Local Search Tools For the SMB and Professional

I have been using two “new” local search tools of late and have been impressed with both of them.

The Local Search Toolkit from seOverflow has recently been released from beta and upgraded to work with the many changes that occurred recently in Google Places. The tool provides competitive information for a range of information for the top 7 listings in a given geo search. It will provide both URLs and totals for each of the following: Site Title Tag, Categories, Citations, Reviews , Number of Photos, Number of Videos, whether the listing is Owner Verified and the listings Distance to City Center.

It’s free and provides a wealth of information. It’s useful for determining which reviews sites are most prevalent in which industries and which citations sources are the most prominent.

Another tool that I often use is the Whitespark Local Citation Finder. The free version has been around for a while and is also useful in finding citations for either keyword phrases, your own site or those of a competitor. They just released the Local Citation Finder Pro version. The Pro Version is $20/mo and normally I do not write about products that charge a fee but it has a new feature that I am finding incredibly useful (they provided me with a free subscription).

Local Citations Pro now offers the ability compare the specific citations between any number of  searches and or business listings. So for example you can examine your business listing and the citations for the listing that is tops in your category and against the citations for a series of search pharse. The information is offered up both visually and via a spread sheet file:

Local Citation Finder Pro

Pro users also get these other features:

  • Compare Citations
    Easily determine which citations your competitors have that you’re missing.
  • Sort by Value
    Sort your results by SEOmoz Domain Authority and Majestic SEO ACRank.
  • Get Results in Minutes (Not Hours)
    Pro users jump right to the front of the queue.
  • Export to CSV
    Use the LCF data in your client reports, etc.
  • 20 Searches per Day
    17 more than the 3 searches per day that free users get.

Another possible use for the comparison feature in the Pro version would be to track citation accumulation for a single listing over time.

Both products are incredibly useful tools in their free versions. While I have trouble envisioning spending the monthly fee for Local Citation Pro for a single business, the extra features are worth the expense if your are managing more than a few campaigns.

This article was updated at 12:40 PM

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Local Search Tools For the SMB and Professional by

24 thoughts on “Local Search Tools For the SMB and Professional”

  1. WhiteSpark is a beautiful tool. I’m using it for a while now & can see some good reactions in my Local campaigns.

    I’ll try their Pro version.

    About the other one, i don’t never as i never used it. Are they generating different results for a certain query ( citation wise)?

  2. Thanks Mike, Local Search Toolkit can be really useful in some cases and I’ll definitely use it in the future.

  3. @Puresheer
    I have not compared the citations from one to the other although I think that they use different techniques to garner their information.

    I believe that Local Search Toolkit generates the information from the Places Page and Whitespark from the main Google index. Also Local Search Toolkit though garners all kinds of other tidbits…

  4. Thanks a ton for the suggestions. I look forward to giving these tools a try.

    Now if only there was a ranking tool for map listings. Do you know of any (that actually work)?

  5. Not sure if its just me, but I am having trouble getting the Local Search Toolkit to work. It gave me an error after I registered, but I can still log in. And when I go to add/edit keywords, it doesn’t do anything. I tried firefox and chrome with the same results.

  6. Hi Mike Bl.
    Thanks so much for reviewing our tool. Glad you find it useful!

    @Ryan
    Sorry you are having trouble. We have not had a bug report similar to what you are experiencing. Our developer is working on this now. I encourage you to use our feedback tool so we can make sure to update you on your situation. http://localsearchtoolkit.uservoice.com. Lastly I am just wondering if you set up a project but did not add any keywords. Usability I know could use some work and sometimes folks get confused on that.

    @Puresheer LSTK grabs all info from Google Places pages. Whitespark now does this in the Pro version only, and gets their results via organic searches.

  7. Mike…Nice we both have posts that come out on the same day about local tools. You probably have access to my email inbox as I know you moonlight as a google hacker by night.

  8. @Mike B

    Thanks for stopping by and answering Ryan & Puresheer’s questions. I do like the product.

    @Mike R (aka Idaho Jones)
    You are welcome to drop a link here any time but no I didn’t know you were doing tools…

  9. Mike… I don’t know how you manage to stay on top of things –> all the time! You are a great resource for Local SEO, thanks :-) I’ve been using both tools – not sure which I like better. I also saw Mike’s post and I’m trying out MapTracker as well.

  10. Mike – are there any tools that can track geo related searches that leave out the geo-search qualifier? For example, if I want to know if a client is listed in Atlanta for “pet sitting.”

    I am looking to do this for a franchise, so it’s an impossible task to do by hand…

  11. @Tim
    So you are wanting to set the location in Google via the some equivalent of the “change location” setting? If that is what you want, I know of no current product that allows that. You might be able to simulate it via a product like Advanced Web Ranking and a farm of proxy servers… but the problem is a bit beyond me.

  12. @tim

    Those tools are probably looking at Places/Maps rank which is distinct from local organic blended rank with a city set at a particular setting and no geo modifier

  13. Mike,
    It appears that Google has been caching Maps listings today (2/11/11) I noticed several of my clients have gained a couple and many of them have lost quite a bit. Most of the citations lost were just built over the last 3 months. I would think that Google would like Places to be some what stable.
    On a side note, I have one client whose information will not change after I edit their account. When I click on edit it all appears changed, but the listing still looks the same? Any tips?

  14. @Jon
    You are referring to the citations mentioned in the Places Page? They hardly ever reflect much of any reality… better off using one of the tools above.

    Is it possible that there is more than one listing in the Index for the business?

  15. Mike : I built this toolLocal Search Tool at http://www.localsearchtool.org to help my resellers create a report to help in the marketing phase of the process. It just gives a snapshot of what the business is doing but also searches the top listings for the top keyword and compares how many businesses are actually on that directory.

    Its more of a sales and marketing tool but still is kinda cool as it can be white labeled seo companies can help companies understand what they need to do to rank well locally.

    This program is helping support LocalSiteSubmit.com which is basically a manual local directory submission service and citation blast service. Our service works pretty well and we are seeing some nice ranking increases for our clients.

    And thanks for all the great info. Keep it coming.

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