It’s time to address the “S-word.” For local business owners, SEO (search engine optimization) may sound like a dirty word. Don’t worry, it doesn’t actually mean anything inappropriate…in this case. But it does cause a lot of frustration (and maybe spewing of a very different “S-word”) for anyone who doesn’t have the time to spend countless hours studying marketing automation or web development.
Big brands have considerable SEO resources. But that doesn’t mean local business owners have to choose between being left in the dark or making sacrifices to the SEO gods to get your business found online.
We took the time to pull together some SEO resources that local business owners like you rely on to boost their online relevancy and findability. We loosely call these do-it-yourself (DIY) resources not because you’ll be doing all the work yourself, but because each one serves a specific, piece-part service for your SEO strategy. Check them out, and see if any make sense for your business. Thank us later.
If anyone knows SEO, it’s Google. And they’re willing to help you track your website’s performance and ranking in search results. They’ll even give you more information about Google’s policies and how they index sites like yours. This solution requires you to be a little more hands on than others, but there’s some good news too…it’s free.
BrightLocal is a pretty comprehensive suite of SEO reporting tools. They target local businesses like you, and their dashboards seem pretty intuitive at first glance. They offer online listings, site analytics and search ranking information. Plans start at $29/month.
3. Moz Local
Moz is a beast in the SEO world. And they have a special product targeting small businesses with local online business listings management. Online listings help local search engines and new customers find you first online. They’ll charge you $9/month for what they call “dozens” of online listings management and monitoring.
Yext offers a broader range of services than most, and they boast some pretty big name customers. But they also have a local business offering. According to them, they’ll fix your information online and keep an eye on it to make sure it stays that way. They’ll also make sure your listings are visible in common apps, maps and social networks. Then they’ll help you stand out with rich content like photos and videos. Yext doesn’t list their pricing on their website.
5. Yoast Local
Yoast is well-known for their WordPress plugin that helps businesses analyze content on their websites. It looks at keywords, linking, readability, navigation and more. They have a local version of this plugin that hands your information over to Google and other search engines to ensure you put the best foot forward online, as it relates to your geographic area. They have a free option (yay!) and you can also upload to a premium version to take advantage of additional features.
RankSense offers what they call real-time “machine-assisted SEO.” According to them, proper SEO is nearly impossible to do manually. We’re sure that rings a few bells for local business owners like you. So they built a software to help measure your business website’s effectiveness and provide recommendations for tweaks along the way. We couldn’t find pricing on their site, but they do offer several different versions of free audits, demos and even a free trial before you commit.
Don’t let their kooky name scare you off. Similar to RankSense, Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider will assess your website and evaluate your onsite SEO. The tool claims to find broken links, analyze page titles and metadata, discover duplicate content and even integrate with Google Analytics. Their free version is good for up to 500 URLs (wow!), and they offer a paid version as well. Since the company is based in the U.K., the pricing is in pounds. But they serve the U.S. without much trouble and accept most major credit cards. Just Google the exchange rate.
This is another SEO assessment, tracking and reporting tool that could help you monitor your onsite SEO as far as traffic, keywords and rankings are concerned. What’s unique here is that they deliver them straight to your inbox each week. Plans come as low as $49/month.
Get ready for a little bit of legwork with this one. For free, SEMrush lets you enter your business website’s URL, and it will provide you with loads of information on how your site is performing online and exactly what’s driving traffic to it. The dashboard of info is a lot to navigate, but it shares keyword information and even shows you how your site stacks up against the competition. It’s free to start, but you can unlock more data for as low as $99.95/month.
So Many SEO Options
(Full disclosure: Some of these products do similar stuff to our own suite of business automation tools. But since we do more than help small businesses boost their SEO, we’re not afraid to give the competition a little shout-out.)