Last Updated on February 2, 2024 by Ewen Finser
If you are looking at various SEO tools and trying to figure out which is specifically best for local SEO, you’ve come to the right place.
I’ve been in the SEO world for close to 10 years and have learned the hard way that what works for broad search can be very different from local search.
Historically, most tools have been able to be morphed to serve local needs. More recently, major SEO suites (including my top picks) have rolled out dedicated suites and features SPECIFICALLY for local SEO objectives.
This has been a game changer.
In this guide I’ll lay out some of my top picks, why I like that, and when to use them based on typical use cases.
But first, let’s set the stage with a primer on what really makes local SEO it’s own distinct beast.
What is Local SEO and Why is it Important?
Local SEO is a subset of standard SEO that focuses on optimizing a business’s online presence to attract more customers from relevant local searches conducted on Google and other search engines.
When customers perform a local search, they’re usually looking for specific information about local businesses such as their address, operating hours, and reviews.
Local SEO is vital for businesses that operate in specific geographical locations. It helps them gain more visibility in local search results, thereby attracting more customers. It’s not just about using standard industry keywords, but also incorporating location-specific keywords into the business’s online content.
For instance, a construction company based in New Jersey might use key phrases like “construction company in New Jersey” or “builder in Trenton, New Jersey” to attract local clientele.
Local SEO also involves managing online reviews and ratings, as well as ensuring the business is listed correctly on local directories and Google Business Profile. With a fully complete Google Business Profile, businesses have the chance to appear in the local pack – the three results displayed at the top of Google search results, thereby boosting visibility and attracting new customers.
Role of Local SEO Tools in Enhancing Brand Visibility
The right local SEO tools can simplify your local search optimization process, helping you engage your audience, select the right keywords, monitor ongoing performance, and more. They assist businesses in tracking their local search rankings, managing their online reputation, and ensuring the consistency of their business information across various online platforms.
These tools also provide insights into your competitors’ local SEO strategies, enabling you to stay ahead in the competition. They can help you identify local citation opportunities, monitor customer reviews, and even facilitate voice search optimization.
Let’s now delve into some of the best local SEO tools that can help boost your local search rankings.
Top 14 Local SEO Tools to Boost Your Local Search Rankings
Editor’s Note: Semrush is actually my top pick overall, but because their suite is so extensive I’ve broken out the specific modules or tools WITHIN the suite and ranked them as compared to other external and internal tools.
1. Semrush: Best Listing Management Tool
Semrush Listing Management Tool tops our list as the best overall local SEO tool. It simplifies the process of adding and updating your business data across various prominent directories within and outside the US.
Once your listings are live, you can use the tool to track and make updates ensuring accuracy and uniformity across platforms.
It also provides valuable insights on customer reviews, local search performance and business rankings in your target city.
The tool can be configured to send you location reports via email, helping you stay on track without having to log into the tool.
Further Read: My Full Semrush Review.
2. BrightLocal: Best Dedicated Local SEO Suite
BrightLocal is another local SEO tool known for its user-friendly interface.
It simplifies the process of auditing your current local SEO performance, while also providing tools to manage your overall search rankings.
Yext also provides powerful tools to make your business listings compatible with voice search optimization.
Synup is a comprehensive local SEO tool that tracks your business performance on search engines, local directories, and review sites.
Synup crawls over 200 local search engines and directories to find data inconsistencies, ensuring your citations are accurate.
Whitespark is a local SEO software designed to help you track and manage your local citations.
It identifies and helps you manage these local citations, ensuring your data is consistent and accurate across various third-party websites.
5. Moz Local
Moz Local is a user-friendly local SEO tool that automatically syncs your information across various online platforms from your Google My Business profile, ensuring your data is always accurate and consistent.
The Position Tracking tool from Semrush tracks your website’s ranking for a custom set of target keywords.
It can also target a specific device type or geographic location, making it a useful local SEO tool.
Georanker is a unique local SEO tool that tracks the ranking of websites by multiple locations across the world.
It also has a citation tool that allows users to determine the sources of the citations their competitors use.
Unlike some of the other tools mentioned, this one isn’t paid (yay!) but nonetheless is a key tool to have in your toolkit for local SEO.
Google Business Profile is one of the best local SEO tools. It allows customers to locate information about your business such as an address or phone number. This is why it is important to keep your business up to date, and update your Google listing if necessary.
I always like to sanity check my assumptions with the Ads Keyword Planner. Basically, I want to know some basic search estimates, search value (what others are paying for clicks / impressions), and ideas for keyword targeting.
11. Google Search Console
Google offers the Google Search Console to help you ensure your website remains Google-friendly and offers a virtual TRESURE TROVE of insights and information.
The key is to be able to properly slice and dice the data into usable insights. I personally use other search console addon tools like QueryHunter.io (for WordPress sites) to bring in useful data on terms you already rank for but should be better optimizing for (or creating new pages about).
This also can be particularly useful for an established local business ranking for lots of terms that could be better served by blog content. Many old businesses tend to rank for lots of seemingly random (to the core navigation pages) but topically relevant terms that could be great lead magnets.
12. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a web analytics service that tracks and reports web traffic to users. Similar to Search Console, there’s a lot to learn from just analyzing what traffic trends are present in a local market.
13. Google Trends
Google Trends is mainly used to compare keyword popularity and track event-triggered increases in the keyword search volume. I love trends for tapping into keywords and topic angles that might not otherwise show up in a local keyword search module.
Another key use case for local businesses is to properly gauge and time seasonal promotions by looking at when historical search volume spikes.
14. Local Falcon
Local Falcon is a local SEO rank tracker for maps. It uses a grid system to show you multiple “scan points” that represent your business’s location.
Conclusion: So Which Local SEO Tool is Best?
Local SEO is a critical aspect of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, especially for businesses that rely on a physical location or offer localized services.
Leveraging the best local SEO tools can help businesses improve their local search visibility, attract more local customers, and ultimately, drive more sales.
Personally, I’d recommend (for almost everyone) starting with the Semrush Listing Management Tool. It’s part of the best in class SEO suite, but offers a dedicated solution for the most important part of local SEO to get right.
But if you just do local SEO and need a simple, cost-effective local SEO dashboard (e.g. don’t need the full Semrush suite), go with with BrightLocal here.