founded RicketyRoo on being honest and as transparent as possible with clients. I’ve learned that the more and more we are honest and open with clients, the more and more they trust us to do the work we do.
There is no “secret sauce” or “proprietary” didgeridoo when it comes to ranking in local. Sure, at times I wonder in disgust (see pic >) looking at blasphemous backlink profiles and craptastic NAPs, wondering why oh why are these jack-holes ranking.
As the case for most (not all), a clean NAP profile, and a good, “natural” looking backlink profile will give you the rankings you desire.
Here are 5 tools that we use to help clients in the local SEO game:
**Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with any of these companies outside of using their services.
Citations matter. In the US, there are 5 top data aggregators that have a lot of trust with Google, and feed citation info to other third party directories. They are Infogroup, Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, and Foursquare. For $89/year per listing, Moz Local will establish a consistent business listing in all five of these aggregators.
Besides taking care of these top 5, Moz Local also has Best of the Web and Superpages included.
Getting started is a cinch. Moz Local will also help you squander duplicate or inaccurate listings on these directories as well. Most can be taken care of with a click of a button.
Both BrightLocal and Whitespark have similar products, but they do have differences. If you’re solely looking to get citation info, find potential citations, and look up your competition’s citations, I prefer Whitespark.
BrightLocal has a similar tool for citations, I just find that the Whitespark tool to be a bit more accurate.
BrightLocal has some pretty cool features as well. Including Rank Tracker, which is pretty accurate compared to manual reviews we have done in-house.
Hands down the best tool available that is completely free. Screaming Frog’s SEO Spyder allows you to quickly crawl, analyze, and audit technical onsite SEO metrics.
You can export title tags, meta descriptions, page headings to excel, and view broken links as well.
The best guide to screaming frog ever: http://www.seerinteractive.com/blog/screaming-frog-guide/
Probably one of the easiest ways to get great links is through Google Alerts. Set up an alert for the business name, with the alert set to notify as it happens and include all results.
Small, authoritative editorial websites run stories about local businesses all the time, yet they rarely link to the business the article is about.
They don’t do this to not link to the website, just a minor oversight. Prepare a simple outreach email and ask kindly for a link to the website, and if they could also include the business NAP info that would be great too.
If you can get the link and an unstructured citation from a locally authoritative website, that’s a double whammy of local SEO goodness.
Every local SEO needs a good backlink tool in his/her utility belt. Ahrefs has been my weapon of choice, but Moz’s Open Site Explorer and Majestic SEO have great tools as well.
Being able to look at a website’s backlink profile enables a local SEO to do a couple of things:
- Check the backlink profile for the website you are working on. What kind of links have been built to it in the past? Do any of those links need to be removed or disavowed?
- Site you are working is on page 4, how did #1, #2, and #3 get to those positions? Doing a thorough backlink analysis of the competition gives you a glimpse of what has worked, and give the possibility of some easy link opportunities.
- You can also view the highest performing content from a competitor’s website by using the Content Explorer.
- Monitor links to make sure that someone jack-hole isn’t trying to sabotage your local SEO badass-ness via negative SEO.
There you have it, 5 tools that every local SEO should be using. Tools are great, but can be used incorrectly.
Local SEO isn’t easy, but these tools can help you achieve local SEO success.
Blake is the President & Founder of RicketyRoo Inc. He has more than 12 years of local SEO and paid search marketing experience working with a variety of small to medium-sized businesses. He’s a contributor to the Moz Local Search Ranking Factors and speaks at digital marketing conferences about local SEO.