5 Local SEO Tools Everyone Should Be Using

5 tools for better local SEO

There is no “secret sauce” or “proprietary didgeridoo” for ranking local businesses. The truth is, you can do a lot with a little—so long as you know what to look for and where to focus.

Sure, even with all the “helpful” algorithm updates, you’ll still see websites with blasphemous backlink profiles and craptastic NAPs ranking well. With a bit of patience and local elbow grease, any quality local business should have a chance to compete in the SERPs—and defeat those businesses that are attempting to “game” the system. 

If you’re looking to speed up your progression in the SERPs a bit, the right tools can help. We’ve compiled a few of our favorites here that anyone doing local SEO needs to consider.


Local tool What it does Why we like it
Moz Local Moz helps you manage citations and aggregators in a cinch. Quickly get your NAP listings sorted—and a lot more. Moz offers a lot of powerful tools at a solid price point, and you can accomplish a lot with just a few clicks.
BrightLocal or Whitespark Whitespark and BrightLocal are excellent choices for discovering and landing competitor citations. Both also have a robust suite of features for all things local. Both BrightLocal and Whitespark offer essentially everything you might need for effective local SEO.
Screaming Frog The Screaming Frog SEO Spider is an indispensable tool for auditing your website. Screaming Frog crawls up to 500 URLs on a site for FREE. That’s plenty of auditing power for a lot of local websites.
Google Alerts Google Alerts emails you whenever Google discovers new content on the web that matches the search terms you set. Unlinked brand mentions are an excellent source of backlinks. With Alerts, you’ll never miss an opportunity!
Ahrefs Ahrefs essentially does everything, but we recommend it here as a go-to tool for backlink auditing and research. Easily check your site or competitors’ sites to identify backlink opportunities and land some low-hanging links.


Here Are 5 Tools We Use to Keep Our Local SEO Game on Point

1. Moz Local

Moz Local can help you manage the data aggregators that feed citation information to third-party directories. While most local SEOs would agree that citations aren’t as powerful as they used to be, using aggregators to push your NAP and other business info to the most important directories remains a valid, valuable strategy.

Moz local landing page

You should at least be listed with Infogroup, Neustar/Localeze, Factual, and Foursquare. Moz makes that easy, and you can also delete duplicates or refresh inaccurate listings.

2. BrightLocal and/or Whitespark

Both Brightlocal and Whitespark offer a suite of tools for local SEO. At RicketyRoo, we’ve used both for auditing and discovering citations and competitive research.

BrightLocal links and website authority scoring

It’s worth mentioning again that citations won’t necessarily make your rankings (though they can help). But it’s absolutely a good idea to ensure that you have accurate information about your business available on the web. Whether you have a single location or thousands, ensuring that your business info is accurate and widely available where it matters has never been easier.

Whitespark citations summary

3. Screaming Frog

The Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawls your site and displays information about all the URLs it discovers. You can identify broken links, audit redirects, analyze metadata, look for duplicate content, and much more with the data Screaming Frog delivers.

Screaming Frog SEO Spider crawling console

Best of all—Screaming Frog is completely FREE! You can crawl up to 500 URLs on any website without a subscription. That’s plenty of crawling and auditing firepower for many local websites.

4. Google Alerts

There’s probably no easier way to get backlinks than with Google Alerts. Create an alert with your business name (and any common variations of your name, if applicable) and wait for the opportunities to roll in. 

Google Alerts setup screen

You might find mentions on locally or topically relevant sites you never would have found otherwise. And especially for local SEO, those locally relevant links can still be a treasure trove. Low DA? Limited traffic? Still worth asking for the backlink because local relevance matters more than some “proprietary” SEO software metric.

Most sites won’t purposefully exclude a link; it’s probably just a minor oversight. Prepare a simple outreach email and kindly ask for a link to your site. If not present, toss in a request for the business NAP while you’re at it. 

5. Ahrefs

Every local SEO needs a good backlink tool in their utility belt. At RcketyRoo, Ahrefs has been our weapon of choice. 

Ahrefs backlinks checker

Having an accurate representation of your backlink profile allows you to answer some useful questions:

  • Were there any black-hat tactics used in the past that should be addressed now via a disavowal?
  • What kinds of links do competitors have that are helping them rank better than me? Can I land some of those links too?
  • What competitor content is acquiring the most backlinks for them? (You can check that in Content Explorer and using the “Best by links” report.)

Even if you don’t have an account with Ahrefs, you can still check your backlink profile with them for free.

Happy Local SEO Trails!

Like we said at the beginning, there’s no “secret sauce” that will make or break your local SEO strategy. These tools won’t make or break your local SEO either. But they sure do make that local life a lot easier! 

You can accomplish a lot with the right local SEO tools. The greatest benefit is that these tools free up time by automating previously manual tasks. As a business owner, you can then use that time to focus more on your business. As a local SEO provider, you can focus more on representing your local clients well.

Whatever your role in local SEO and whatever tools you select for your arsenal, we wish you all the success in the world. As always, if you need any local SEO help, RicketyRoo is eager to hear from you. 

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Blake Denman

Blake has more than 14 years of local SEO and paid search marketing experience. He founded RicketyRoo in February 2009. Outside of running RicketyRoo, Blake enjoys spending time outdoors with his wife and Goldendoodle, June, hiking throughout Central Oregon.
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