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BrightLocal Review

BrightLocal is an SEO service that caters specifically to local online search. So if you have a local business, or have clients who do, then you realize the need for boatloads of local search engine traffic. You realize by now that traffic can be the difference between success and failure. 


So imagine this scenario. Imagine if you have SEO clients who are in need of local search engine rankings, or local search optimization. With BrightLocal, you’ll be able to conduct a wide array of local search services, making BrightLocal a wise choice for almost any localized keyword search optimization.


BrightLocal allows you to organize your keyword search rankings in a beautiful interface that will be easy for you (and your clients) to understand. So you can monitor all of your organic search metrics in one tidy location across different platforms such as Google, Google Maps, Yahoo, Bing, and others.


One major problem most SEO agencies overlook is that search rankings change drastically by location. So if your client is in Boston you might have a totally different search result if you’re operating from New York. 


For that reason, BrightLocal allows you to change your location dynamically so you can “hone in” on search engine results based upon any location that you specify, so you put your money where your mouth is when you deliver results to your clients.


Location, location, location! Another feature that BrightLocal offers is the ability to track search terms based upon multiple locations simultaneously. So maybe one of your clients wants to start ranking for multiple cities around their brick and mortar location. 


Now you can easily cross reference multiple locations at once, so you can better target your future campaigns strategically helping your own businesses or your client’s businesses dominate rankings from any locations that you specify.

BrightLocal Review
BrightLocal Advantages

Superior Local Search Data – Whether you want to see how your client’s local businesses are sizing up on Yelp, how you rank for keywords by location, or even how customers are reviewing your services, BrightLocal has local search features that are difficult if not impossible to get elsewhere.


Review Monitoring – Does your business have a ton of reviews? Or do you offer any type of reputation management services for your clients? If either of these cases are true, then imaging being notified in near real time as customers are leaving reviews for your business. BrightLocal scans 18 of the most popular review websites (Google Local, Yelp, Foursquare, et cetera). 


This way you can immediately try to soften the blow of negative reviews by making it right with customers, or otherwise thanking loyal customers for being so awesome. Either way you end up looking better, because speed is a key factor to thanking loyalty or addressing angry customers, whether the business belongs to your client or yourself.


Comparative Local Search Analysis – Imagine this scenario. Imagine if you could finally “spy” on your local competition and what keywords they’re ranking for, as you sneakily compete and realize what their SEO weaknesses are. Suddenly, you’re able to compose and brainstorm SEO campaigns that will help you outmuscle their rankings, even if their reputation and positioning is rock-solid. 


That’s the power of BrightLocal’s competitor comparison tool, so you can either use the tool yourself to measure yourself against your competition, or use this tool as an SEO agent to attract new clients.

BrightLocal Disadvantages

Limited Coverage – What does limited coverage mean in this context? Well, at this time, BrightLocal caters mostly to services and businesses located in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia. BrightLocal promises to be working hard bringing the majority of their services to other countries, so it might be worth contacting them for a status update. 


While the majority of BrightLocal’s services are limited to the four aforementioned countries, their citation service does work for the following countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.


Limited Free Plan – BrightLocal does offer a 100% free plan, but it’s not very comprehensive. For example, the only feature available on BrightLocal’s free plan is their citation building service. The citation building service is actually worthwhile, because it cleans any existing listings that have erroneous information. 


In other words, the citation service locates and fixes incorrect listings, and can also build entirely new listings across a massive list of online directories. (You’ll learn more about BrightLocal’s different price plans later on in this summary review).


CitationBurst Costs Money – BrightLocal’s free plan includes access to their “CitationBurst” service which plugs your company’s name, address, and phone number in strategic locations, but each CitationBurst campaign costs $3, or $2 if you buy in bulk.

Who Is BrightLocal Ideal For?

BrightLocal is perfect for SEO agencies, SEO consultants, and for small businesses.
Since BrightLocal offers a wide array of SEO services, it can accommodate a wide array of end users. For example, local businesses could benefit tremendously by all of the local search features. 


Even if you’re a business with multiple locations, BrightLocal can help you manage search keyword optimization, reviews, and also NAP listings (Name, Address, Phone Numbers) across a massive list of directories. 


In addition to using BrightLocal for your business, BrightLocal can also help your organization big time if you’re part of an SEO marketing agency, or are a freelance SEO consultant. 


In fact, this is where the power of BrightLocal really shines. Imagine being able to help almost any local business with their SEO strategies and game plan from one united front, while offering beautiful white-labelled reporting. BrightLocal might be your best in class choice for providing local businesses with SEO services, and you’ll be able to provide all the proof and statistics to back up your prices.

BrightLocal Signup Process
BrightLocal Register

Signing up for BrightLocal is easy and only takes a minute. When you visit the BrightLocal homepage, there will be a big call to action inviting you to try one of their free trials. When you take that call to action, you’ll have the option of trying any of their plans for a 30-day free trial, or you can simply register for a free account.


Whichever option you choose; you’ll then be asked what type of end user are you. Are you a local business, a multi-location business, an SEO/marketing agency, or an SEO/marketing freelancer.


You’ll also be asked what type of services you’d like to use. Would you like to use BrightLocal to track search rankings, create local citations, monitor and audit citations, monitor online reviews, lead generation, or competitor benchmarking.


These options will determine what your welcome screen looks like, so take a minute or two to customize your options, and remember that either way it doesn’t cost you a single red cent to register with BrightLocal, and you don’t need a credit card to register for an account.

BrightLocal Ease of Use
Bright Local Dashboard

The first thing you need to know about BrightLocal’s ease of use, is that everything is accessible via their website so you never have to fuss with software.


Upon logging into BrightLocal, you’ll discover how nice and intuitive their user interface is. You’ll be greeted by a friendly live chat representative (should you wish), and you’ll also see the 7 main sections of the BrightLocal SEO suite.


You’ll see the Rank Checker, the SEO Check-Up, CitationTracker, Google Local Wizard, CitationBurst, ReviewBiz, and ReviewFlow.


Each section of the member’s area contains a video detailing how they work, in addition to a FAQ section so you can review a list of the most frequently asked questions.


This in conjunction with the live chat will ensure that you begin checking your site’s (and client’s sites) statistics without encountering a snag.

BrightLocal Features
BrightLocal Features

Massive Keyword Analysis – BrightLocal boasts the ability to effortlessly syndicate your keyword search rankings by using a massive list of keywords. So you can see exactly how your web properties match up by keyword, search engine, and even how you compare against your fiercest competitors.


Easy NAP Data – Not only can you easily submit your business name, address, and phone number, but you can also search a massive database of popular NAP directories to ensure that your business gets all of the backlink and traffic juice it can handle. In addition to this, you can also spy on your competitors to see where they’re being listed, so you can plug your business (and your client’s business) in the same exact locations, leaving your pesky competition bereft of any tactical advantages.


Citation Submission And Cleaning – Have you ever been frustrated because your client’s listings all over the Internet are strewn with grammatical errors, or even worse false information? If that’s the case you’ll love this, because BrightLocal will deploy their system to automatically correct any incorrect listings freeing you of the stress. 


So how does this work exactly? BrightLocal will match your correct listing data across over 1,600 national citation reference points to make sure all of your data (and client data) is up to date and correct. How much time and frustration would this save you and your customers?


Fast Google Local Optimization – Google Local might be the biggest variable that helps you and your clients to get more customers fast. But what if your Google Local page isn’t optimized for results? For that reason, BrightLocal makes it simple to ensure optimization, so your clients get more calls, clicks, and visits. This feature also enables you to spy on competitors, in addition to being notified if your listing changes, or any new reviews are posted.


Review Monitoring – BrightLocal makes monitoring your business (and your client’s businesses) for new reviews a snap. So you can easily defend your reputation against your toughest critics, while at the same time singing praise to your most loyal of customers.


Fast SEO Audits – Do you need new clients fast? Then show them the BrightLocal SEO Audits so you can show off your SEO expertise. Easily present your prospects a thorough SEO Audit that’s white-labelled for your business. The SEO Audits include Off-Site SEO Score, On-Site Local SEO Score, Search Ranking Average, Local Search Ranking Average, Google+ Local Listing Score, and Local Directory Listing Score. 


Why is this such a genius idea? Because the SEO Audit is simple to understand, and will quickly provide actionable data for your agency, while at the same time providing a sense of urgency for your prospective clients.


Capture Your Best Customer’s Reviews – Imagine if you could add review badges onto your website so your happy customers could easily leave reviews for you using Yelp, Foursquare, Google+, Facebook, and Yahoo Local? Because maybe you’ve noticed that only unhappy customers leave reviews. You can change that by proactively adding this badge to your site, or your client’s site in just a few minutes with zero coding required.


Monitor SEO Rankings By Location – You realize by now that your search engine results aren’t the same results that visitors are seeing in the surrounding areas, right? That’s why BrightLocal makes it easy to spy on keyword results by location, so you can work to ensure that your client’s businesses are being seen not only in their area, but in adjacent locations as well.


Multi-Location Search Rankings – What happens if one of your clients has multiple locations? This idea, in conjunction with the idea that listings change by location, ultimately leads to a massively complicated mess! That’s why BrightLocal makes it simple to track rankings by multiple locations, so even if your clients have a ton of businesses, you can still showcase valuable data to them in a way that’s easy to understand and will make sense.


Mobile Optimization Checker – No matter what type of business your clients have, you can bet your bottom dollar that a significant quantity of their end users are on mobile devices. That’s why BrightLocal makes it simple to spot which of your sites are underperforming drastically on mobile devices. So you can clog any holes, and quickly capture invaluable mobile traffic that your clients may be losing out on.

BrightLocal Integration's

BrightLocal API – After speaking with a BrightLocal customer support representative, I was reassured that their API can allow you to integrate their data on almost any other platform that you use now or want to develop in the future. So if you’re curious about developing your own application, dashboard, widget, or plugin so you can take advantage of BrightLocal’s data, you can easily proceed with their well-documented (and supported) API.

BrightLocal Pricing
Bright Local Pricing

BrightLocal pricing is very easy on the wallet; there’s four different plans, one of them being absolutely free.


The downside is that the free plan is fairly limited and allows CitationBurst only. If you’re not familiar with BrightLocal’s CitationBurst feature, it allows you to quickly submit citations (Business Name, Address, and Phone Number) across a massive list of directories. The CitationBurst service is pay-as-you-go, and costs $3 per burst, or $2 per burst if you buy in bulk.


If you decide that your agency requires more than the free plan, you can upgrade to the single business plan, the multi business plan, or the SEO pro plan.


The single business plan is ideal if you’re a single business using BrightLocal for yourself, or if you’re an SEO consultant managing a single business. The single business plan limits the amount of locations that you can manage to 3, and slightly limits the quantity of reports per month. The single business plan does not allow white-label reports, though only costs $19.99 per month.


In the event that you’d like to manage more locations, or if you would like more reporting options, including white-label reports, then you should consider the multi-business plan. The multi business plan is ideal if you’re an SEO agency, or a consultant managing several businesses. The multi business plan allows you to monitor 6 locations, and costs $34.99 per month.


In the event that you manage several businesses, you should consider the SEO pro plan. The SEO pro plan provides the most reports, white-label options, API access, and the ability to monitor up to 100 different locations. The SEO pro plan is $64.99 per month.


In the event that you’re a massive SEO agency, and require more than 100 locations, or if you need some type of special reporting, you can easily contact BrightLocal for a custom quote. Also remember that in the event that you would like to test out BrightLocal without risk, you can try any of their plans 100% free for 30 days, without using a credit card or paying them a single penny.

BrightLocal Support

If you ever need support, you can just crack a big fat smile because BrightLocal offers absolutely awesome support, and their support services leave nothing to be desired.


The first level of support is their knowledgebase (available inside the member’s area) in addition to instructional videos for each section of their website.
You can also contact BrightLocal via email and chat support from 1:00 am to 11:00 pm GMT on Monday through Friday. If you prefer to get support via phone, you can call BrightLocal from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm GMT on Monday through Friday.


Arguably the best part of BrightLocal’s support system is their weekly webinars. Twice per month, BrightLocal hosts local SEO webinar trainings called the InsideLocal webinar series. These webinars are 100% free to attend, and showcase leading local search experts. 


You can also view the entire webinar archive without paying anything (now around 1,000 minutes of free SEO training from leading SEO experts). If you’re interested in attending a webinar, you can easily visit their webinar registration page to be notified of their next event.


In addition to BrightLocal’s support, their webinars, their knowledge bases, and video tutorials, you can also schedule a live demo of BrightLocal. When you combine all of these support features, you can be rest assured that you (and your clients) are in good hands, so if you ever have any questions, you’ll be accommodated regardless of your preferences.

BrightLocal Reputation

BrightLocal is known for climbing their way to the top in the local SEO world. BrightLocal was started in 2009 by Myles Anderson and Ed Eliot, and has since then amassed a massive position of authority, prestige, and goodwill among their customers. 


Their authoritative positioning in the local SEO world has lead them to having three locations worldwide (UK, UA, and PH), and employing over 20 SEO superstars, in addition to 35 agents, and 8 managers.


The BrightLocal team stays busy! They’ve completed over 2,000 campaigns, and deliver well over 40,000 SEO submissions for their clients each and every month.
So at the end of the day, when you’re thinking about BrightLocal, think about their reputation for offering awesome local search services. 


Think about them starting from only 2 employees in 2009, to now amassing a massive army of local SEO experts. If you’re an agent, or own an SEO agency, adding BrightLocal’s arsenal of local search tools into your toolbox might be a genius strategy, and BrightLocal will be happy to hold your hand every step of the way.

BrightLocal Conclusion

Is your SEO agency or consultancy lacking in the local side of search? Could the ability to offer beautiful local search reports help you get more clients? Moreover, would being able to actively track reviews in near real-time help your clients get better results?


Or maybe you’re a brick and mortar startup and want to kickstart your own local SEO campaigns. Whatever the case, if you need to implement local SEO tactics and you would appreciate a friendly, supportive, knowledgeable company with beautiful looking tools, at a bottom-barrel price point, BrightLocal might be the best solution you can use, period.


So you can know how your competitors rank, and try your best to outrank them. All the while keeping in the loop as your customers review your products (and your client’s products), and mass submit your company’s name, address, and phone number and keep your listings up to date well into perpetuity.


If any of this sounds good, and if you don’t feel like paying hand over fist for similar local SEO options, it might be in your best interest to try BrightLocal today. You won’t have to pay a single penny to register and try them out, and their staff would be happy to assist you in the event that you have any questions about how they can help your business.


About Mike DeVincent

Mike researches and reviews products for Top 10 Marketing Software. Mike has vast experience in blogging, teaching and internet marketing. See Mike's profile on Google+.

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