Local search rankings can be a goldmine for business owners looking to grow to acquire new business on the local level. Dominating local search results isn’t a daunting task if you know each of the underlying factors and how to optimize your websites and business listings to rank higher in the Google local search results.
What factors impact local search ranking?
If you ask Google, they will tell you about three primary factors they consider important for ranking local listings.
- Relevance: whether your local listing closely matches to what someone is searching for. This means you need to provide Google complete business information to help them better understand your business.
- Distance: proximity of your local listing to the user-specified location in their search query.
- Prominence: refers to how popular your business listing is i.e. how frequently people visit your business offline as well as online.
What are the underlying factors?
But if you in depth there are many factors which play a very important role in helping Google decide the rank of a listing in the search results. Read on to understand these and what you need to know for optimizing your business listing to appear more frequently towards the top of the local search results.
One of the most pivotal factors that can influence a business’ ranking in the Google local listings is the site’s domain authority. This will also translate to the site’s ranking potential in Google organic search.
Organic Search Ranking
It may be not obvious, but Organic Rank has good amount of impact to ranking. You are quite likely to appear in top 10 of the local listings if your website ranks 1-10 in organic search results too.
Keywords & Business Name
Having a keyword in the business name is the second most popular factor. Analysis tells that if the business name has the keyword in it, the business listing will show up higher in the search results by about 1.5 spots.
How to optimize a Google listing for higher ranking?
Below are the techniques that have been found to have positive correlation with the Google Local Search rankings. If you outsource these solutions, it’s best to find a very niche and specialized SEO company, such as OptimizedSurgeons.com, who has experience providing SEO services to specific businesses (i.e. plastic surgeons.)
Links have always been the key differentiator even in case of Google My Business Rankings. When more people are talking about your business on social media or blogs – link generation is a direct signal that your business is more popular and should be ranked higher in a related search result.
Local Signals & Citations
Consistency of citation can be an important factor to getting you into the top of local search results, so it’s advisable not to ignore them. This means you need get the citations cleaned up and improved consistently over time. Having said this, the volume of citations doesn’t seem to have any relation with the rankings.
Better Profiles Win
Things like having more positive reviews and photos can help tremendously, not to stress on the fact that Owner Verified (OV) profile is a must for performing better in the search results.
Local SEO Myths
There are some myths in the world of local SEO that are better to be ignored right away.
But even though, good number of profile views might seem like the main factor, it is possibly not and data shows this. Eventually, if you are ranking well due to primary factors shared above, it’s highly likely that your listing will rank higher and receive more profile views.
Geo text variables are also a local SEO myth. City and state in title don’t seem to be correlated with local search performance. It’s an old assumption that using of these in <title> tags, on-page copy and in URLs influences how you get ranked in those cities. But looking at the data, there’s no significant correlation with this with better performance in local search results.