Any small business should know how vital Local SEO can be. If you want your business to be profitable, you need to invest in Local SEO as soon as possible. Why? Because you want to keep up with the competition and ensure your business thrives.
That’s where BrightLocal comes in.
BrightLocal is quite possibly one of the most essential tools when it comes to Local SEO. I’ve had the opportunity to experiment with the software and implement it with numerous small businesses that all swear by it. Seriously, it’s an incredibly impressive SEO tool, especially if you’re managing a single local business or multiple businesses.
Below you can find my BrightLocal review and determine whether your business can benefit from this powerful piece of software.
If you head to BrightLocal’s website, you’ll see its catchy slogan that promises, “Local SEO Made Simple.” I can easily say that it fulfilled its promise because that’s exactly what it does: It makes Local SEO much simpler.
BrightLocal provides three types of services:
If you want to consolidate all your Local SEO actions into one central hub, BrightLocal is your best bet.
If you have a Google Business Profile (GBP), you’ll need BrightLocal’s software capabilities, and you don’t have to be an SEO expert to use it; simplicity is its finest aspect. Everything that you could possibly need is on the beautifully customizable dashboard.
This software does an impeccable job of tracking and monitoring competitors. This way, you’ll always know where your local business stands in the market. BrightLocal can also manage multiple businesses rather than just one local entity.
There’s a wide array of notable features that BrightLocal provides, such as Rank Tracker, Citation Builder, Local Search Grid, Reputation Manager, and so much more. It’s jam-packed with everything you need to improve your local rankings.
Let’s talk about the pros and cons.
Much like any other available software, there’s good, and there’s bad. I want to start by saying the good outweighs the bad. But like any good reviewer, I’ll highlight what I love and what I think could be improved about this piece of software.
Overall, the pros of using BrightLocal far outweigh the cons. It offers an abundance of outstanding features that make it the go-to choice for Local SEO.
As I mentioned earlier, BrightLocal is fully capable of tracking local rankings in an exceptional way. It doesn’t just follow straight organic rankings, it also tracks mobile and maps rankings, as well as rankings from the top search engines: Google, Yahoo and Bing. It doesn’t matter what your local SEO strategy entails. If you want to know your rankings with Bing, you can look at where your business stands in just a few clicks.
In addition, this SEO tool allows you to see how much your rankings have improved during your time with BrightLocal. It will provide valuable insights into whether your local SEO efforts are working in your favor. The best part is that you can access ranking history reports and compare rankings from specific dates. You can track the history of a keyword by looking at the keyword tracker chart.
There’s a plethora of data that BrightLocal can present to you in a matter of clicks. If you want to see your rankings week to week, you can run a weekly report through the Aggregate Ranking Chart to analyze your data.
You may think it ends there, but it doesn’t.
BrightLocal’s Rank Tracker will let you see how visible your business is to people in almost any location. All you have to do is include the zip/postal code or the name of a city/town in the reporting section and see where you rank in that area.
I know how busy running a business can be. If you don’t have enough time in the day to go through reports, you can set up alerts through the tool that emails you if there’s been a change in your rankings. Not only can it track local rankings, but it can also track the rankings of your citations as well.
If you’re running multi-location businesses, you’ll be pleased to know that the Rank Tracker tool can compare rankings for hundreds of locations in one single place. You can use “roll-up” reports to see some of your sites compare to others for a specific search term or keyword.
Citations are integral as they’re online references to your local business. They’re also a notable aspect of your local SEO strategy. The good news is BrightLocal makes it so much easier to get citations. How? With various types of services, such as:
With BrightLocal, you have the benefit of being able to choose the sites where you want your business listed. The company does all the actual work and heavy lifting for you so you can grow your business rather than focus on getting citations on your own.
BrightLocal also pushes your business information to other data aggregators, such as Neustar Localeze, Acxiom, Factual, and InfoUSA. It will also claim and verify your local citations to ensure you have direct ownership of them and control the info that those directories display.
What’s even more impressive is that BrightLocal has experience partnering with some of the largest multi-location businesses in the world. If you have sites for multiple locations, you can rely on BrightLocal to ensure they’re optimized for local searches.
BrightLocal supports local citations in ten countries, including:
While the citation builder helps you get those citations, the citation tracker does exactly what its name suggests, it tracks.
The Citation Tracker tool does an admirable job of following your NAP and identifying potential issues. Why is that important? Because you need consistent NAP across different websites, or else it may hurt your local search rankings.
The tracker can also highlight the top sites for citations, so you can identify which high-value websites don’t have your listing. Furthermore, it can spot duplicate listings, which impact your search rank. Once those dupes are located, you can go ahead and delete them.
A time-consuming part of the local SEO game is researching what citations your competitors are on. But with the Citation Tracker tool, you can essentially spy on your competitors as it shows you their SEO citations. With that information, you’ll be able to keep up with the competition and try to get your business listed in the same destinations.
Lastly, if you want to manage your SEO campaign, BrightLocal allows you to add notes and statuses for various citations to keep things well-organized.
As local searches are always evolving, the Local Search Grid tool evolves too.
Local Search Grid allows businesses to look at their GBP profile as if they’re in another location. This pivotal tool helps you determine how businesses, including yours, appear in the search results for different areas.
This tool provides a bird’s eye view of what other searchers see in your neighborhood, town, or city, with control over what locations you’d like to see. You can measure the share of search visibility across the map for the most important keywords related to your local business. This way, you can discover which keywords are performing and which need more attention.
As a local business, you’ll always be neck and neck with the competition. That’s just how it works. But what if I said you could find a way to outrank your competitors? The Local Search Grid can provide a detailed look at the local battlefield and help you understand ways to stay on top. You can benchmark the key ranking factors against your rivals and learn how to outrank them.
The layout is as good as the tool’s features. You can simply identify your business amongst your competition by viewing it all on one simple table. If you spot a GBP with an inaccurate NAP, you can report it in a matter of seconds.
SEO agencies know more than any other agency how important audits can be. You never know when you’re going to have to diagnose an issue. Luckily, BrightLocal has a solution. It can run a complete Local Search Audit in minutes and offer actionable solutions surrounding the top areas of your optimization efforts.
Those areas include:
Each section will depict an overall score of Good, Poor, or OK in a detailed report. Your business can use this report to highlight the areas where you need to prioritize your Local SEO efforts. Once you’ve determined the areas you need to pay more attention to, you can develop an actionable plan.
If you have a digital marketing agency, you can brand the reports as you present them to clients in a show of true professionalism.
BrightLocal can also audit your Google Business Profile to make it easier for you to view all your ranking signals in one convenient place.
The GBP profile audit will report details on:
The tool can also show you a side-by-side comparison of your Google profile with one of your competitors. You can then analyze the information and find new ways to improve how you stand out in the local search.
One aspect of the Local Search Audit tool that I personally enjoy is the citation matrix. The matrix lets you know where your competitors have citations and where you don’t. With this information, you’ll be able to fill in those gaps and ensure you’re keeping up with the competing local businesses.
This tool can also display categories used by some of the top-ranking businesses in your area. Some of those categories may prove useful to your business model and SEO strategy and help boost your local search visibility.
If you have a Google Analytics account, you can easily connect it to your BrightLocal account. It’s convenient as it allows you to go to one place and get all your data. No need to log out of BrightLocal and log into Google Analytics. You can have it all under BrightLocal’s services, saving time and one less tab open on your browser.
As I mentioned earlier, another bonus is that you have the potential for white-label reports. You can white label any report and add your company’s logo or color to any report and make it your own. It gives your business or agency a professional look, especially if you’re just starting out.
Those Google algorithm changes are unpredictable as they may or may not heavily affect your rankings. Want to know if your local rankings have shifted? BrightLocal has a reliable tool that can tell you.
Local RankFlux monitors fluctuations across all Google Business Profiles that it currently manages. That means there are thousands of GBP listings. This tool will detect an algorithm change and let you know.
When running a business, reputation is everything. One negative review can leave a mark on your otherwise dependable business. That’s why positive reviews are essential to your online business’s livelihood. BrightLocal can help you build and maintain a 5-star reputation.
The Reputation Manager tool can assist your business in gathering more reviews on sites that actually matter. How? Through an email template that you can use to encourage your customers to leave positive reviews that benefit your reputation.
See a review that you like? You can directly reply to it straight from BrightLocal’s app, which makes it much easier to provide feedback.
Speaking of feedback, let’s talk about the feedback sector. It can reveal how many people have received your request for a review. Additionally, this tool can show you who has opened the email, clicked the link, and left positive feedback.
Want to know how far BrightLocal’s reach extends? It currently monitors 2 review sites in the US, 1 in Canada, 18 in the UK, and 11 in Australia.
So many other companies will charge you an arm and leg for a tool like this, but you have complete access through your subscription. Once you’ve set up the Reputation Manager, you can aim to get reviews on top sites like Google, Yelp, and even Facebook.
You can craft personalized campaigns that accumulate valuable feedback and assist customers in writing reviews on the most important websites for you and your business.
For those running a digital marketing agency, you can take advantage of BrightLocal’s handy Lead Generation feature that can help you convert website visitors into prospective clients.
Start by adding the LeadGen widget to a page on your website so that prospects can run a personalized branded search audit for their websites. This way, they can connect with you if they want to improve the likes of their SEO strategy.
The LeadGen widget also assists you in managing all your leads in one convenient space to prioritize which could be a potential prospect. You may also communicate with them through messages and gain access to their local SEO audits from one single screen.
BrightLocal offers the widget in many formats, such as a sidebar, popup, and panel. This allows you to pick the best format that appeals to your target demographic.
It’s worth noting that BrightLocal has the best customer service support in the industry, hands down. It’s thorough and extremely helpful. For example, if you just ordered citations, the customer support team will review the order to ensure everything is correct and to your satisfaction.
It even double-checks the details by looking at your Google Business Profile listing and won’t run your campaign unless it matches your GBP.
This BrightLocal review would be nothing without a pricing section. I’m pleased to say that BrightLocal offers a variety of pricing models, each with its own level of service.
The lowest level is Single Business. It costs $29 per month and includes most of the attractive features listed throughout my review. The only thing omitted from this pricing option is the LeadGen widget and white-label reports.
The next level is Multi Business, which costs $49 a month and offers additional advantages, such as search engine reports and more keywords per report. This option also allows you access to the LeadGen widget and white-label reports.
Want a little more? The SEO Pro level of service offers everything that Multi Business has, with the addition of full API access. You can get this level for $79 per month.
If you want to test the waters with BrightLocal’s services, you can sign up for a 14-day trial. No card sign-up is necessary until the trial is over.
If you’re looking for a more “tailored fit,” BrightLocal can offer custom levels of service. However, the price will vary depending on what your local business requires. You’ll have to contact BrightLocal to learn more about its custom services.
For local businesses looking to save money on this software, you’re better off signing up for an annual subscription rather than paying month-to-month.
Whatever excuses you have for not subscribing to BrightLocal’s services, leave them by the wayside. If you’re looking to track your Local SEO rankings, you’ll require this absolute treasure of an SEO service. You can manage successful SEO campaigns and keep track of your search engine rankings, reviews, and much more across all major platforms. Do yourself a favor, sign up for a free trial today and see everything that BrightLocal offers.
For more reviews and information on SEO tools/tips, reach out to me at SerpFocus today!
For the past decade I've been building businesses and using SEO to rank them in top positions. For the last 5 years I've worked at a premier search engine marketing agency where it's my job to stay on up-to-date with the latest SEO developments and implement SEO strategies for my clients. Read my full bio here.