I get approached by local and small to medium sized businesses (SMB) looking for help with their SEO strategy often. Many of them know they need help, although few of them know exactly what they need help with.
Unfortunately I can’t help them; not that I’m incapable of helping, but my agency isn’t set up to help them. Because Hyder Media specializes in high competition verticals on the national level, I don’t sell any services that are affordable to small and local business. It’s not that I’m too good to work with local businesses, I have just found what works for me and I’ve stuck with it.
I often feel bad for having to send these businesses elsewhere, I usually send them a couple of articles to read and then refer them to someone I know who is set up to work with their sizedÂ businesses. In the end as long as they’re getting the help they need, all is well I suppose.
Finally there is now a solution, somewhere I can send these referrals that will actually do them good, with an affordable price tag.
UpCity.com is a new tool that helps SMB’s and local businesses through the process of optimizing a website and social profiles for search. I went through their process and I can say it’s VERY thorough, and uses a point system similar to Linkedin rewarding you for completing specific goals along the way, making it fun to optimize your presence.
With a $39 per month starting price point for a single website, it’s very affordable; AND they have an affiliate program so if you sign up with one of the links on this post I make a small commission too!
Win for everyone.
Because I’m writing this post primarily so I have something to refer inquirers to, I’d like to go over some of the key functionality of UpCity so you can understand why it’s a great solution for SMB’s and local businesses.
UpCity offers many great features to help your SMB or local business get up and running competitively in searchÂ andÂ social, with many more soon to come. Here’s a highlight of some of my favorites.
Optimize Your Presence
The optimize your presence section is like a DIY website audit: it takes you through all of the steps that any basicÂ SEO Audit would cover, and gives you a checklist to complete. From thingsÂ like making sure your website is indexed in Google/Bing and checking your robots.txt, to more advanced analysis like competitor backlinks, authorship markup and social sharing integration.
It also checks in on your social media presence, with steps to help you set up the social profiles you need.
What I love most about this tool is that it checks to see if you’ve already done the steps, and if it can see that you’ve done one of the task items, it will auto-check it for you as complete. This makes it fast and easy to use, so you don’t waste time checking to see if things on the checklist have been done or not already.
The optimize your presence sectionÂ of UpCity will ensure that any SMB/local business website is well optimized for search; that is, if youÂ complete all of the tasks they give you.
UpCity also allows you to monitor your reputation and brand mentions. This is a really powerful tool, especially for local businesses, that will allow you to monitor what is being said about your business on review sites like Yelp, and other social sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Being able to monitor and manage these things in one consolidated place is a HUGE win for UpCity and users alike. As I’ve mentioned before, having a working customer service policy for online properties is crucial for local businesses.
The Reports section of UpCity offers 5 different reporting views: SEO Report Card, Keyword Ranking, Link Analysis and Activity and Analytics Summaries. This makes it really easy to manage basic reporting for your campaign in one place.
Although the link analysis tool still has a little way to go before becoming a really useful tool, I love this report view.
The activity summary shows your progress within UpCity, while the analytics, keyword ranking, and report card features shows the actual progress your site is making.
Probably not as important for the local business, but one feature I love as an agency is the SEO Report Card tool. The SEO Report CardÂ is a great little tool that will run on-spot analysis of your site and up to 3 competitors. It shows basic metrics for: ranking terms, links, accessibility, trust, and indexation. It’s an easy way to see a snapshot of your website compared to your competitors, and I can see being really useful for research purposes.
Another little tool I love as an SEO at heart is the Competitive Rank Snapshot, which will do a spot check for search engine rankings of up to 20 terms at once for you and up to 3 of your competitors. A lot of internet marketing tools have swayed on offering this type of functionality in the past because Google frowns upon it, but I love that UpCity includes it.
It’s always great to have an idea of where you and your competitors rank for relevant search terms.
The last great feature I’d like to mention is the Help Center.
If all else fails, UpCity offers a help center with an “Ask An Expert” feature whichÂ allows you to ask a question or state theÂ problem you’re having and get an answer back from a real professional.
Don’t get me wrong, there are many other internet marketing forums and sites that you can get great advice from, but for the SMB or local business I think it’s great to have the functionality built right into UpCity so you can manage it all in one place.
There are several other features and soon to be features that make UpCity a truly valuable tool for the SMB and/or local business, such as: keyword targeting, tasks whichÂ allow you to designate people to accomplish specific actions, competitive backlink analysis, and the ability to track change differentials between search engines Google, Bing and Yahoo!
All in all, UpCity is a great product especially for the SMB or local business who is trying to gain a competitive edge online in their marketing efforts. I will definitely be recommending it to the referrals I get for businesses of this size, and am confident it will drastically improve their performance if implemented and used.
If you’re an agency that handles SMB or local clients, UpCityÂ could be a great solution for you as well. The Agency Pro, Agency Pro Plus, and Enterprise account levels allow you to manage multiple web properties from one account, enabling to you plan, manage and execute campaigns for multiple clients at once.
Or if you’re an agency looking for a place to send small business referrals to, be sure to sign up with this link;Â since they offer a 2-tier affiliate program, you’ll want to be sure to sign up as an affiliate as well so you can make some extra money 😉
Try it out Now for Free
UpCity is free to try for 15 days, and they don’t require you to put in your credit card info before grantingÂ access to your free trial account, so there’s really no risk. So give it a try!