5 Great Local Search Communities

5 Great Local Search Communities
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In this post I provide details & links through to some great local search communities that we use rely on for answers to questions that we & our customers have, and for feedback on our SEO tools.

Power to the people, by the people

One of the things I love about working in the local search industry is how many helpful & supportive people there are who are willing to share their knowledge to help others.

With so many ‘newbies’ coming into the industry, and with the constant changes we face, it’s great to be able to get quick answers to urgent questions from other SEOs who have tons of hands-on-experience. Sure, local consultants & agencies do compete against each other, and some prefer to keep their cards close to their chest, but there are enough community minded souls willing to provide advice that there is always an answer to be found.

Ultimately if we can improve the level of knowledge & performance across the local search industry it will raise the quality of work done for local businesses,and will attract more local businesses to the market.

Top 5 local SEO Communities

Here are the 5 local search communities that we use on a near daily basis. Some we have used for ages and some we’re new to, but all of these communities share these important traits –

  1. Laser focused on local search / local SEO
  2. Have a high number of members
  3. Run by top quality search consultants, trainers, practitioners
  4. Very active with regular updates
  5. Free to be a member

1. Local Search Forum

Local Search Forum - local SEO community

This well known forum is run by Linda Buquet and a team of highly experienced & friendly search marketers. This is always my first port of call when looking for answers and posing tricky questions. If Linda & the team (20 moderators) don’t answer then some other bright spark SEO will do.

This forum has 1,600 members and has 39,000 posts all related to local search. Linda also provides advanced local training; this is a paid for option but if you don’t find what you’re looking for on the forum then this could be worth the investment.

Local Search Community - local SEO google+ community2. Local Search (Google+ community)

I’m a big fan of this community. It has 430+ members and is run by 3 great local search experts – Max Minzer, Phil Rozek & Mark Goho. This is a great forum for all questions about local search. The 3 moderators are very active as are other members.

They have very low tolerance of self-promotion posts (I violated it recently and had my wrist slapped! Of course i was just testing them…) which keeps the content useful & the answers helpful.

They recently introduced something called ‘Hot Seat’. This is where SEOs/SMBs can share an issue they’re having and Phil/Max/Mark & any others will pitch in to solve it. So if you’re really stumped with a client/location then this could be a big help.

Local SEO News - Google+ community3. Local SEO News (G+ community)

This is a big BIG community with 1,840+ members. It’s run by Luis Galzara who (again) is very active & helpful. I know a lot of SEOs who are part of this community and there are fresh posts, comments & answers every day.

They don’t allow blatant self promotion but do accept content sharing of your own content as long as it’s unique & genuinely interesting to the community – Luis will remove it if it’s not. Luis himself has 46k followers on Google+ so the guy has influence – but probably not much free time!

4. Local Search Marketing (Google+ community)

Local Search Marketing - Google+ community

This community is owned by Jackson Lo who is well regarded local search expert and a part of the wider team at LocalU. The forum is also moderated by Andrew Shotland, who runs LocalSEOGuide.com. Local search guys don’t come much more experienced than Andrew and he’s a font of knowledge. This community has 400 members and is pretty active with regular advice and ‘have you seen?’ updates being shared.

 

5. LocalU Forum (actually this one is paid)

Local University ForumsLocalU is a training & content collective made up of some of the very best (like ‘Top Gun’ best of the best) local search marketers. As well as running regular, physical training sessions they also have an online forum where the LocalU team will help answer any questions you have from the most mundane to the most advanced.

They do charge a fee of $129/month for membership but this gives you access to some of the brightest brains in local – that’s a powerful team to call on in your hour of need.

Want to suggest other communities?

Please add your suggestions or feedback in the comments section and we’ll publish them.

 


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11 thoughts on “5 Great Local Search Communities”

  1. Thanks for publishing this great list. I never would have found them without you. I’ve been using Bright Local for over a year and half and love all the features and content you provide and keep adding. This blog is one of the great additions. Loving it!

  2. Great post! I learn so much from the many columns and blogs I follow — including this one. But joining these responsive, enthusiastic communities has helped me find solutions to my toughest and most obscure problems. I’m glad to have a couple new ones to join!

  3. Thanks for the mention of LocalU, Myles. We’ve been getting a lot of great community interaction on the forum and getting a lot of tough questions answered. It’s really like having the best of the best on retainer for a fraction of the cost.

    I’m also a big fan of the G+ communities as well. It’s always amazed my how open to giving the Local SEO crowd is.

    1. Hi Will – glad to hear the LocalU forum is helping those in need. Sounds like money well spent! I agree that the local SEO community are always generous with their knowhow – it’s a big enough industry to support many of us and the better work we do for SMBs the longer it will continue.

      Great to connect with you!

  4. What about the Google forums themselves? I learn a lot from them because they list case after case and you can see what solved the issues for the different business owners.

    1. Good point Joy. I don’t use these as much because many of the question we have are non-Google-Places – e.g. citations, reviews, on-page type stuff

      Which of the Google forums do you use the most? (please post links!)

      Thanks Joy

  5. Thanks for mentioning our G+ community, Myles!

    About that one “wrist-slap”…hey, no hard feelings 🙂 As you know, we’re big fans of the surveys and other posts you do – and they always make for lively discussions at the G+ community.

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