The lads over at BrightLocal have compiled a superb list of the best local SEO forums and communities to visit in 2019. These can be incredibly useful sources of knowledge and advice for agencies and local businesses alike, but which ones are worth joining?
This time last year, there was a multitude of local marketing forums, but with the disintegration of Google+ in April 2019, a lot of trusty old favorites disappeared. While some of the traditional forums are stronger than ever, the number of different sources of local chat seems to have dipped.
So, we scoured forums and social media to find which communities have the most active local marketing discussions – with traditional forums and Facebook groups coming up top. Communities were chosen based on the regularity of local marketing-related posts from multiple users. In particular, we struggled to find any significant and active communities on LinkedIn or Reddit.
When updating this resource, we also asked our users and Twitter followers which communities they turn to. But, if there are any that we’ve missed, let us know in the comments and we’ll update this list.
Membership numbers are rounded and last updated 9/30/2019.
Best Local SEO Forums and Communities
Official Google My Business Forum
In April 2019, Google updated and relocated its Google My Business Help Community. In this new iteration, the number of categories have been cut down, notably removing the spam-fighting forums and taking the responsibility from Local Guides.
This forum is useful for GMB users struggling with issues with their listings or in search of best practice advice, but is not a source for general local SEO chat around trends. This buzzing, busy community sees multiple questions answered per day, so can be a great place to start with any GMB-related queries. For more information on how to use the GMB Community, read Ben Fisher’s guide.
Local Search Forum
The Local Search Forum has been an important source of news and chat since its inception, being a primary source of access to local marketing specialists for those with questions, and the first place many local SEOs visit to discuss top-level changes and ideas.
It has many different sub-forums for different types of queries and discussions, with many notable local marketers frequenting the forum and joining in discussions.
Since being taken over by Joy Hawkins’s Sterling Sky in September 2018, the Local Search Forum has seen a redesign and a huge uplift in traffic. Their daily and weekly summary emails helpfully outline the main topics being discussed right now. The Local Search Forum also has a Facebook group – Local Search Pros.
Members: Data not available
BlackHatWorld is well-known in the wider SEO industry, but it is less famous as a source of local SEO chat. Their Local SEO forum is open to all, and frequented by local business owners and local SEOs with questions.
The forum allows users to share ideas and ask advice from other members – focusing on both black-hat and white-hat techniques. But do your research before implementing changes based on advice here, as black-hat techniques could have negative effects on rankings now or in the future.
Moz Q&A Forum: Local Strategy
Members: Data not available
The Local Strategy category in Moz’s Q&A forum allows users to put questions to the Moz Community.
Questions tend to be focused on specific challenges posters are looking to solve, and answered by other members of the community. Posts tend not to get many responses each, and focus more on providing answers than broad discussions.
To post or answer questions, you need to have a Moz Pro account – though you can read responses as a non-member.
Local Client Takeover
Local Client Takeover is aimed at marketers that are “tired of the hype and want to learn, discuss, and improve upon their wealth generated from servicing local clients.”
The active group sees multiple questions and requests each day, with most posts receiving interaction. While many posts do focus on traditional local marketing topics, some posts are from people looking for services.
Local Marketing Institute Connect
Local Marketing Institute Connect is a place for local businesses and marketers to connect on local search, local websites, email, social and paid marketing. While it has a lower membership count than some of the other communities on this list, it is frequented by some familiar faces.
Run by the Local Marketing Institute’s Eric Shanfelt, LMI Connect features its own content, the latest industry news and trends, and regular questions from marketers and business owners on local marketing best practices.
Local Search Pros
Local Search Forum’s little sister has fewer members, but that is not to say it isn’t a worthwhile community to be part of. Membership is open only to local search professionals, with many of the leading names in local SEO regularly posting and contributing to discussions.
The community aims to provide “higher level Local Search information and support to those in the industry”, and with such a high caliber of members, it can be a great source of top insights.
But, with Twitter being such an active source of insights from local marketing pros, it’s important to follow the right people.
We’ve created a list of local SEO experts on Twitter that you can subscribe to, and find all the latest local SEO news and discussion in one place.
Let us know if there’s anyone we’ve missed – any omissions are purely mistakes!