In this guide I review 4 popular Local SEO software options for helping you get more free traffic to your website, and give you my top pick for small business owners.
If you are not familiar with SEO then read our guides on how Google works first.
Who I Recommend: WebCEO
I chose WebCEO as the best Local SEO software for small businesses. My decision is based on WebCEO’s combination of a comprehensive set of features and ease of use.
Read my full comparison below.
Best Small Business SEO Software Summary Table
How I Picked The 4 Small Business SEO Software Companies To Compare
WebCEO, Upcity, Positionly, and Bright Local are the most popular Local SEO software options. They also represent a good diversity of features and price points, which are the two reasons I decided to include them in my review.
Those that know about SEO may be surprised that Moz.com is not included. There are two reasons why I did not include Moz.com in my review:
- Moz is designed for SEO professionals, not small business owners.
- Moz does not have as much focus on local SEO which is important for our audience of brick and mortar small business owners.
Why I Chose WebCEO as The Best Small Business SEO Software
In my opinion, WebCEO is the clear choice for small business owners who are serious about ranking high in the search engines. With the exception of BrightLocal, it offers the most comprehensive set of tools. The reason I rank it higher than Bright Local, is it’s ease of use.
WebCEO gives you step by step instructions with a checklist of all the tasks you need to complete in order to get your site ranking higher in the search engines. It is the perfect combination of powerful features and ease of use.
The downside of WebCEO is it’s cost. At $99 a month ($75 a month when paid yearly), it is over twice as costly as Upcity, and 5 times as costly as Positionly and Bright Local. In my opinion however, $99 a month is a small price to pay for the massive increase in business one can see when ranking higher in the search engines.
A Note For Web Savvy Users
If you have some experience with SEO, or are willing to spend some time going through their comprehensive webinars to learn, then BrightLocal offers by far the most functionality. This is the software that I use personally. It does not however offer the same step by step guidance as the other options, which is why I recommend WebCEO for the average small business owner, instead of Bright Local.
WebCEO vs. UpCity vs. Positionly vs. BrightLocal In Depth Review
All of the options with the exception of Bright Local include a step by step checklist that you can follow to implement the software’s findings. While Bright Local has by far the most features, this lack of a checklist is a big drawback for small business owners, who I feel may be overwhelmed by all of it’s features.
WebCEO Step-By-Step Checklist Example
For this section, I review each software based on the 4 primary things you need to work on to get your site ranking higher in the search engines:
- Make sure your site is setup correctly from a technical standpoint.
- On Page Optimization – making sure your content is setup correctly to rank.
- Getting Links From Other Sites
- Tracking Your Progress
At the end of this section I share with you my thoughts on ease of use and price.
Making Sure Your Site Is Set Up Correctly From A Technical Standpoint
If you want your website to rank in the search engines, it’s important that it is set up correctly from a technical standpoint.
On Page Optimization
How many times a keyword is used on a page, what the title and domain of the page is, and whether or not you use alt tags for your images are examples of “on page optimization”. Here’s what each software offers to help you get it right.
UpCity doesn’t offer much in the way of analytics around on page optimization. The do however cover most of what you should do from an on page optimization standpoint in their step by step SEO checklist with instructions.
Positionly gives you a checklist of the basic on page SEO things you need to get right in order for your site to rank. It then tells you which areas you are doing well in and where you need work. However, unlike Upcity and WebCEO, Positionly does not give step by step instructions on how to go about fixing it.
Once you have your site setup right from a technical and on page optimization standpoint, it’s all about the links. The more high quality links you have coming in to your website the more likely it is that you will rank high in the search engines.
You need a way to track your SEO efforts so you know what’s working and what’s not. Here’s what each tool offers.
Ease of Use
It doesn’t matter how powerful a piece of software is if it’s too complicated for you to use. Here’s how each ranks in this important category.
Positionly is the easiest option to use. There are not that many features of the software, so it’s hard to get lost and you can find everything you need right there on the dashboard.
Best Small Business SEO Software Pricing
All the products mentioned offer multiple price points. In general, options other than the first tier price point, are for those who do SEO on behalf of clients. For the majority of small business owners, you won’t need things like branded reports and the ability to add extra sites, so you can stick with the basic plan.