Summary: Discover the factors that affect local SEO rankings. Here we look at how you can improvise them accordingly and find higher success and long-term benefits.
Are you a local business owner losing your night’s sleep trying to figure out the best way to reach out to more and more new customers? This article is going to show you the way. Days are gone when billboards, pamphlets, local newspaper ads, or radio or television advertisements would have done the job. Living in the age of the digital revolution, you cannot afford to rely solely on them anymore.
Cyberspace is the new playground for the game today, and as a local business, you must ensure your presence online to reach out to more new customers. A robust digital marketing strategy can give you the number of new customers you fail to find offline in today’s business world. When it comes to online marketing, it is not enough to have a mere online presence such as a website or few social media handles.
You must ensure you are visible and discoverable in the crowd of hundreds of similar businesses in the online marketplace. Here comes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and local SEO rankings to bring you success. Rather than spending money on short-term exposure, it is a sensible choice for you to focus on SEO strategy and raise your online visibility.
Local SEO is different from traditional SEO techniques. The goal of the local SEO campaign is to appear higher on local SEO rankings so that more and more potential customers in your area can find you. It is easier said than done; the job is quite tough and challenging, yet your business can achieve its goals with professional expertise. To occupy the top place on search engines, you have to clearly understand what factors are in play to get a good ranking on search engine results.
While every business tries to succeed in local search results and leverage these factors, not everyone succeeds. These top local search ranking factors are becoming increasingly vital in SEO; without optimizing them, you cannot attract new customers and grow your business. Learning about these crucial local SEO ranking factors will help you to optimize your website and find higher success.
The Top Local Search Ranking Factors
Search Engines determine local ranking based on a combination of three factors: relevance, distance, and prominence to provide the best match for an individual’s search query.
Relevance refers to how perfectly your business matches what a potential customer wants. For any local business, relevance is the key factor, and the more closely you can match up with a search query, the more relevant you are than your competitors. You must build a business profile that matches the relevant searches. You can do this by including relevant keywords and placing them strategically. Relevance remains the highest priority among local search ranking factors to appear in local search results.
Distance indicates the physical distance between a local business and a user’s location or proximity of the user. When no location is specified in a search query, search engines offer results based on the user’s location to bring the closest business options. The ranking depends to a great extent on information provided by a local business. It is important to keep all your local business info updated across all online platforms like social media, your website, various review sites, etc. Distance is thus the second priority among local search ranking factors to appear in local search results. To improve your ranking, you must create location-specific pages on your website for each location if your business is in multiple locations.
This means how well-known or popular your business is. Search engines measure prominence in terms of the information it has about your business, like your business ranking in web search results, links, directories, and so on. A carefully planned SEO strategy with the latest local search engine optimization tactics helps your business to have a prominent online presence and ensure higher local SEO rankings. These include creating a strong business profile and optimizing it with relevant keywords, building a link strategy, and engaging on social media. The professional SEO team will monitor your visitor’s behavior, click rate, bounce rate, dwell time, and many other criteria to understand what is best suited for your local business and work on ways to increase them.
The success of local SEO depends on these three main factors. To snatch the top spot on search results, you need to work on some more key factors specified here:
How To Improve Local SEO Rankings?
Now that you know the factors that affect local SEO rankings let’s focus on improving your rankings. Here are a few things you must work on:
Google Business Profile
A huge part of local SEO is its Google Business Profile. GBP listing is instrumental in informing potential customers about your local presence because many searchers seek business close to their locations. When your GBP listing is high, more people will get curious about your business, and many will convert to your customers. To improve your GBP ranking, you need to claim ownership of your listing and ensure that you have included all the info your potential customers need.
An owner-verified listing is one of the key local SEO ranking factors. You can claim your business on Google Business Profile or make your listing if it isn’t there yet. Once you have claimed your listing, you can improve your business visibility in the following ways:
- Including updated business name, address, and contact information
- Adding hours of operation and holidays as well
- Choosing relevant business categories
- Specifying forms of payment accepted
- Including keywords within the business description
- Incorporating a marker to boost Google Map rankings
- Adding high-quality photos
- Requesting reviews from customers
A strong Google Business Profile enhances online visibility and gets your business noticed by search engines. Optimizing your GBP is a great way to leverage ranking and fetch more local customers.
Content is one of the key factors for local SEO rankings. Search engines always value quality content. Therefore, provide unique and valuable contents that people find engaging. Creating interesting and informative content relatable to your local community, like exhibitions, workshops, sponsored events, and more, is wise. You can post blogs, articles, videos, infographics, or interactive quizzes. Optimize your content with key phrases and local-based terms and include them in the headlines and throughout the content to alert search engines and improve visibility.
One of the crucial local SEO ranking factors is using relevant and relatable keywords. Using relevant keywords and placing them strategically throughout your website, page titles, and content can bring your business to the top of search engine results. Choosing the right keywords with location-based phrases can get your site to rank higher in local searches and attract more visitors.
Another vital on-page factor is updating the business name, address, and phone number (NAP) details. Regarding the proximity factor, these details play a key role in determining online visibility. When your business NAP citation is consistent everywhere you are online, be it your website or local online business directories, search engines will be confident about your location being legitimate.
When it comes to local search ranking factors, online reviews are becoming increasingly important these days. Users see it as an indicator of your popularity and credibility. The higher your positive online reviews are, the more your potential customers will have trust and confidence in your business and services/products. You can encourage your satisfied customers to add reviews. The more positive reviews you earn, the more you will be noticed, which is how your ranking will increase. You can also connect to local rating sites like Yelp and provide accurate contact information to receive notifications whenever consumers talk about your business.
You must have a mobile-friendly website, and you can do that by using a responsive design so that your visitors can find you using whichever device they want. Today, most people conduct searches for local businesses on their mobile phones. Therefore, your website must be adapted for cell phones so that searchers can find your business conveniently and quickly. Having a responsive design will make it possible.
One of the key factors for local SEO rankings is organic click-through rates. It is an indicator of whether people find your content interesting. The more clicks you get for your posts, search engines believe your content is relevant, and this is how your ranking gets boosted. To gain higher click-through rates, you need a strong content marketing strategy with compelling Meta titles and Meta descriptions.
When it comes to building your business authority and boosting credibility, what matters the most is the number of quality backlinks that you get. You need to seek backlinks with authoritative businesses that are relevant to what you are offering. With higher-quality links, you can enhance your ranking significantly. You can link to other local businesses by building good relationships as a local business.
Add localized information on your website and optimize your keywords with location keywords. To make it clear for the search engines and the visitors that your business is specifically for a local business, include place-identifying information like address, city, region, or other information in a way to be easily found by the users. If you have more than one location, you must create location-specific pages with unique content for each.
Google Map Presence
When you are high on Google Map rankings, you have a higher chance of being noticed by your potential customers and beating your competitors. To do the job, you need to optimize your presence on Google Maps by:
- Adding your business to Google Maps with up-to-date information
- Including high-quality photos and correct contact information
- Linking your Google Business Account to Google Maps business listing
- Embedding your Google Maps on your business website
Local SEO is getting more competitive day by day as more and more businesses are recognizing its effectiveness. A well-designed and well-implemented SEO campaign has the potential to bring a tremendous amount of visibility and connect with local customers. Today ranking well in local search results demands a strategic approach considering various local SEO ranking factors. These multitudes of key factors work together to help your business get a top place in local search results and drive local, highly-motivated traffic.
To accomplish higher and long-term benefits in local SEO, you can seek professional SEO services. With Cyrusson Inc., a local SEO agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can have specialized service from a team of experts ready to help you with the beneficial SEO tools and strategies for your local business. With a deep understanding of marketing, Cyrusson Inc. is a trusted name for strategic SEO customized to your business to ensure more benefit and sales. Call us at 415-228-9969 to schedule your free consultation today, and let’s get started!