One of the first things you'll want to do is set up a Location in BrightLocal for your or your client's business. There's a helpful guide here on how to do that.
Next, we've put together a quick tour of the BrightLocal platform, which is a particularly helpful point of reference if:
- You’ve just started your 14-day free trial
- You’re a new user on an existing account
- You need a reminder about specific tool(s)
Each BrightLocal product is introduced, along with our most frequently used tools and reports. We’ll also offer advice on setting up and optimizing your account.
The following video provides a useful summary of how to get the best from our platform:
A great way to learn how to set up and use each of the tools/reports in BrightLocal is to join BrightLocal Academy and enroll in our free course 'Level Up Your Local SEO with BrightLocal.' Find out more here.
Individual Tool Rundowns
Here's a quick rundown of each of the tools and workspaces in BrightLocal...
Clients and Locations Dashboard
Once you've logged into BrightLocal, you’ll see the Clients and Locations dashboard.
Every Location you’ve imported into BrightLocal can be seen here. Agencies can also group and filter Locations for each of their clients.
This dashboard provides easy access to all of the reports associated with a single Location. Click the green ‘View Dashboard’ button to see the ‘Location Dashboard Summary’.
Find out more: Read our Clients and Locations FAQs
Location Dashboard Summary
Every Location imported into BrightLocal will be given its own Location Dashboard Summary, which gives a concise overview of each report currently set up for the Location.
This dashboard lets you:
- Access each report
- Get insights on what’s working well
- See what needs attention
Think of this as your local marketing command center for each Location.
Find out more: Read our Location Dashboard FAQs
Accurate, localized ranking data is provided by Rank Checker across:
- Google Mobile
- Google Maps
The Rank Checker is used to check your positions for the keywords that you want to rank for, and in the geolocations where you want to be found.
A few keywords have been automatically populated to give you an overview of how this location is ranking. New keywords should be added to ensure you get a better understanding of your overall search visibility.
Here are some recommendations for the kind of information you might want to track:
- Your brand name (including variations)
- Your business categories (auto repair, auto repair shop, Ford repair shop)
- Your products and services (oil change, dent repair, tire alignment)
Next, you can add location modifiers help to simulate how local searchers would try to find your business:
- Town / city (Tampa auto repair, oil change in Tampa Bay)
- County / state / zip code (dent repair in Hillsborough County, tire alignment 33631)
- Near me (oil change near me)
Finally, it's worth adding adjective modifiers that might be used by local searchers:
- Best auto repair shop
- Cheap dent repair in Tampa
- Quick oil change near me
Find out more: Read our Rank Checker guide
Local Search Grid
Local Search Grid gives you the extra rankings and competitor data you need to truly understand the local search landscape and broaden your visibility.
This birds-eye view of searches performed for your chosen keywords, across your chosen area, can help you:
- See how much local search visibility you, your clients, or even potential clients are really claiming.
- Learn which keywords are performing well, and which need your attention, so you can identify blindspots and refocus your optimization efforts.
- Discover opportunities to outrank competitors with benchmarks of key ranking factors.
- Spot significant ranking drops quickly so you can start taking action to reverse the course.
- Track progress over time with one simple metric: Average Map Rank.
- Impress clients new and old with visually engaging reports
- Identify spam in Google My Business profiles and mark them for removal.
Find out more: Read our Local Search Grid guides
Your business data on top directories and citation sites is tracked automatically by Citation Tracker. It is essential to improve both the quantity and accuracy of your citations in order to enhance local SEO.
The business name, address, and phone number (NAP) is pulled in from each site so you can see NAP inconsistencies — these are highlighted in red.
The report also shows:
- Top citation sites where your location isn’t currently listed
- Possible duplicate listings
Find out more: Read our Citation Tracker guides
Our Citation Builder service, which is managed via your BrightLocal account, is extremely helpful at improving citations.
Remove the hard work from manually building and updating citations yourself by taking advantage of this cost-effective, accurate and fast service.
You can handpick the most relevant sites for you or your clients from our database of over 1,000 sites across 40 industries.
This dashboard lets you:
- Build a new campaign
- Submit your order
- View the completion status of previous campaigns
Find out more: Read our Citation Builder guides
Reputation Manager works in three parts:
- Review monitoring
- Review generation
- Review showcasing
In review monitoring, your dashboard is automatically populated with historical review data across a number of top review websites.
This lets you see:
- How reviews have grown over time
- Which sites customers are using to leave reviews
- The all-important average star rating
New reviews that this Location receives will soon be visible. What's more, if you connect Google My Business and Facebook, you can respond to new reviews directly from the BrightLocal platform.
In review generation, the Get Reviews section allows you to grow review numbers on whichever review site needs a boost.
Review request emails can be sent directly from our platform by simply choosing one of our fully customizable templates, then importing your customer contact details.
You can also generate custom review request links to use anywhere — for example:
- On a website
- In store
- On printed marketing materials
In review showcasing, the Showcase Reviews section allows you to automatically display the best reviews from about a business on its website, quickly and easily.
You can create an on-brand widget in minutes – no coding required - customizing the colours, font and style to suit your brand.
You can also filter feeds to pull the latest reviews directly into your site as soon as they’re published and blacklist any that you don't want to be shown.
Find out more: Read our Reputation Manager guide
Google My Business Audit
This tool lets you view and analyze all of the Google My Business Insights data for this location.
From here, you can benchmark the Google My Business listing against the business’s competitors for different search terms, and uncover the insights that help you further optimize the listing.
For more in-depth analysis, Google My Business Audit lets you view 18 months of data — six times more than what's available in Google My Business itself.
Find out more: Read our Google My Business Audit guides
Local Search Audit
This report clearly and neatly displays an automated audit of key local search ranking factors.
You’ll be able to:
- Identify the issues that could be hurting your site’s SEO
- Find out the specific areas to focus on to improve rankings
By quickly running an audit of any business then exporting the report, you can send this to prospects and include in pitches — ideal for helping agencies to win new business.
Find out more: Read our Local Search Audit guides
Integrations are easy to set up, and provide a single dashboard that lets you see a snapshot of your local marketing efforts.
See all of your crucial website data by connecting Google Analytics and getting sight of:
- Traffic by channel
- Mobile traffic
You can also connect Facebook and Twitter to get insights on your social media performance.
Agency Lead Generator
Finally, our Agency Lead Generator tool is a handy widget that can be placed on your website to help generate more leads.
Here's how it works:
- Your prospects will be given the chance to get a free local marketing audit as they browse your website.
- We’ll send you an email alert whenever a new lead requests an audit.
- Once they have completed their business and contact details, we automatically run the audit and send it to them via email.
All of the lead’s information (including their audit) will be made available, letting you follow up directly with your insights and offering.
Find out more: Watch our Agency Lead Generator overview video
We hope this overview has provided a useful summary of how BrightLocal can let you easily access a whole wealth of local marketing data in a single platform.
It’s worth noting that this is all for just one location. Multi-location businesses can use BrightLocal to get granular insights on each of their locations, while agencies can get in-depth reporting for each client they manage.