By understanding local SEO ranking factors, you also gain a better understanding of how you can make your business more visible and discoverable online. You are now better able to work on gaps within your brand’s overall search engine optimization strategy to bring in more leads and customers– which is something every business can appreciate.
There is no greater reason why local SEO is important than using it to improve your business’ popularity and sales. Effectively, it is a marketing strategy that allows a product or a service to become more visible to those who are specifically looking for it.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is probably the most utilized concept in digital marketing– for a good reason!
SEO improves your website’s ranking in search engine results. The higher it appears on the list of sites available for access, the more likely your business will be known by a targeted audience.
There are two general classifications of SEO: organic and local. The first one, organic SEO, helps brand on a wider scale. It is effective for businesses whose reach extends far beyond the confines of a city or a region.
When your goal is to reach as many people from around the world, focusing on regular SEO is the route to take.
On the other hand, local SEO prioritizes the local search territory. It is often used by brick-and-mortar stores whose products and services are offered to a particular locality.
In this article, we zoom into the world of local SEO and factors that affect local SEO rankings.
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Here’s a Local SEO Fun Fact: 86% of people look up the location of a business on Google Maps. In fact, business address/location is the primary piece of information sought by local searchers. (Search Engine Land)
What Are The Top Local SEO Ranking Factors?
The key to succeeding in SEO rankings is a holistic approach. After ensuring that you have all the factors, you need to rank in an organic search.
It is time to focus on local SEO ranking factors. Here are the top factors that affect your local SEO rankings. Focus on these items to give your business a competitive advantage.
Your Google My Business profile.
As mentioned earlier in this article, optimizing your GMB profile helps you achieve higher SEO rankings.
In updating your profile, consider proper categorization of your business, include relevant keywords and correct links to business websites, and indicate business hours and address.
Your link signals.
When used correctly, link signals are beneficial. A link is a clickable object that leads to another webpage.
In the inclusion of link signals for your business, you must remember one thing: Quality over Quantity.
One one hand, you’ll want high-quality backlinks; it’s not so much about domain authority these days, but rather how a backlink you’ve earned comes from a relevant website within your space.
And in the same way some websites link to you, so too should you link out to other similarly relevant websites. You must avoid linking to websites that do not provide high-quality information.
Your on-page optimization signals.
Organic and local SEOs share similar principles. For instance, the importance of keywords, meta, URL, image alt text, and heading tags cannot be countered even for local SEO strategy.
Your consistency in citation signals.
Citations are instances where information about a business appears on the web.
You may see it in business directories, local review sites, and listicles.
If your business is ever included in such sites, you must guarantee that the information is accurate.
Google algorithm values the consistency of information. Your profile, especially your NAP, should be the same across all pages.
Your customer reviews.
A review is the most important input from your customers. It is only through reviews that you can find out how you are faring as a business.
It is a great opportunity to address concerns from your customers and manage negative feedback.
Nearly 90% of people trust online reviews. The more positive review you get, the more Google recognizes your relevance in the locality.
As you become more relevant, your local SEO ranking improves with it.
You can boost your Local SEO efforts by being more strategic and systematic with your citation-building efforts. Have a look at our handy guide, “How Do I Ramp Up My Local SEO with Citation-Building?”
Here’s a Local SEO Fun Fact: 76% of people who search on their smartphones for something nearby visit a business within a day. 28% of searches for something nearby result in a purchase. (Think With Google)
How Do I Rank For The Local 3-Pack?
The local 3-pack is the top results that appear when users search for a product or service. In the world of SEO, it is like the Upper Eastside of Manhattan in New York. It is prime real estate.
When Google analyzes the information entered on the search bar as a local search, it comes up with the local 3-pack for that territory. They appear right after a paid ad if there’s any. Getting into the local 3-pack is crucial since the searcher more likely accesses information that is displayed in it.
According to a study in 2017, the top 3 results have a combined total of 47.49% of clicks. As a business owner, you would want your business to appear on it since it has a significantly higher chance of being noticed by your audience.
Getting into the local 3-pack is tough, but there are things you can do to improve your chances of being there.
Complete your Google my Business profile.
Create a GMB profile and fill it with the most up-to-date information about your business.
Provide accurate and complete information. Enter the name of your company, the address, and the phone number (or better known as your NAP). Include your business hours. Add high-resolution logos and photos.
Encourage positive reviews and respond.
One technique to improve your chances of getting into the local 3-pack is to have more reviews of your business.
Encourage positive online reviews among your customers, and make sure to respond to these comments. The more interaction in your profile, the better your chances are.
On the other hand, you should also manage negative reviews. Reach out to the customer who gave you a bad review and communicate.
Verify your business.
Verification of your GMB profile does not only increase your chances of being in the local 3-pack. It also protects you from unauthorized people who try to edit your business information.
Verification builds more trust from search engine users, leading to more clicks on your profile.
What Else Can I Do To Help Boost My Business's Local SEO Ranking?
For local engagement, it is essential to focus on both organic and local SEO.
While giving priority to local SEO ranking factors is imperative, you must not forget about your organic rankings. Local and organic SEO are intertwined, and the optimization of both areas is key to better visibility to customers.
Go back to the foundations of great SEO.
Use target local keywords for your on-site content, especially on your local landing pages.
Include headings and sub-headings. Add descriptive alt text for images. Update meta tags and include target keywords for each location.
Web design is vital.
Set up your web design with the goal of enticing a customer to a path of purchase.
Post high-resolution photos on your website. Update product information and prices, if possible. Announce promotions and events available in your brick and mortar stores.
Ensure localized organic ranking factors are present.
According to a Moz study, the following factors affect organic listing rankings: Link signals, on-page signals, behavioral signals, GMB signals, citation signals, personalization, review signals, and social signals.
Make sure that your website features these factors to improve your organic ranking.
Introduce new local content regularly.
Engage your local customers by giving new and relevant content to consume.
Include blogs on your website. Look into the latest trends and lingo in the locality and try to incorporate it on your articles and press releases.
Hire local experts that can write authoritative and credible reviews about the products and services that you offer.
From Matt McGee: “A real estate agency in Wichita has no shot at ranking for the phrase “real estate;” a lawyer in Fresno has no shot at ranking for the word “lawyer.” Optimize for relevant, specific keywords that will bring targeted traffic.”
Looking for even more Local SEO tips and tricks to help boost your rankings? We’ve got a few you might want to try out for your own brand or business. Check out “9 Actionable Local SEO Tips and Tricks (for Business Owners)”.
Here’s a Local SEO Fun Fact: 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they trust personal recommendations. (Search Engine Land)
A Final Word About Local SEO Ranking Factors
What separates a great business owner from the rest is his hunger for knowledge and strategies that will better his brand.
Learning about how you can set up your online presence and achieve higher SEO rankings is an indicator that you are on the right path.
After all, it is hard to compete without the proper tools in a world where content is king, and online visibility is supreme.
Looking to learn more about Search Engine Optimization? Visit “Grow Your Galactic Empire With SEO: A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding SEO.”