What Settings Can You Change for Local Falcon Map Scans?
In terms of both data visualization and credit usage, the most important Scan Settings you can change in Local Falcon are the Grid Size and the Grid Radius.
Changing the Map Scan Grid Size and the Grid Radius alters the number of data points your scans use and determines the distance from the center data point — your business location — to the data points at the outer edges, respectively.
The other Scan Settings you can change in Local Falcon are the number of keywords you scan for, the number of businesses you scan at the same time, and the Scan Frequency for pre-scheduled Auto Scans.
These additional settings have more to do with budget management than data visualization, and we'll give you some recommendations for optimizing your credit usage below.
How Changing Scan Settings in Local Falcon Affects Map Scans
Map Scan Grid Size
As we mentioned earlier, changing the Grid Size for your Map Scans sets the number of data points the scan uses, but why does this matter?
Well, the Grid Size is important for both your Local Rank Tracking data visualization and your budget.
Firstly, the larger the grid, the more data points you have, so you can see more precisely where your Local Rankings drop off.
But the more data points you use, the more credits you use, too, so you have to take budget into consideration before deciding what the best Grid Size is for your map scans.
The most popular Grid Size among Local Falcon users is 7 x 7, as this size offers an excellent balance between the number of data points and credit usage.
If your budget is a bit tight, however, a 5 x 5 grid can also work well. Or, if you have the credits to spare, you might opt for an 11 x 11 grid to get even more data.
Map Scan Grid Radius
Choosing the right Grid Radius for your Local Falcon Map Scans allows you to see exactly where your Local Rankings drop off, as well as ensures you're not wasting budget on data points that aren't relevant to your business location.
We always recommend running a couple of baseline scans, or test scans, with different Grid Radius Scan Settings to find the right radius to use going forward.
There's no set-in-stone rule for what Grid Radius to use. But, in general, a radius of around 1 mile is a good place to start testing for businesses in densely populated urban areas, and a radius of around 5 miles is a good place to start for businesses in more rural areas.
In short, the higher the population density where your business is located, the smaller the radius you should use for your Map Scans.
Number of Keywords
How many keywords you choose to scan for is directly related to how many credits you use, since each keyword you scan for generates a separate Scan Report.
If you have the budget for it, we recommend scanning for about 10 keywords at a time.
This gives you room for a couple of "branded" keywords (search phrases with your business name in them), a handful of more general search phrases, and a few geo-specific keywords (search phrases with your business location in them).
That being said, you can scan for as many or as few keywords as your budget allows or as you need to.
If you're stuck on what keywords to scan for, remember that you can use Local Falcon's Suggested Keywords feature to get you started!
Once you choose your baseline Scan Settings, you can schedule Auto Scans ahead of time to receive Scan Reports regularly, without having to log in to Local Falcon and run Map Scans manually every time.
Most users find that a weekly or bi-weekly Scan Frequency works well, as this provides you with fresh Local Rank Tracking data at regular intervals without burning through credits too fast. However, if budget is a big concern, you may decide that a monthly Scan Frequency is better.
It's also possible to schedule daily scans, but this frequency isn't really necessary outside of a few very niche use cases. Running Map Scans daily will eat through credits quickly, without providing major benefits over less frequent scans.
Measuring your Local SEO with Local Falcon is the best way to find out if what you're doing to help your business get found online is working and to identify areas where you could improve — and knowing how to choose the right Scan Settings in Local Falcon is an important part of this!
We hope you now have a better understanding of how to choose the appropriate Scan Settings in Local Falcon in order to obtain more precise insights, more effectively manage your budget, and receive Local Rank Tracking data for your business locations with the right frequency.
What are Local Falcon Scan Settings?
Scan Settings are various settings you can choose for running Map Scans in Local Falcon to optimize your Local Rank Tracking data visualization and Local Falcon credit usage.
What Scan Settings can I change?
The main Scan Settings you can change are the Scan Radius and Grid Size, the number of keywords scanned for, and the Scan Frequency for Auto Scans.
What Scan Radius should I use?
Broadly speaking, the more densely populated the area is, the smaller the radius should be. For a densely populated urban area, a radius of 1.5 miles or so is a good place to start; for a sparsely populated rural area, meanwhile, you might use a 10-mile scan radius.
How do I know if I'm using the optimal Scan Settings?
Many of the scan settings, such as Grid Size, Scan Frequency, and the number of keywords scanned for, will come down to preference. For Scan Radius, however, you want a majority of your data points to be green or yellow; if most of them are red, you'll want to use a smaller radius. Check out our blog on choosing Scan Settings for more info.
What Scan Frequency should I choose for Auto Scans?
You don't really ever need to run daily scans, except in very niche scenarios. Weekly and bi-weekly scheduled scans are the most cost-effective options, as they offer a good balance between data frequency and credit usage. If budget is a concern, you may opt to run scans on a monthly basis instead.
What is the Map Scan Radius?
The Map Scan Radius is a search area defined by the distance from your business that your Map Scan covers (in all directions), as well as the number of data points you are using within the search area.
Changing these parameters allows you to see better, more detailed data on how your business ranks for different keywords at specific distances, so you can pinpoint exactly where your rankings for different keywords start to fall off.
What's the best Grid Size for Map Scans?
The larger the grid you select, the more data points your Map Scan uses, which means you get more detailed data and more accurate ARP and ATRP scores.
In general, it's always better to use more data points, but each data point you use also adds to the cost of your Map Scan, which is why you may sometimes choose to use smaller grids, depending on your budget and the number of locations you want to run scans for.
For example, Map Scans using 7 x 7 grids offer a good balance between detail of data and cost, which is why this is one of the most popular Grid Sizes among Local Falcon users, especially those running lots of scans for multiple locations.
When should I disable certain data points in the Map Scan Radius Grid?
Disable any data points over large bodies of water or other irrelevant areas, where people are not likely to be searching for your business on Google, to save credits on your Map Scan.