The Best Geo Grid Local Ranking Tools Compared

The Best Geo Grid Local Ranking Tools Compared

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.

Geo Grid Rank Trackers

This grid represents a kind of ‘heatmap’ around the business and gives a good idea of how much it dominates the local area for its preferred keywords.

Why should you be using a geo grid ranking tool?

Geo grid local ranking tools have come to prominence in recent years due to the nature of Google’s approach to listing businesses (or more accurately, their Google My Business profiles) for local-intent search terms.

What are local-intent search terms? Local-intent search terms include searches where the user has been explicit in their desire for a local search (e.g. including the city name or ‘near me’ in their search term) or where Google has determined that the search performed has an implied local intent, and has used the search device’s location to turn a standard search into a local one (e.g. ‘best restaurants’, ‘plumbers’, etc.).

Local-intent search results can vary based on the geolocation of the person performing the search. For example, someone searching in the center of a city for ‘restaurant’ is likely to see very different results to someone on the outskirts, given that proximity plays such an important role in this search.

What this means in effect is that tracking a business’ ranking performance from a single location, as many traditional rank trackers do, just doesn’t provide the full picture of performance. A business is far more likely to rank well in a local search at their doorstop than they are a block or two away, and it’s these insights that require the use of a geo grid ranking tool, allowing for a complete picture of local ranking performance across a given area.

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.

Top Geo Grid Ranking Tools: Features and Price Comparison Table

 BrightLocalLocal FalconLocal VikingPlaces ScoutSemrush
Price$0.0034 per credit, when purchased in addon bundle$0.0032 - $0.0034 per credit$0.0027 - $0.0048 per creditUnknown$112 - $450 per month (plus $40 per location, per month)
Free trial available?Yes: 14-day free trial with 2,000 creditsYes: 100 free creditsNoNoYes: 7-day free trial
Number of grid sizes5756, with custom sizes available3
White-label reports?YesYesYesYesNo
Competitor ranking factors tracking?YesYesNoYesNo
Monitor performance over time?YesYesYesYesYes
Optimized for service-area businesses?YesYesNoYesNo
Multiple keywords per location?YesYesNoYesYes
Export to CSV?NoYesYesYesNo
SERP screenshots?YesNoYesYesNo
Access to wider SEO platform?YesNoYesYesYes

Top Geo Grid Ranking Tools Compared

Below I’ve dug into the details of some of the most popular geo grid rank trackers on the market, some old, some new. Where possible, I’ve detailed packages and pricing for easy comparison.

One tricky area, however, has been in gathering reliable third-party reviews for all tools. This is because many of the review sites for SaaS platforms focus on the platform as a whole rather than their individual tools. However, I also found a surprising lack of third-party reviews for some platforms, too! So I’d encourage you to help the local SEO community out and leave a review of the platforms and tools you’ve used, when and where you can.

dbaPlatform’s ‘Local Falcon’

Tagline: “Get 100% Local Search Visibility”

URL: https://www.localfalcon.com/

Local Falcon can take the credit for leading the charge on tracking local rankings across a grid, as it was the first to release a tool of this kind, in 2018.

It has since been acquired by Google My Business management tool, dbaPlatform, and has seen several updates to its functionality and pricing to keep it competitive in a growing market.

Local Falcon Screenshot

What notable features does Local Falcon have?

  • White-label reports
  • Competition ranking factors tracking
  • Animated trending view
  • Customizable grid point locations
  • Share of Local Voice: proprietary metric
  • Multiple keywords per location
  • Export to CSV
  • Suitable for service-area businesses

What grid sizes are available on Local Falcon?

There are seven grid sizes available for Local Falcon:

  • 3×3
  • 5×5
  • 7×7
  • 9×9
  • 11×11
  • 13×13
  • 15×15

How much does Local Falcon cost?

Local Falcon uses a credits system for payment and offers these as part of four packages:

  • Starter: $25 per month for 7,500 credits ($0.0034 per credit)
  • Basic: $50 per month for 15,000 credits ($0.0034 per credit)
  • Pro: $100 per month for 31,000 credits ($0.0032 per credit)
  • Premium: $200 per month for 63,000 credits ($0.0032 per credit)

You can find out more about Local Falcon’s plans and pricing here.

Can I get a free trial of Local Falcon?

Yes, according to its website, the Local Falcon free trial is a “one time issue of 100 credits, equivalent to running a single 3×3 scan daily for 11 days.” However, it’s only available on new accounts.

Third-party Reviews of Local Falcon

  • G2: 4.5/5 (3 reviews)
  • Capterra: (0 reviews)
  • TrustRadius: (0 reviews)

I was unable to find more third-party reviews for Local Falcon. Considering other geo grid tools are part of larger platforms, here are the reviews we found for dbaPlatform.

Third-party Reviews of the Complete dbaPlatform

  • G2: 5/5 (2 reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 (65 reviews, based on an average across reviews of individual platform tools)
  • TrustRadius: (0 reviews)

Local Viking’s ‘GMB GeoGrid’

Tagline: “See Your GMB Rankings In A New Light”

URL: https://localviking.com/geogrid-visibility-tracking

Local Viking is a toolset predominantly focused on managing Google My Business listings. The GMB GeoGrid joins other features such as review management and white-label reporting in a platform that has been growing over time.

Particular mention should go to the GeoGrid widget—a unique lead generation tool that allows agency website visitors to perform scans of their business’ local visibility, providing solid leads and contact details for the agency.

Local Viking Screenshot

At the time of writing, Local Viking is continuing to undergo significant changes due to its API being revoked by Google earlier this year. The current solution Local Viking offer is to plug in your own GMB API and use that, in a move that they say offers you “the ability to fully integrate Local Viking into your agency instead of using it as an external tool”.

Google’s moratorium on GMB API access requests ended on August 2nd, 2021, so if you want to use Local Viking, bear in mind that this ‘private instancing’ is a process you’ll need to go through in order to do so.

You can read more about these events in Local Viking’s blog posts, Local Viking’s Plan For The Future (July 15th, 2021), Local Viking Status Report (July 23rd, 2021), and Private Instance Developments (July 31st, 2021).

What notable features does Local Viking’s GMB GeoGrid have?

  • Export to CSV and animated GIF
  • White-label reports (Pro, Agency, and Enterprise plans only)
  • GeoGrid widget to generate leads from your site (Pro, Agency, and Enterprise plans only)
  • SERP screenshots
  • Track competitor rankings
  • Access to the Local Viking platform, with other local SEO tools

What grid sizes are available on Local Viking’s GMB GeoGrid?

There are five grid sizes available for Local Viking:

  • 3×3
  • 5×5
  • 7×7
  • 9×9
  • 13×13

How much does Local Viking cost?

Local Viking uses a credits system for payment and offers these as part of four packages:

  • Single: $20 per month for 7,500 credits ($0.0027 per credit)
  • Starter: $39 per month for 8,100 credits ($0.0048 per credit) – there is also a monthly charge of $3.90 per GMB listing
  • Pro: $69 per month for 16,200 credits ($0.0043 per credit) – there is also a monthly charge of $3.45 per GMB listing
  • Agency: $99 per month for 24,300 credits ($0.0041 per credit) – there is also a monthly charge of $2.48 per GMB listing
  • Enterprise: $149 per month for 32,400 credits ($0.0046 per credit) – there is also a monthly charge of $2.13 per GMB listing

Discounts are available when purchasing yearly plans. You can find out more about Local Viking’s plans and pricing here.

Can I get a free trial of Local Viking?

No, Local Viking does not offer a free trial, but the company does offer a 100% money-back guarantee.

Third-party Reviews of the Complete Local Viking Platform

  • G2: (0 reviews)
  • Capterra: (0 reviews)
  • TrustRadius: (0 reviews)

Local Viking doesn’t appear to have any presence on the more popular software review sites, but it does gather its first-party customer feedback from Facebook together on one page on its site.

Places Scout’s ‘Geo-Matrix Ranking Reports’

Tagline: “Rankings with Pin-Point Accuracy”

URL: https://www.placesscout.com/geo-matrix-ranking-reports

Founded in California, USA, in 2011, Places Scout has developed a range of tools focus on local search, including audit, rank tracking and competitor analysis reports.

Its Geo-Matrix Ranking Report was released in May, 2020, and has all the features you’d expect, but it’s particularly worth noting the fully-customizable animated GIF export function, which I’ve seen plenty of local search experts use to highlight performance changes in a simple way.

Places Scout Screenshot

What notable features does Places Scout’s Geo-Matrix Ranking Reports have?

  • White-label reporting (PDF only)
  • Access to the Places Scout platform, with other local SEO tools
  • Customizable grid point locations
  • Export performance over time to animated GIFs
  • Competition ranking factors tracking
  • Suitable for service-area businesses
  • Multiple keywords per location
  • Export to CSV
  • SERP Screenshots

What grid sizes are available on Places Scout’s Geo-Matrix Ranking Reports?

There are six standard grid sizes available for Places Scout’s Geo-Matrix Ranking Reports:

  • 3×3
  • 5×5
  • 7×7
  • 9×9
  • 11×11
  • 13×13
  • Custom grid sizes are also available

How much does Places Scout’s Geo-Matrix Ranking Reports cost?

While Places Scout doesn’t list pricing information on its site, because its packages are “uniquely tailored to your needs“, its founder has kindly reached out to us to give some insight into pricing.

Mark Kabana says that the average price is “$1.00 – $5.00 per location, per month, depending on grid size and number of keywords tracked”.

Can I get a free trial of Places Scout?

No, Places Scout does not offer a free trial.

Third-party Reviews of Places Scout

  • G2: 4.5/5 (1 review)
  • Capterra: (0 reviews)
  • TrustRadius: (0 reviews)

There are limited verified third-party reviews of Places Scout, but our research did uncover reviews with an average score of 4.08/5 on a website called Cuspera.

BrightLocal’s ‘Local Search Grid’

Tagline: “Put your rankings on the map”

URL: https://www.brightlocal.com/local-seo-tools/local-search-grid/

BrightLocal is a platform dedicated to helping you do local SEO better, whether that’s through its rank tracking tools, review generation and management features, or its educational content.

Its geo grid rank tracking tool, Local Search Grid, was released in early 2021, and boasts a lot of features lacking in similar tools, of particular note being the ability to scan the local area for competitors and understand why they’re ranking above you. This data arms you with the insights you need to generate tactics for improving search visibility.

Local Search Grid Screenshot

What notable features does Local Search Grid have?

  • White-label reports (on Multi Business and SEO Pro plans)
  • Competition ranking factors tracking
  • Competitor location comparison
  • Average Map Rank: proprietary metric
  • SERP screenshots
  • Multiple keywords trackable per location
  • Suitable for service-area businesses
  • Flag competitor GMB listing spam to Google
  • Access to the BrightLocal platform, with other local SEO tools

What grid sizes are available on Local Search Grid?

There are five grid sizes available for Local Search Grid:

  • 3×3
  • 5×5
  • 7×7
  • 11×11
  • 15×15

How much does Local Search Grid cost?

BrightLocal uses a credits system for payment, and includes some of these as part of its three packages, but recommends purchasing affordable recurring addons based on expected usage:

  • Addons: $0.0034 per credit, in monthly bundles of 2,000 ($6.80 per month), 5,000 ($17 per month), 10,000 ($34 per month), and 20,000 ($68 per month)
  • Single Business Plan: $29 per month for 250 credits ($0.12 per credit)
  • Multi Business Plan: $49 per month for 1,000 credits ($0.049 per credit)
  • SEO Pro Plan: $79 per month for 2,000 credits ($0.04 per credit)

Plan discounts are available when purchasing yearly plans. You can learn more about Local Search Grid pricing here and about BrightLocal’s plans and pricing here.

Can I get a free trial of Local Search Grid?

Yes, BrightLocal’s 14-day trial offers free access to all of its tools, including Local Search Grid. The trial comes with credits for you to use as you wish during the trial period.

This number of credits depends on the plan you’re trialling, and the credits that recur monthly for that plan. Most people choose to trial SEO Pro, as that gives you the most of everything, including 2,000 credits to use for Local Search Grid.

Third-party Reviews of the Complete BrightLocal Platform

No review pages are currently available for Local Search Grid as an individual tool.

Semrush’s ‘Listings Management Heatmap’

Tagline: N/A

URL: There’s no dedicated page for this tool but this manual provides a good overview. 

No conversation about SEO would seem right without talking about Semrush, and so it’s no surprise that this SaaS behemoth has more recently integrated local business features into its platform.

More specifically, its Listings Management tool has developed to include a Premium version, which, alongside review management, offers a fairly standard, no-frills geo grid rank tracking tool.

SEMrush screenshot

What notable features does Semrush’s Listings Management Heatmap have?

  • Access to the Semrush platform, with other SEO tools
  • Multiple keywords trackable per location
  • Compare performance over time via snapshots

What grid sizes are available on Semrush’s Listings Management Heatmap?

There are three grid sizes available for Semrush’s Listings Management Heatmap:

  • 3×3
  • 5×5
  • 7×7

How much does Semrush’s Listings Management Heatmap cost?

This feature comes as part of a Premium upgrade to Semrush’s Listing Management tool, along with a Review Management feature. This upgraded version of the Listing Management tool has to be purchased alongside a standard Semrush plan.

  • Pro: $112 per month (+$40 per month, per location for ‘Premium Location’ Listing Management)
  • Guru: $230 per month (+$40 per month, per location for ‘Premium Location’ Listing Management)
  • Business: $450 per month (+$40 per month, per location for ‘Premium Location’ Listing Management)

Discounts are available when purchasing yearly plans. You can learn more about Semrush pricing here.

Can I get a free trial of Semrush?

Yes, Semrush offers a free trial of its platform for seven days.

Third-party Reviews of the Complete Semrush Platform

Conclusion

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the geo grid tool, platform and pricing plan that meets your needs, but I hope I’ve shown you what the most prominent ones out there can offer.

I’ve tried to be as unbiased as I can, despite representing one of the above tools, because we’re only interested in providing the most useful, most up-to-date information.

So, if you spot anything out of order in the information, or are aware of anything that needs updating, please do send me an email and we’ll look to get it updated as soon as possible.

Jamie Pitman
About the author
Jamie heads up BrightLocal's content team, ensuring we produce insightful articles, research and resources that enable businesses and SEOs to get even better results in local search.
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