The best thing about SEO is also the worst:
It’s always changing.
And local SEO is no different. In fact, staying on top of local SEO news, latest trends and changes in the industry can be a full time job.
Thankfully, the local search industry is full of local SEO blogs, providing intelligent and useful content from real experts.
The Best Local SEO Blogs
Fortunately, getting on top of those demands is not as difficult at it sounds. The advice that will make you a local marketing master isn’t lurking in secret chats or hiding behind paywalls. It’s being given away right out in the open.
The real challenge isn’t finding local search advice, it’s separating the signal from the noise. That’s what we’re going to help you do right now.
What follows are 7 of the best sources for local search expertise you can find online, and how they can help you close the gap on the competition:
#1 Search Engine Journal – For the Latest News
Local SEO moves fast. Techniques that worked great yesterday can attract penalties like piranhas tomorrow. If you want to make sure that you always stay ahead of the latest updates, you should be visiting Search Engine Journal every day.
“Every day” isn’t an exaggeration, either. SEJ is an aggregator for almost all the SEO news that happens online. Their team posts anywhere from a few to a dozen headlines daily, covering everything from algorithm updates, consumer research and agency sales trends to (of course) Local SEO.
While all of their stories can be relevant to SEO in general, you can sort the feed by category to corral all the news about local searches into one easy-to-browse section.
Recommended Reading: There’s fresh news every day. The best content here are the stories that are too new for you to have read yet.
#2 Search Engine Land – For the News in Detail
Search Engine Land is another SEO news source, but where SEJ focuses on catching every big headline of the day, SEL focuses on putting slightly fewer stories a day into more context. The news here is usually filtered into predictions, explanations, and guides that give you more understanding of what has changed and why.
While newcomers to local SEO can benefit, the site is geared toward industry veterans who are focused less on what’s being said and more on how to action it before the competition. That’s why in addition to breaking news, they provide a steady supply of white papers, case studies, and dates for all the big upcoming industry events.
While they cover SEO news broadly, the local-focused news you find here will be full of insights that you won’t want to miss if you’re trying to rank a local business.
Recommended Reading: Once again, the latest is the greatest. There are few stories that are timeless here and won’t feel aged after next week.
#3 Ahrefs – For the Hard Data
You probably know Ahrefs from their popular tool (and possibly their Quixotic quest to create a search engine to compete with Google). However, you don’t have to be one of their customers to benefit from the data-driven expertise that rolls out on their blog on a weekly basis.
Ahrefs commands a grande armée of busy crawler bots that provides them with a huge index of data on backlinks, keywords, and content. They regularly dive through this data to pull out both new and previously unnoticed trends. Sometimes, they’re nice enough to publish them.
While they only occasionally cover local search, they provide some of the best advice online when they do. Almost all of their tips are backed up by large-scale case studies that involve millions of points of data.
Recommended Reading: Even a year out from publishing, their Simple (But Complete) Guide to Local SEO is a worthwhile read and resource.
#4 Moz – For the Hard Stuff Made Easy
Moz is a name that rarely needs an introduction, but if you haven’t yet added their blog to your reading list, you’re in for a treat. The team at Moz covers just about everything, but more importantly than that, they do it in a way that allows even the newest SEO can easily build a foundation to expertise.
One of their best-known features is Whiteboard Friday, a video presentation published every Friday where they use a whiteboard and dry-erase market to break down a topic. Several different staff members participate, but they all know how to illustrate all the relationships between different concepts with all the patience and thoroughness of a veteran teacher.
Even if you don’t need beginner advice, it’s impossible to subscribe without learning something. They just cover way too many topics in too much detail for that to be likely. The amount of information can make sorting difficult, but they have a Local SEO category that will make finding the information you need easy.
Recommended Reading: How to Find Your True Local Competitors
#5 DealerOn – For the On-the-Ground Focus
All of the websites we’ve covered so far give general advice about Local SEO, but all of them have had to couch it in terms that might apply to businesses in many industries of many sizes. DealerOn is a Local SEO marketing leader that is focused on the needs of auto dealers and the unique challenges that face them.
However, even if you aren’t an auto dealer yourself, you can benefit from their on-the-ground perspective. Their blog covers topics that are close to home for any small business, such as increasing appeal to potential customers, perfecting your GMB page and responding properly to negative reviews.
Something must also be said for the form their content takes. Tough concepts are broken down into short, binge-ready videos that should appeal to the YouTube generation of SEOs who are just now coming up.
Recommended Reading: Are you missing out on hot leads from your GMB listing?
#6 Search Engine Roundtable – For Plumbing the Depths
Here’s another great news source to add to your daily reads, but this one comes with a twist—the news comes straight from the horse’s mouth. The horse, in this case, is the community of SEOs that are spread all over the web. Roundtable focuses on mining the most interesting discussions that take place between SEOs on forums, boards, and social media.
This method captures a lot of the news-before-it-becomes-news as SEOs share their private experiments, weird fluctuations in their data or their personal experiences with the latest tools. These reports can often offer more or contrasting information to what big companies like Google share in their official channels.
A daily recap is published every evening that includes all the big discussions of the day. Each recap includes a “Local & Maps” section with bullets of the most important conversations in those categories. If you don’t have space on your reading list to check Roundtable daily, the recap is the next best thing.
Recommended Reading: Google Local Ranking Factors SEO Study
#7 Blumenthal’s – For the Expertise
Mike Blumenthal is a long-time SEO with a laser focus on local. Though his site is a one-man operation, he delivers news, in-depth case studies and testy challenges to search engine orthodoxy at a pace that may unnerve some content creators who are operating in the local SEO space.
If you choose to add Mike to your reading list, you’re learning from one of the best, and it’s to his credit that he doesn’t take what Google is saying about what you should do on face value—not without a lot of experimentation.
However, next to all that unique insight, expect to get opinions. He’s someone who works in the local space constantly, and he feels as much frustration about what Google gets wrong as any business who ends up on the receiving end. Of course, even when Mike is angry, he’s excellent at explaining things, and quite often—pretty funny.
Recommended Reading: FINDING GOOGLE LOCAL SPAM AT SCALE
Knowledge is Power
Local SEO is more competitive than its ever been, but that’s because a good spot in search results is so, so worth it.
By the numbers, 4 out of 5 consumers are using search to find local information. Of those local searchers, 33% of clicks go to the local “snack pack” map results that appear at the top of the page.
But do those clicks translate to sales? The research says YES. 75% of mobile searches with local intent produce in-store, offline visits within 24 hours.
These are not stats that any local business can afford to ignore. If you’re not optimizing for local search, you may be giving up 80% of your potential customers. If you can’t run with “the pack”, you’re losing ⅓ of your customers to the competition—at minimum.
That settles it, you have to get better at local. In the past, that was a matter of getting your NAP (Business Name, Address and Phone Number) out there to as many places as possible. Now, you need to think about a competitive GMB profile, reviews you can’t run from and the fast-moving expectations of mobile searchers.
Now You Know the Best…What Next?
If you follow these local SEO blogs, you now know where to find the best news, data, guides and in-depth analysis. Subscribe and read often to find out who they follow, quote and link to so that you can start to build a list of the people who offer the best insights for your particular niche of local SEO.