Have you ever tried to navigate your way through a pitch-black room?
You can barely make out a few fuzzy shapes in the darkness, and you end up stumbling while trying to navigate the hurdles standing in your way.
Ouch! Have I always had the dresser there?
Bah! Why is my dog sleeping in the middle of the bedroom floor?
Eventually, you make your way through and feel the doorknob in hand. Unfortunately, you’ve also taken quite a beating along the way.
You’ve run into walls, bumped into tables and broken more than a few things trying to get to your destination.
And you just wasted a ton of time stumbling around and hurting yourself. You could already be in the kitchen enjoying that midnight snack by now.
Wouldn’t it have been so much easier with a flashlight?
You’re probably thinking, “Well, of course.”
It’s just easier—and less dangerous—to get from Point A to Point B when you can see where you’re going.
Now, think of your SEO strategy like that dark room.
You need to get to the top of a search engine results page (SERP) but you’re not sure what obstacles are standing in your path.
If you try to get through without any help, you might make it—but you’ll come out bruised.
To get to your destination more efficiently, you need a flashlight.
This is where our BrightLocal review comes in.
What Is BrightLocal?
BrightLocal is an all-in-one SEO tool that acts as your guide for managing your local search strategy. It shines the spotlight on everything that powerful local SEO demands.
It allows you to keep an eye on everything from regional SERP rankings to citations to reviews right in the same place.
Better yet, all your most valuable SEO metrics and analytics are displayed in one neat dashboard, eliminating the need to switch between tons of tools and platforms.
BrightLocal helps you cast a light on the parts of your SEO strategy that were previously hiding in the dark.
When you can better track your online presence, you can make more strategic decisions and have more control over the direction you move—preventing you from taking a beating or wasting precious time on your way to the top.
What Are the Benefits of Using BrightLocal?
BrightLocal is more than your traditional SEO tool.
It’s a unique tool designed for agencies, freelancers and businesses trying to make an impact in the local search results. As such, it puts the most important parts of a local SEO strategy at the forefront of the dashboard.
Easily Track Keyword Rankings
Rankings are your end goal when it comes to creating an SEO strategy, so it’s crucial to be able to easily track where your content is appearing for different results. With BrightLocal, it’s easy to see how your rank is improving, as well as see how your content ranks on different search engines.
The Local Search Rank Tracker breaks down how your content is ranking across different platforms. The main dashboard is broken into three parts: rankings by position, rankings by change and your rankings table.
The Rankings by Position chart gives you an overview of what slots you’re ranking in across different keywords. By using an easy-to-read gradient chart, you can clearly see whether or not your SEO efforts are paying off.
You also have the option of selecting different timeframes or search engines to see how you’re appearing on different platforms.
In the Rankings by Change table, you can see how your content is moving around on different platforms.
You’re able to set your own comparison dates to see if you’re improving, losing traction or if you’re staying the same. You can also see what new listings have been added to each search engine.
Finally, the Rankings Table provides you with the most detail about your keywords and ranking. In this table, you get a breakdown of each keyword and how it ranks across the various search engines.
You’ll also see how the keyword’s rank has changed over time, if it appears in the Local Pack results, and if it displays as an ad.
This comprehensive overview of your search rankings can help you track how your SEO strategy is working. You can determine your best search engines, what keywords are the strongest, as well as if you’re improving your rank.
BrightLocal also allows you to automate your reports according to your own schedule. By setting automatic updates, you’ll receive email notifications letting you know when new information is available.
This lets you keep track of how your keyword placements are changing without needing to take additional time out of your busy day to run a report.
Quickly Build Local Citations
Local citations make it easier for your customers and clients to find you. They provide potential customers with your company name, address and phone number so that they can visit your shop or get in touch to learn more information.
Citations are also great for local SEO.
However, if those citations are incomplete, outdated or just contain wrong information, it can hurt your reputation both online and with your customers. When citations don’t match up, search engines may not be able to connect the dots that you’re the same company—hurting your SEO. But building and managing dozens of digital citations can be extremely time-consuming.
BrightLocal offers a complete management tool for your online citations. First, on the main page of the Citation Tracking dashboard, you can see how many of the top sites you have a citation on, as well as if those citations are accurate.
If BrightLocal is unable to find NAP information or the information is inconsistent, you can easily identify issues and correct course.
BrightLocal will also help you clean up citations and remove duplicate citations. This can help improve your online presence and guarantee that the information your customers and clients are getting is accurate and up to date.
Additionally, BrightLocal will monitor your competitors to discover new or niche citation opportunities that can improve your SEO ranking.
Within the Citations Tracking dashboard, BrightLocal will present you with a list of potential citations. This table shows you the directory, as well as which of your top five competitors have a citation on that page.
You can also determine the authority of the citation if you need to pay for the listing, and the site type, allowing you to make more strategic decisions about the citations you target.
If you’d like to get a citation on a specific page, you simply need to click the “+” button under actions and BrightLocal will do all the work for you. You can then track pending and active citations within the same dashboard.
Efficiently Monitor Reviews and Testimonials
For a local business, reviews are one of the top factors when it comes to SEO. Because Google and other search engines want to recommend only the best of the best to their users, they’re going to take a look at how past customers and clients felt about working with your business before they decide where to place you in their rankings.
This means you need to make an effort to secure new reviews while also keeping an eye on what past customers are saying about your business. But to monitor each review platform manually, you’d have little time to do anything else. Luckily, BrightLocal scans all the major review platforms for you and compiles all your reviews and ratings in one place.
Within the Reviews & Ratings dashboard, BrightLocal allows you to monitor your views by site and by rating, as well as giving you an overall summary.
The Summary Chart shows you your average rating across all sites, including how many reviews you have, how many new reviews you have, and your growth percentage.
The Reviews by Site page breaks down each of your reviews and ratings per site. Here you can see what platforms are most popular with your audience, as well as your average ranking on that platform. You can even click through to read or respond to reviews right within the dashboard.
The final section of the Reviews & Rankings dashboard shows you your reviews by rating.
Monitoring your reviews allows you to respond immediately when a negative review is posted. By reaching out to unhappy customers or clients, you can take the appropriate steps to solve the problem and potentially turn their opinion of you around.
They may even update their review after that, improving your overall star rating.
BrightLocal can also help you land more reviews from your customers and clients.
With their ReviewBiz badge, you can link directly to top review sites from your page, making it easy for customers and clients to leave a not about their experience with your business.
You can even update the badge to include the review pages most important to your brand.
Convert Website Visitors into Leads
While BrightLocal is first and foremost a local SEO tool, it can also be used as a powerful lead generation tool to ensure your website visitors stay connected. For marketing agencies looking to attract new local clients, adding the lead generation widget to your website can encourage more visitors to give you their contact information.
The BrightLocal lead-gen tool prompts your visitors to sign up for a free local SEO report of their website. To get their free report, all they need to do is enter their business name, address and phone number. This information is then entered into your system so you can contact them at the right time.
The lead generation tool also files the SEO report within your own database, allowing you to see which leads truly need your help. With these insights, you can contact different leads with specific information about how you can help improve their SEO strategy and search ranking.
BrightLocal also keeps your leads clean and organized. You can see which leads you’ve contacted, when you contacted them, and the status of those leads. This guarantees your leads never fall through the cracks.
Who Is BrightLocal Right For?
Although BrightLocal is a great tool, it isn’t right for everyone. Many of the features that BrightLocal provides are designed specifically for local companies. While national businesses may find some value in BrightLocal’s offerings, it probably isn’t the ideal solution for their needs.
Additionally, BrightLocal is still a growing company. As they attract more and more clients, there have been reports of their server slowing down. While this scaling problem will hopefully be resolved as they continue to expand, it can be frustrating for many business owners.
BrightLocal also has some big competitors that may be a better fit for some businesses. Moz Local, the leader of the Local SEO industry, is just one of those alternatives. While Moz Local is more expensive, they are also more established and have a stronger support system behind them.
SE Ranking (click to see our full review) and SEMrush are other alternatives that may suit an agency’s needs better. SE Ranking and SEMrush are both seen as easier to use and implement, but they also come with a higher price tag. They’re also not strictly specialized for the needs of local business.
All in all, BrightLocal is ideal for brick-and-mortar businesses to shine some light on their local SEO strategy. Small to medium-sized businesses should enjoy this highly-targeted and budget-friendly way to keep an eye on everything from citations to reviews.
How Much Does BrightLocal Cost?
BrightLocal has three different pricing tiers.
The lowest is their Single Business tier, which costs $29/month when billed monthly or about $24/month when billed annually. It provides three search ranking reports, three citation reports, and one full SEO audit and sales report per month. Single Business users can also monitor up to three locations.
The next tier is their Multi Business package and costs $49/month billed monthly or $40/month when billed annually. This essentially doubles your number of reports, allowing users to monitor six locations with six search ranking reports, six citation reports and six full SEO audit and sales reports. This level also gives users access to analytics and social integration, as well as white-label reports and emails.
BrightLocal’s final tier is the SEO Pro, which costs $79/month billed monthly or just under $66/month billed annually. The SEO Pro provides access to monitor up to 100 locations, as well as 100 search ranking reports and 20 full SEO audit and sales reports. The SEO Pro level also offers access to Google Mobile Rank Tracking, Competitor Tracking and Full API Access.
If none of these pre-made packages fits your needs, you can also create a custom package unique to your business. To set up a custom package, you’ll need to contact BrightLocal directly.
Creating and monitoring a local SEO strategy can seem nearly impossible when operating in the dark.
Without the right tool to help you understand where you are and where you’re going, you’re just taking the more difficult path to your final destination.
If you’re a small to medium-sized local business trying to navigate the world of SEO, BrightLocal can be just the tool you need to light your path.
By helping you build new citations, monitor your search engine ranking, and keep track of your company reviews, BrightLocal can provide you with the insight you need to move your rankings higher and higher up a search engine results list.