When it comes to checking your business's online presence, particularly in terms of how visible it is on search engine results pages (SERPs), a local rank tracker is an indispensable tool.
Local search plays a vital role in attracting geographically targeted customers, so monitoring your business's rankings for specific keywords and locations is crucial. Choosing the right local rank tracker allows businesses and their marketing teams to stay ahead of the competition by providing accurate and up-to-date data on their local search performance.
With the insights into keyword rankings, competitor analysis, and other local search-related data that a local rank tracker provides, you can fine-tune your local SEO strategies and optimize your business's online presence for maximum local visibility and growth.
What Is a Local Rank Tracker?
Local rank trackers are software tools designed to monitor and track the search engine rankings of websites and business listings for different keywords, or search terms, in specific geographic locations.
While local rank trackers can be used to monitor SERP rankings for anything online, they are particularly useful for businesses that target very local audiences, such as service-area businesses (SABs) and multi-location businesses.
Local rank trackers are also invaluable tools for digital marketing agencies, marketing professionals, and business listing managers that work with various B2C and B2B companies to improve their local SEO and drive more sales online.
How Local Rank Trackers Work and Benefits of Local Rank Trackers:
Local rank trackers allow you to input a list of keywords or key phrases that you want to monitor. These keywords are usually relevant to your business or industry and are commonly searched for by local users.
You can specify the locations you want to track rankings for, such as cities, regions, or countries. This is essential for businesses that want to assess their performance in specific local markets.
Search Engine Selection
Local rank trackers usually support various search engines, including Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others. Google is often the primary focus due to its dominant market share, but other search engines can also be important, depending on your target audience.
The rank tracker will regularly check the SERPs for your specified keywords and locations. Depending on the tool, this can be done daily, weekly, or at a different custom frequency.
After each update, the rank tracker generates reports that show the website's or business listing's position in the search results for each keyword in the selected locations. These reports allow you to monitor changes in rankings over time and identify trends.
Some rank trackers also offer features to track competitors' rankings for the same keywords and locations. This information helps businesses understand their competitive landscape and make informed decisions to improve their rankings.
Many rank trackers present the data in easy-to-understand reporting graphics, allowing users to quickly grasp their performance and identify areas for improvement.
Local SEO Insights
Beyond just rankings, some rank trackers may offer additional insights into local SEO factors, such as local citation consistency, online reviews, and business listing accuracy, which all contribute to local search performance.
Overall, local rank trackers are valuable tools for businesses and marketing teams looking to optimize a business's online presence for specific local markets. By monitoring rankings and analyzing data, you can make informed decisions to enhance local SEO strategies and improve visibility for your target audience(s).
Why the Local Rank Tracker You Choose Matters
Not all local rank trackers are created equal, and your choice of local rank tracking tool can significantly impact the effectiveness and efficiency of your local SEO efforts.
While there are a variety of local rank trackers out there to choose from, not all of them offer the same keyword/search engine support or provide the same features, which can lead to poor data accuracy or a total lack of data in key areas, such as competitor analysis.
Additionally, not all local rank-tracking tools are frequently updated, so you might end up paying for a tool that isn't continuously improving and providing new features that add value over time.
What To Look for in a Local Rank Tracker
Tool Built for Google
When people talk about SEO, the reality is they're really talking about optimizing for Google. With more than an 80% market share, Google is the king of search, and it's the search engine where the vast majority of local businesses are getting found every day.
Not only is optimizing websites to appear higher in Google's SERPs important, but it's also essential for local businesses to optimize their Google Business Profile listings if they want to get found on Google.
Google Business Profile listings are what appear at the very top of the page when users perform a Google search — even before the organic website results — so they're actually one of the most important things that businesses need to focus on optimizing for.
As such, choosing a local rank tracker that's built for Google and that specifically provides local ranking data for Google Business Profiles is essential.
Highly Customizable Geographic Coverage
The more geographically specific you can get with your local rank tracker, the better. Some local rank trackers only provide geographic coverage of broad areas, such as entire cities or regions, but what you really want is a local rank tracker that allows you to narrow down your ranking scans to fractions of a mile/kilometer.
This is particularly important for businesses in densely populated urban areas, where there is potentially a lot of nearby competition. Highly customizable geographic coverage allows you to narrow local ranking scans down to very specific areas of a city, even at the block level, so you can make minor adjustments to try and outrank the competition down the street.
On the other hand, you also want the option to expand geographic coverage for businesses in sparsely populated rural areas with less competition, so you're not wasting time or budget running local ranking scans for areas where your business is already dominating the market.
An example of the type of customizability you want for a local rank tracker's geographic coverage is a customizable grid that overlays flexible grid points on a map. You should be able to change the radius of the grid and the number of grid points (which are the data points), as well as disable irrelevant grid points, such as those over water.
Flexible Budget Use Options
Of course, budget is a big concern for all businesses, so the local rank tracking tool you choose should offer flexible budget use options that allow you to get the most out of whatever local SEO budget you have available.
For instance, a credit system that allows you to purchase different numbers of credits and use them to run scans is ideal, as you can limit your budget use by manipulating scan settings like the number of keywords you scan for and the scan frequency.
Various Ways To Schedule Automatic Recurring Scans
Besides budget, time is the other most precious resource that businesses and marketing professionals have to manage, which is why the local rank tracker you choose should also offer time-saving ways to schedule automatic recurring scans.
For example, the local rank tracking tool might allow you to set up bulk scans for different business locations, keywords, and geographic areas that you can then schedule to repeat at regular intervals. Or, it might offer scan campaigns that allow you to set up recurring scans for several business locations using the same scan settings.
Different Types of Reports
Most rank trackers offer basic local ranking scan reports, which show how a business is ranking for certain keywords in a specified geographic area. But to get the most out of your local rank tracking tool, you should also ensure it has different types of reports available, such as competitor reports, keyword reports, trend reports, and location reports.
Having an array of local ranking report types available allows for better local SEO strategy optimization as well as more comprehensive reporting to stakeholders. Different reports allow for a better understanding of local trends and make it easier to evaluate performance over time, ultimately leading to better local search positions.
Wide Variety of Useful Features
In addition to the things we've mentioned above, you should also make sure whatever local rank tracker you choose has other useful and time-saving features that can make running your rank-tracking scans easier.
For example, a suggested keywords feature can give you ideas for keywords to scan for that you might not have thought of — or at least make inputting keywords faster!
Search engines aren't stagnant, so it's ideal if the local rank-tracking tool you use is constantly putting out new features and updates to keep up with the times.
Integrations with Other Local SEO Tools
Last but not least, choosing a local rank tracker that has integrations with other local SEO tools can also provide many benefits for your local search optimization strategies, especially if they're with other tools you already use.
For instance, if you already use Looker Studio (formerly Google Data Studio) to generate reports, a Looker Studio integration would be something to look for in your local rank-tracking tool.
In general, integrations help you centralize your local SEO operations and provide additional ways to visualize and analyze data or incorporate it into other platforms.
What Local Rank Tracker Should You Choose?
So, now that you know what to look for in a local rank tracker, you might be wondering what the best local rank tracker is.
Well, we may be a little bit biased, but we highly suggest giving Local Falcon a try today, if you haven't already.
Local Falcon is a local rank tracker built specifically for tracking your Google Business Profile listing performance. It has all the key functions and features we discussed above, from highly customizable geographic coverage settings and a flexible credit system, to time-saving features and integrations with powerful third-party platforms.
Local Falcon is perfect for SABs, multi-location businesses, business listing managers, marketing agencies and professionals, and anyone else who wants to see how a Google Business Profile listing is ranking for relevant keywords in a hyper-specific geographic area right now.