So, you’re not Amazon.

One of the issues in the digital age is that when you measure with a big enough yardstick, nobody measures up. Once a business is willing to rescale their expectations, it’s perfectly fine and profitable to be the big fish in the small pond. Improving local search rankings depends on a specific type of SEO called Google local optimization.

Why Optimize? Because small businesses need to tell local people who they are, where they are, and what it is that they do.

Build a Digital Toolbox

There are a number of tools out there to help business owners build a digital presence, endless apps and extensions enhance the capabilities of other apps and make them work better. Working with SEO is no different, but like working with hand tools or power tools everyone will have a preference.

These are the top nine tools to use for DIY SEO.

1. Moz Local: Moz is a venerable player in SEO and SEM, and a friend to all webmasters and digital marketers. Moz Local is built on this foundation and assists business owners in ensuring that their listings are not merely visible, but consistent and correct. Price tiers begin at $99 per year.

2. BrightLocal: Since 2009, BrightLocal has built a widely adopted reporting platform for Local SEO. Freelancers, agencies, and businesses have adopted the platform to the tune of more than 45,000 users. They offer a free trial and pricing starts at an accessible $29 per month.

3. SEMRush: Listing Management. It may not have a snappy name, but this tool works with Yext to populate listings across Facebook, Google, Yelp, Foursquare, and many other services. It weighs in at a hefty $99 per month.

4. WhiteSpark: Originally a web design agency, the tools that WhiteSpark built to service their clients are now available for a fee. Most popular is their local citation finder, link prospector, and local rank tracking. Contact WhiteSpark for pricing.

5. NAVADS: Used by enterprise brands and media agencies, NAVADS developed relationships with the principal map development companies. If you see a company listed on Google maps, tom-tom, or Apple, location information came from here. A free demo is available.

6. GeoRanker: This handy Swiss Army knife of SEO helps in tracking local search rankings. It includes a keyword density tool, citation finder, and local rank tracker. GeoRanker offers both paid and free plans, with pay plans starting at $99 per month.

7. Synup: 55,000 local businesses use this technology suite to track performance in local search directories. It offers location management, the ability to crawl all listings, and sinks data across different sites. You can even respond to reviews from within the suite. It can be used to manage up to 25 locations at $30 per month per location.
8. Yext: The Yext Knowledge Network provides data cleansing, eliminates duplicate listings, and optimizes local pages. No freebies on this one; plans start at $199 per year.

9. Local SEO Checklist: Powered by Synup, this free tool offers DIYers an introduction to local SEO with a dashboard of 40 specific tasks to help companies optimize.

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Need a Hand?

SEO is a multipronged area of study. It changes with every new version of search engine code. Google local optimization practice provides the best bang for the buck when small businesses need relevant traffic to convert into sales. It’s entirely understandable if time and resources are short to do this in-house.

Partnering with an experienced SEO firm or digital marketing firm can get the results small businesses need and get them where they need to be – on the first page of search engine results.

Related Read: 7 Ways Images Can Boost Rankings