Use Semrush to track SEO in multiple cities

Do you need users from more than one location to find your website?

Semrush has a multi-scope feature in the Position Tracking tool that allows you to track multiple devices and locations in a single project.

  • Guru Subscription: 10 devices/locations per project
  • Business Subscription: 5,000 devices/locations per project

Also, you have the possibility to create a Heat Map tracker to follow your positions on Google Maps in a specific target area thanks to  Listing Management. What is Local SEO? Why local SEO is important?

What are the challenges of reaching multiple areas?

As a local business, it’s normal to want customers to be located within a certain radius beyond a single city. 

For example, imagine that you are a plumbing company based in Philadelphia. It could be very interesting to offer your services in other nearby locations. 

On this map, you can see nearby locations that may return different results for the same keyword.

challenges of reaching multiple areas

The trick is to know exactly how effective your website is in terms of ranking for your target keywords in those areas.

When you look at search results for your own business in a normal Google search, you only see results based on a specific location.

When you track multi-reach placement, you can monitor results for multiple cities at the same time.

To position a website in search results in several cities, you will need a local SEO strategy specialized in each area. 

That is, you’ll need to have local links from each of the locations you want to reach, make your NAP information (name, address, and phone) consistent everywhere, update your Google My Business page, and use Schema markup for things like reviews, events, and offers. What are Yandex Advertising Models?

How can Semrush help you?

There are two key tools when it comes to tracking local visibility with Semrush.

First, Position Tracking offers an all-in-one dashboard for tracking sets of keywords across multiple locations in the same project.

Listing Management then gives you the ability to track Google Maps rankings at street level for up to five keywords.

In addition to tracking positions, the Position Tracking tool gives you a ton of information like local search volume, competitors, tone of voice, and estimated traffic. How to use SEO for your business

What can you do with these local SEO tracking tools?

  • Identify differences between cities in local search volumes.
  • Discover your main competitors in different cities. 
  • Compare traffic estimates across ten different locations/devices from one site.
  • Compare mobile and desktop visibility for your target keywords.
  • Analyze the landing pages of your competitors.
  • Compare traffic estimates for different locations and devices.
  • Track your positioning on Google Maps in a custom grid.

If you don’t want to check your project every day, you can set custom alerts and you will be notified if there are any significant drops or spikes in the results.

How to identify local volume differences

Keyword research is an essential step in any marketing strategy, but many tools that offer this feature only provide you with national search volume estimates.

To find different volumes in Semrush, follow these steps: 

  1. Set up a Position Tracking campaign and define a city to see local search volume.
  2. Add your target keywords and start tracking them.
  3. Once your campaign is up and running, select the Devices and Locations tab. 
  4. Choose “Add New Target”.
  5. Add the additional location using the same keywords and device type. 
  6. Navigate to the Devices & Locations tab.
  7. Double check that the volume is set to “local” at the top of the interface.
  8. Filter the table by volume and compare the differences of each word. Position Tracking takes up to a day to collect local volume at the city level, so wait a day or two for data

How to identify local volume differences

If you see a difference in search volume between two cities with a similar population, you can assume that the city with more searches has more demand for your product or service, right?

For example, in the screenshot above you can see that “food delivery near me” has a higher search volume in Los Angeles than in San Francisco, so you can assume that a food delivery website would be more interesting in Los Angeles. What is Compulsory Traffic Insurance? What are the General Terms?

How to discover local competitors

If you’re a local business with a plumbing service, chances are there are plenty of businesses like yours ranked well at the top of the local pack in each of the towns and cities you check out. 

  1. Open your Position Tracking campaign with the selected locations that are of interest to you.
  2. Go to the Competitor Finding tab.
  3. Set the volume to “local” at the top of the interface.
  4. Make sure to check that “Local package” is selected in the “Google 3 pack” dropdown.
  5. Filter the table by Visibility to see who has the highest positions for those keywords.
  6. Filter the table by Estimated Traffic to define who gets the most visits from those keywords.

How to discover local competitors

By following these steps, you can discover your biggest competitors in visibility and estimated traffic on each of your project’s locations or devices.

How to compare desktop and mobile viewability in one dashboard

  1. Set up your Position Tracking campaign.
  2. Choose a location and set the device type to “desktop”.
  3. Go to the Device and location tab.
  4. Choose “add new target”.
  5. Change the device to “phone” and add the keywords of the first location you defined.
  6. In the Devices and Locations tab, you can see a share of voice metrics, viewability, estimated traffic, and average web position across desktop and mobile results.

How to compare desktop and mobile viewability in one dashboard

In this screenshot, you can see an example of a project targeting mobile and desktop results in Philadelphia.

How to analyze the best performing landing pages of your competitors

If you want to know how well your competitors are positioned with respect to you, you just have to take a look at their landing pages. You may discover some ideas for your own strategy that are working well for them. 

Finding the landing pages that work best with Semrush is very easy, you just have to follow these steps:

  1. Open your Position Tracking campaign.
  2. Go to the Pages tab.
  3. Set the volume to “local” at the top of the interface.
  4. Enter your competitor’s domain in the blue field at the top of the table.
  5. Sort the table by Estimated Traffic to see the pages on your website that get the most organic traffic from your target keywords.
  6. Click the gray arrow next to the URL to inspect the page.

How to analyze the best performing landing pages of your competitors

This list of pages is a good source of information to find out what content to create in your niche and get it to rank well.

Take a look at your competitors’ top pages and see how they’re getting backlinks and answering user questions in search results, so you can apply these findings to your own content.

How to compare traffic estimates across different locations and devices in a single dashboard

If you have visibility in more than one location, you can estimate the amount of traffic you receive from each area based on your ranking as well as search volume. 

  1. Open your Position Tracking campaign with the selected target areas and devices.
  2. Go to the Devices and locations tab.
  3. Set the volume to “local” at the top of the interface.
  4. Select estimated traffic on the line graph to compare those areas that send the most search volume to your website. The numbers represent daily estimates of traffic from the target keywords you’ve defined.

How to compare traffic estimates

In this graph, you can see a very detailed analysis of the differences in estimated traffic that a website receives in different locations through mobile devices, which allows you to improve the local SEO strategy on those sites where less traffic is received. 

How to follow positions on Google Maps

If you want to get an even more accurate picture of your local positions relative to the competition, set up the Listing Management tool with the following steps.

  1. Go to Listing Management.
  2. Enter all your business information and update the Premium location.
  3. Go to the Heatmap tab. 
  4. Include up to five keywords to track.
  5. Defines the range radius (how wide the map will be).
  6. Choose a grid (3×3, 5×5, 7×7).
  7. Click on “Scan map” to see the positions at each of the grid points.

How to follow positions on Google Maps

Please note: Your heatmap settings are “semi-permanent” because they can only be updated by contacting their support team, so make sure you set the exact area you want to track. 

Last conclusions

You can achieve many things in your local SEO strategies using Semrush. Take note of these tips and create a plan that will make your business grow in all the areas you want. TOP 15 Marketing Tips on Google

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