A Brief Guide To Best Practices for Local Rank Tracking

November 7th, 2023, 10:00 AM

If you're here, you probably already know that incorporating local rank tracking into your local SEO strategy is one of the best ways to improve a business's online presence and attract more local customers.

So, whether you're a small business owner, a member of an in-house marketing team, a Google Business Profile listing manager, or an agency professional working with local businesses on their digital marketing efforts, you should also know what some local rank tracking best practices are.

Local Rank Tracking Best Practices You Should Know

Choose a Local Rank Tracker Built for Google Business Profile Tracking

The first step towards successful local rank tracking efforts is to choose the right tool for your needs and goals.

For most local businesses, especially service-area businesses and others that are focused on selling to a hyper-local audience, this means you want a local rank tracker that specifically tracks companies' Google Business Profile ranking data, such as Local Falcon.

This is because when most people search for a service they need or a type of business they want to find near them, they don't look much further than the top three results shown on Google, which are three Google Business Profile listings (known as the Google 3-Pack).

Since most potential customers look at these listings to read reviews and look at other information about their options before choosing which business to buy from, choosing a local rank tracker built around Google Business Profile data is highly recommended.

Other types of local SEO, such as optimizing websites to appear higher in organic search results, are still important, but using a local rank tracker to optimize Google Business Profile listings should be a top priority.

Complete Your Google Business Profile(s)

Once you have chosen your local rank tracking tool, you'll need to make sure any Google Business Profile listings you manage are as complete as possible before you start local rank tracking.

This helps ensure that the listing is in a good starting place from which you can analyze performance and start making more specific optimizations and implementing more comprehensive strategies to start outranking competitors.

In other words, you don't want to waste time and money gathering data about a Google Business Profile that isn't completed because incomplete listings don't rank well to start with.

Research Local Keywords

When you're ready to start local rank tracking, one of the first things you should do is research local keywords related to the business you're tracking for, which will help you to gather local rank tracking data and start optimizing for relevant keywords.

Some of the keywords you'll be tracking will come from the business categories you've selected on your Google Business Profile, but it's also a good idea to research additional relevant keywords that aren't options for business listings on Google.

For example, you should look into what geo-specific keywords people are using to find your business and competitors, such as variations of the city's or town's name where your business is located attached to keywords for different goods or services the business offers.

Find a few different keywords you really want to try and rank for in the Google 3-Pack and start running local rank tracking scans for those to get your local SEO strategy off the ground.

Pro Tip: Choose a local rank tracker that has a suggested keywords feature (like Local Falcon) to take some of the legwork out of finding keywords to track.

Experiment with Different Map Scan Grid Sizes

After you have some keywords to start running scans for, it's important to experiment with different grid sizes for your scans. This will help you find the right balance between the amount of data you're getting and how much budget you're spending on running rank tracking scans.

Every business is different in terms of location and competition, and although there are some general guidelines you can follow when it comes to setting scan settings, you should still play around with the grid radius and number of data points you use (grid size) for your scans to see what works best for your business and budget.

In general, it's important to remember that larger grid sizes provide more locations on the map to compare your listing's performance. Selecting a 9x9 grid means 81 data points are used (thus 81 Local Falcon scan credits). It's also important to remember a smaller radius means more density in-between each map pin (we refer to map pins as "data points"). Selecting a 10 mile radius means there are 10 miles in-between each data point. Selecting a larger radius can help show you where your listing's performance starts to drop. 

Compare Data To Competitors

Local rank tracking isn't just something you should do for business listings you manage — it's also important to run local ranking scans for competitors to identify top competitors and opportunities to outrank them.

By comparing reports for your business next to those for competitors, you can identify areas where they are excelling at ranking, where you need to step up your local SEO efforts, as well as areas where they are lacking, which can be low hanging fruit for you to snatch and gain a better position in with relatively low effort.

Always Be Optimizing

Local SEO is not something that you start and finish, but rather a continuum that you need to constantly be working to maintain and improve.

Not only are your existing competitors changing their local SEO strategies to try and outrank you on Google, but new competitors are always entering the market, and Google is changing its algorithms constantly.

All of these things can affect your local search rankings at any moment, so you should always be gathering local ranking data and using it to make ongoing optimizations and implement new local SEO strategies as needed.

Pro Tip: Run local rank tracking scans at regular intervals, such as weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, to ensure you're always working with up-to-date ranking data.

Wrapping Up

The world of local SEO is complex and constantly changing, and there's no one-size-fits all approach to implementing local rank tracking as part of local SEO strategies.

However, by following the best practices we discussed above, you can be well on your way to gathering the local ranking data you need to analyze and improve your rankings on Google, no matter what type of business you're in or where you're located.

As we mentioned earlier, choosing a local rank tracker that's built for Google Business Profile rank tracking is the first step you need to take, so why not try Local Falcon today to get your local SEO strategy off on the right foot?


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