on July 8, 2022

The Best Geo Grid Local Ranking Tools Compared

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Geo Grid Local Ranking Tool Comparison: Check out alternatives to Local Falcon, Local Viking, Places Scout, Semrush, and BrightLocal

Welcome to BrightLocal’s guide to geo grid local ranking tools, where we’ll be going into detail about what makes some of the top tools tick, and investigating and comparing Local Falcon alternatives, Local Viking alternatives, and Semrush and Places Scout alternatives.

There are a few out there we haven’t covered in this guide, like GeoMapy, Surfer Local and LeadGenerated, though. That’s because we wanted to pick out the tools that offered the best bang for your buck.

Not sure which local map rank tracker or geo grid tool to try out or plump for? This is the guide for you.

What is a ‘geo grid’ ranking tool?

Before we get started, let’s take a beat to properly define ‘geo grid ranking tool’. Firstly, it’s worth knowing that ‘geo grid’ isn’t an industry-standardized name for these tools. I’ve also seen them called search grids, local map rank trackers and many more. For the purposes of this guide, though, we’ll be referring to them as ‘geo grids’.

So what is a geo grid ranking tool? It’s a ranking tool that shows how a business ranks for individual local searches across a given geographical area (the ‘geo grid’).

Geo grid ranking tools have various different functions, features and cost plans (as we’ll discover below) but the core thing they all have in common is the placement of colored pins representing local Google rankings across a map.

What should you look for in a geo grid ranking tool?

As mentioned above, there are many features and factors you could look for in a geo grid tool, and while I’d always suggest first asking yourself what it is exactly what you want to achieve, there are a few things I’d recommend keeping an eye out for:

Low cost

Because each individual search results presents a cost to the tool provider, that cost is passed on to the user, often taking the form of ‘credits’. Each credit, therefore, gets you a search result, or ‘a number on the grid’.

The cost of running reports in a geo grid rank tracker is, for the most part, based on how many keywords you want to track across separate reports and the size of grid (or number of individual searches) you want to pull results for.

For example, if you wanted to pull results for two keywords in two reports, each with a grid size of 5×5, you’d need 50 credits, because five times five is 25, and you multiply that by the number of reports (two) to get 50.

While it’s not really necessary when trying out a tool for the first time, or trying a demo version with test credits included, I’d recommend starting to think about how many keywords and business locations you’re wanting to regularly monitor results for early on.

This will give you an idea of the number of credits you’ll need each month and allow you to better compare the tools on offer, especially as some providers offer packages with a given number of credits that recur monthly.

It goes without saying that low cost is something worth looking out for, especially when you’re looking to track local search results at scale.

Multiple grid sizes

Businesses in different industries naturally have different spheres of influence, and differing sizes of area they’d expect to draw business from. For example, a bar in the center of a city is probably only competing with nearby rivals, whereas a skilled lawyer is likely looking for business across the whole city and beyond.

This is why multiple grid sizes are useful, especially if you’re working with different business types. What do I mean by grid sizes? I’m talking about the number of grid points on a local map in a square, such as 3×3 (9 grid points), 5×5 (25 grid points), 7×7 (49 grid points) and so on.

How detailed you want to get with your geo grid ranking is up to you, but the more grid points you have access to, and the ease with which you can adjust grid size per report, the more you’ll be able to uncover insights hidden to your competitors.

Competition ranking factors tracking

The best geo grid ranking tools go further than simply presenting the search rankings as numbers on a grid; they’ll actively provide you with details on which competitors are beating you where, and, crucially, the insights that might explain why they’re beating you. It’s all very well seeing where they’re ranking, but the best tools will tell you why they’re ranking.

These insights include known ranking factors such as numbers of reviews, links back to the website, the website’s Domain Authority, numbers of citations and more. With this information at your fingertips, you have the power to pinpoint areas for improvement and make adjustments to your local search visibility strategy accordingly.

Without it, your geo grid ranking tool is just a bunch of colorful numbers on a map.

Tracking over time

A business’ SEO is never a static thing: there are forces outside of your control that can change results (such as algorithm updates) and there are the tactics you’re actively using to change performance.

This is why it’s so important to easily and clearly be able to see how the makeup of the geo grid has changed over time. With a timeline like this, you can show bosses and clients where your SEO tactics have improved performance, and therefore generate more value in them.

After all, a traditional ranking tool will show you how your rankings have changed over time, so it only makes sense that a geo grid ranking tool should do the same.

A timeline like this also provides an early warning alert that something needs work in your rankings. If you suddenly see swathes of red results across what was previously a field of green, you know you need to take action fast. If your chosen geo grid ranking tool offers competitor insights, too, then you’re already one step ahead.

Track multiple keywords per location

Whether you’re working with multiple client locations or need to track multiple keywords for your own business, this is a really important feature to have.

While the cost shouldn’t change regardless of whether you have separate reports for different keywords or not, the increased ease of use and ability to easily switch between grids for different keywords on the same page means that this feature is a no-brainer for anyone looking to track rankings at scale.

SERP screenshots

Many clients are naturally skeptical about local SEO, especially when search results change as often as they do, so it’s good to have proof of the search results page the tool discovered when gathering their rankings.

Some tools will offer the ability to see a screenshot of the SERP at the moment of capture. This allows you to prove the accuracy of the report, to yourself when testing the tool, or when educating clients. This isn’t a common feature but it’s important all the same.

A free trial

We all like something for free, and that’s especially true when contrasting and comparing SEO tools. Many platforms offer free credits or timed access to their suites of tools. I’d recommend looking out for and prioritizing these because there’s nothing quite like using the tool for yourself to get a feel for how it works and imagine how it can fit into your workflow.

Contents

What is a ‘geo grid’ ranking tool?
What should you look for in a geo grid ranking tool?

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