7 Most Important Local SEO Ranking Factors
Since reaching new local customers is key to the growth of business growth and profitability of local businesses, optimizing important local SEO ranking factors is often what differentiates how much success a local business have on the internet.
Thousands of businesses have achieved success through local search engine optimization while hundreds of others have not tasted any success.
The internet, today, is filled with “what should work” and not actually “what works”.
Since the days of directory listing up until when Google launched the Google Business Listing, local ranking factors haven’t changed much.
In this article, I shall be discussing the 7 most important local SEO ranking factors and show you how to get started with each of them.
But first, let us understand what local SEO is.
What is Local SEO?
Local search engine optimization is an SEO strategy that helps businesses promote their products and services to local customers at the exact time they’re looking for them online.
Local SEO involves ranking your business for relevant keywords within a geographical area, usually a street and municipality/town/city.
What is Google My Business?
Google My Business formally known as Google Local is a business listing by Google and it plays a huge part in local SEO. Many people will find your business for the first time in Google than in any other directory.
Google My Business also allows businesses that do not have a website to get listed and attract their local customers.
What type of business can get on GMB?
Google my business page is open to all types of businesses that provide goods and services for customers within a geographical location.
Examples of local businesses are restaurants & pubs, hair salons, trucking companies, car rental services, internet marketing agencies, cleaners, dentists, chiropractors, etc.
How to get started with Google My Business?
Small business owners can claim or create their business profiles on Google in minutes. Learn how to add or claim your business on Google here.
Once you’ve created or claimed your listing, you can add photos, business description, and begin to invite your customers to leave reviews for you in Google.
7 Local SEO Ranking Factors
regardless of your industry or business type. Proper optimization of your local SEO is important to business success.
In this section, we shall be looking at the 7 important local SEO ranking factors that will help place your business above the competition.
Without further ado, below are the top local SEO ranking factors for small businesses.
NAP optimization is one of the most important local SEO ranking factors. NAP is an acronym that stands for Name, Address and Phone Number.
For any business to succeed with local SEO, the NAP must be consistent across all platforms on the internet.
That said, if the name of your business is “The SEO Hive” in GMB, then you must keep the same name on every other platform, including directories, or in BING Places for Business.
NAP consistency helps local search engines to properly aggregate your listing and send the right signal for your business.
Asides helping local search engines, NAP consistency also helps your customers to easily find your business while surfing the internet.
A review signal is measured in quality and quantity.
For example, a plumbing business that has 50 5-star reviews would rank better than another plumbing business with only 10 5-star reviews.
Also, the frequency of review is a measure of how often your customers leave reviews for your business in Google.
The review signal is very important to local SEO ranking and often determines how local businesses rank for relevant queries in Google.
Local Business Citation Signals
A local business citation is the online mention of the name, address, and phone number of a local business.
Loca business citation is an important ranking signal for local SEO. This is because it helps online users to easily find a business within a geographical area.
An easy way to get online citations for your local business is to do directory submissions for your business, press release in a local online news medium, etc.
Creating a website for your small business cannot be overemphasized, but creating a location page on your website is sometimes the missing link to your local SEO success.
A location is different from the generic “contact us” page that every website has.
For a location page to gain much traction, it must have the following:
- Opening and closing hours for your business.
- Contact telephone number(s) and email address(es).
- A contact form.
- The physical address of the business. NB: Please create separate location pages for each physical address if your business has multiple locations.
- Add a small business and/or geolocation schema to each of your location pages.
A well-optimized location page is one of the most important local SEO ranking factors for your business.
The behavioral signal measures the click-through rate (CTR) of the direct CTAs (call to actions) on your business listing.
The call-to-action common to most local SEO are: get direction, book appointment, visit the website, save the business, etc.
The higher the percentage of people that interact with these CTR for a business, the more relevancy the business listing has in local searches.
The best way to drive CTRs on the various CTAs of your local listing in Google is to provide as much information as possible about the business.
According to Google, social signals remains one of the most important local SEO ranking factors for businesses.
A social signal can only be received from social media platforms. What this means for your business is that Google requires that you have a social media presence for your business.
A good way to start is to create a Facebook page for your business. You can also set up a presence on Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.
Link signal is described as the number of external resources or websites that link back to your business in Google.
Link signal is different from an online citation in that citation measure online mentions while a link signal is a measure of actual backlinks to the business profile.
Bonus Local SEO Ranking Factor – Keywords
Keywords are another important local search ranking factor.
If you are trying to rank for a particular keyword, you need to show search engines that your site is a relevant result for it. This requires including that keyword on the page you want to rank.
Search engines use crawlers to analyze each of your pages and determine what they’re about.
Keywords are an essential part of this because they determine which searches your pages have the chance to rank for.
All of the other elements of SEO are still relevant to local SEO, so if you already have an optimization strategy in place, you’re well on your way to achieving strong rankings for searches in your area.