one-man business.
Local SEO Checklist
Simple can be very effective and this tool can described as more of a reminder app than anything else. This gives you a step-by-step checklist which you can use to track local SEO and it saves the page contents even after you have closed the browser to come back to later.
I have read that this is a tool not to be without, but to be honest, it’s just a simple list, a memory prodder. The Local SEO Checklist is powered by Synup, which is another local listing service that’s generated by the Synup software. You can use the service for free but on testing, I found that the site was incredibly buggy and wouldn’t even let me get back to the home page without a fight. With that in mind, for the moment Synup is probably one you can do without but of course, it could have just been having a bad day …
Rio SEO and Factual
A recent pairing between Rio SEO and mobile data company Factual means that users now have the ability to automate syndication of relevant and local business listings using the Factual API.
The API integration means that as well as using 65m local business details globally, the data set also now includes the local data of Rio SEO local search customers.
“Integrating with Factual’s API for local business listing management gives our customers a competitive advantage, including the ability to syndicate and update their local business data in the Factual database in real time,” said Bill Connard, vice president for local search solutions at Rio SEO.
“Clients subscribing to our service can easily see how their business information is indexed in Factual’s system and update that data on the fly. This ensures that big brands with hundreds or thousands of locations are communicating the most updated, enhanced information possible to Factual’s distribution channel with a click of a button.”
This appears to be a very good product but again, not exactly transparent when it comes to pricing as it’s necessary to book a product tour and there’s no information available on the site.
This tool from the creators of Raven Tools is free to use and a simple yet effective way for you to create schema listings for your site, without knowing how to code. You can add information quickly and easily using the embedded form and then test the markup before adding to your site using the Google’s rich snippets testing tool.
You can create product schemas using this tool, very handy for the smaller online retailer indeed. For more information on rich snippets and products, check out the video from the Google Webmasters YouTube channel below.
Review Handout Generator
Not strictly a local SEO tool, this generator simply creates a PDF for you to hand out to customers in store to encourage them to go give you a review. Simply enter the details of your business, upload your logo and get ready to download the PDF (below).
The PDF gives clear instructions on what to do and this is a handy little tool for generating a highly user-friendly sheet that hopefully will get you lots and lots of lovely reviews. I’ve come across some articles online that suggest reviews won’t really help your local SEO, but several studies have shown this not to be the case, especially when it comes to Google’s Local Carousel, as the chart below demonstrates.
For the moment, not many searches bring up Carousel results, which appear at the top of the page in a ‘ribbon’. This only appears for certain types of searches too, so when I typed in ‘what to do in Falmouth’, I received a Carousel listing back as shown below.
Another thing to bear in mind with Carousel is that it will only display certain categories of business, which generally relate to food, leisure and entertainment.
Whilst Local Carousel results are for the moment still more prevalent in the States, it’s safe to say that it will be coming to the rest of us fairly soon. With that in mind, in order to optimise for it make sure that your business is in the category list (and list it on Places accordingly).
Also make sure:
- You have a G+ business page
- You have submitted high quality images along with your Places listing
- You have gathered as many high quality reviews as possible
- Citations are all present and correct
- You have used keywords in your titles and descriptions
A popular and sensible option when dealing with clients is to use a questionnaire for all of their SEO and content needs. With that in mind, check out this local SEO questionnaire from Local Visibility System, which can be used as a guide for creating your own that’s tailored towards the services that you offer.
If you offer local SEO services (or any SEO and content services come to that) then this is an invaluable tool. Not only does it help you to get to know your clients better, but it ensures that you have all of the necessary information to hand before you begin, saving time and costly mistakes.
As you can see, there are tools out there designed to help you carry out local SEO effectively, but many of those I found that could be useful tended to apply to US SEO professionals only, which is a shame. No doubt we will see more and more emerging onto the market, just as we have ordinary SEO tools, at some point in the near future.