Local SEO Checkup: How to Use Bright Local to Improve Rankings

You have a local SEO business that wants to generate more leads from search engines. If you can have one tool that will help you sell clients while helping you complete the local SEO process,  you’d be in business! Bright Local is one such tool and here I’m going to give you an inside look into Bright Local’s 7 easy to use SEO tools and how to use them for your next local SEO project.

Bright local is simple, low cost and a tool you should absolutely be considering for a local website you’re looking to promote.

I recommend you watch the step-by-step video walk though of Bright Local where you can see how to set-up and run reports for a local business. Otherwise, follow the written tutorial below.

Here we’ll look at the 7 tools including:

  1. Local Search Rank Tracker (video starts at: 9:25)
  2. Local SEO Checkup (video starts at: 13:20)
  3. Citation Tracker (video starts at: 21:58)
  4. Google+ Local Wizard (video starts at: 27:47)
  5. Citation Burst (video starts at: 32:53)
  6. Review Biz (video starts at: 35:20)
  7. Review Flow (video starts at: 39:54)

Local Search Rank Tracker

Let’s kick this off with the local search rank tracker tool. As you can imagine this tool is going to help you track your rankings. The nice part is you can track both local pack and organic rankings from within the dashboard.

From within the dashboard you can analyze the 3 main search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as each of their individual local packs and then track the change in rankings over time.

To help automate the process you can have weekly or monthly rank tracking reports run automatically and sent to you. You’ll be able to track rankings again the last report or any previous report.

The reports are very accurate as well as you are able to set the search location to ensure you are getting accurate local results.

The rank tracking reports can also report on 3rd party results like Yelp, Facebook, YouTube, etc. so you can see when the business appears in search results on other websites.

Some other tasks you can do within rank tracker include:

  • See results in 2 charts: the aggregate ranking chart for the full report or search term tracker chart for monitoring a single keyword
  • View / download reports in various formats or even view them online
  • You can let your clients view reports online using an external URL and the reports can be white labeled.
  • You can specifically monitoring rankings for up to 10 URLS
  • Monitor your rankings against up to 5 competitors.

Local SEO Checkup

The local SEO checkup tool is a complete SEO audit tool that conducts hundreds of automated checks on a site to tell exactly what needs to be worked on. Generating one of these extremely detailed reports only takes about 5 minutes to set-up and you’ll have a full report delivered to you in about 15 minutes.

Think of this as a roadmap to the SEO work that needs to be performed for better rankings.

The unique report you’ll be provided will include 6 sections:

  1. Off-site SEO
  2. On-page optimization
  3. Search engine rankings
  4. Local directories
  5. Google places
  6. Social media
  7. Appendix

As you can see a full picture is provided. You’ll have in your hand information on the site’s back links, domain authority and other off-site SEO factors. Technical on-page optimization issues will also be shown so you can see what has been done well and what needs your attention. You’ll also get a quick glimpse of the site’s rankings both organic, local pack and rankings in top local directories.

The Google places section will compare the site to the competitor ranked in the top position to easily see what they’re doing that you’re not. Next you’ll see the business’ social media use.

The final section is the appendix which is quite detailed as it provides detailed SEO insights into the top 20 pages of a website.

These reports can also be used to share with clients if you want to give them an easy to understand overview of why their site is not ranking. The reports can also be white labeled so you can upload your logo, customize the info displayed, add your color scheme and so on.

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Google+ Local Wizard

This is perhaps my favorite tool as you can easily compare your site to the top ranking competitors to a keyword of your choosing. This gives you the ability to see why competitors are ranking higher than you by seeing which citations they have but you do not. There are a number of metrics you can see at a quick glance here including:

  • The business categories used
  • The number of citations each listing has
  • How powerful the citations are
  • Citation opportunities that you have missed
  • How many review competitors have
  • How many images they have in their profile

What’s great about the Google+ Local Wizard tool is that you can easily see where your site stands against the top ranking competitors.  You can monitor your rankings and the ranking factors.

The reason Bright Local gives us this information is because these are factors Google looks at. At a quick glance we can see how to better our own profile and which citation opportunities exist so we can take advantage of. That will, of course, help boost our local rankings.

You’ll also be able to sort this information easily based on how you want to view it. You can see a full list of citations in a citation matrix and then sort by each factor to see which business is performing best for each factor.

And finally, you can generate a white label report to share or use.

Citation Tracker

Citations are huge for local businesses and it’s a huge part of what you need to do to rank local businesses in the local pack.

The Citation Tracker will find existing active citations as well as old or out-of-date citations. Now here is where Bright Local really stands out. If you have a business that has had a previous address or phone number, you can enter it into your dashboard and Bright Local will find any citations with that information as well. This will help you make sure all your local citations are squeaky clean.

Citation Tracker will also help to spot citation opportunities that competitors have taken advantage of but you have not.

The dashboard will not only allow you to make changes right there but also help you track changes to your citations as you make them so you can monitor what has been completed or which citations are pending. You’ll find the citation sources are broken down into 3 sections: active, pending and potential citations.

When you’re first getting started, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. Luckily, Citation Tracker makes it easy to figure this out as you can see all the citation metrics to help you identify the most valuable ones.

Citation Burst

Creating and correcting citations can be quite tedious which is why Bright Local offers their Citation Burst service. This is an additional premium service which helps you to create or correct citations that you want. Some of the benefits of this include:

  • Pay only per submission (starting at $2 for bulk orders and $3 for smaller orders)
  • Over 1,500 directories they will submit to
  • They can create new or fix existing citations
  • All submissions are manual
  • You can track results through a report
  • The process takes no more than 14 days (depends on the number of citations / corrections you’ve ordered)
  • All citations are double checked to ensure everything was submitted as expected

Review Flow

Reviews are extremely important for local businesses. From Google reviews, Facebook reviews, Yelp and many other directories featuring reviews, local businesses can greatly benefit from a large number of positive reviews.

Bright Local’s Review Flow searches for the top 40 review sites and reports back which ones have reviews and the stats about those reviews.

From the Review Flow dashboard you can monitor new reviews as they are left and can even respond to the reviews with the click of a button.

As I bet you can guess by now, you will also be able to see reports for this information. You can get report data for all sites such as average start rating, etc. You can also compare reports month-to-month to see how you’re improving and just as with the others, the reports can be white labeled if needed.

Review Biz

This is a really neat and unique feature of using Bright Local that many people don’t know about or take advantage of. With Review Biz you can create a widget to embed on your site so customers can leave a review from directly on your site.

The best part is Bright Local will automatically go out and search for any review sites the business is listed on and then automatically add those to your list. You can then select the sites you wish to have appear on the widget and even add in other options as well.

Simply grab the code, through it onto your sidebar or where ever you’d like it to appear and you’re done. If you’re not familiar with code, you can hire a developer and this won’t take more than a few minutes of their time.

And as with the other tools you can also white label the widget by adding custom header and footer text if you’d like.

Wrap Up

As you can see, Bright Local is an all-in-one SEO tool for local businesses. You’ll be able to complete the full SEO process with their 7 tools that you can access from a single dashboard. In my experience, they have excellent support which you’ll notice from the moment you sign in. Their responses are quick and helpful and they are there to make sure your sites see the most benefit from using their tools.

As with any tool, I highly recommend you sign-up for a free trial so you can test drive it yourself and see how it works for you. Bright Local will even fully support you during this time and they don’t ask for any payment so there is no risk other than missing out on a great tool by not trying it out.

I truly hope you’ve found this overview of Bright Local helpful and that your sites will greatly benefit from.

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