Are you a frustrated small business owner because you want to attract more local visitors to your website but don’t know how?
You’re not alone.
If you rely on local business, you need an active local SEO campaign that includes the 7 biggest local search ranking factors.
Local SEO has the power to propel your business to the top of the local search results so that anyone looking for what you sell will find you. It’s a super powerful technique that works and can help small businesses succeed online and outrank their bigger and better-known competitors.
What is Local SEO?
When people search for a specific type of company on Google they receive results tailored to their location, meaning if you get local SEO right the number of targeted customers arriving at your website will increase significantly.
At the end of last year, Local SEO Guide released its findings from the extensive study they carried out into the local SEO ranking factors. They analysed over 100 signals and 30,000 businesses in order to ascertain which factors carry the most weight when it comes to local rankings in Google.
Based on this study we’ve put together this handy infographic detailing the 7 biggest local search ranking and online visibility factors that have the most impact on where your local business will appear in Google.
Local Search Ranking Factors – in More Detail
1. GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
There’s several factors regarding your Google My Business listing that will have a big effect on your local rankings. If you do nothing else, you should go to Google My Business and claim and complete your business listing.
Decide on your N-A-P (name, address, phone number). It’s important that this is consistent across the web. The NAP that you use here should be the same as the one that appears on your website and other business listings.
Correctly setting up and verifying your Google My Business listing will help your local prospects find YOU – how good would that be?
Fact: 97% of consumers use the internet to research local products and services.
And with 140 billion local searches in 2014 (a figure that has been rapidly growing) that’s a lot of prospects that could be looking for what you provide. Imagine if they found YOU!
Backlinks act like a vote of confidence in your website from an external source. If someone is prepared to quote you as a source of information or send their audience to your website, they’re essentially saying to the search engines, “This is good stuff and we’re prepared to vouch for it”.
Fact: Having quality backlinks to your website continues to be an important, if not the most important, ranking signal.
Several backlink factors are highly connected to high local rankings, these include:
- The number of linking domains
- The link quality and relevance
- The presence of target keywords in the anchor text although attention should also be paid to anchor text diversity too.
Out of all the on-page SEO factors, surprisingly word count has been proved to be the most important signal for local Google ranking. Making your words count is, of course, also essential – content needs to be unforgettable, high quality and relevant to have the desired impact.
Fact: 61% of consumers say they feel better about and are more likely to buy from a company that delivers custom content.
Publishing great content that is relevant to your business and customers will put you ahead. Blogs, how to guides and videos work well to increase your brand visibility and influence
4. KEYWORD CONSISTENCY
Search engines have become far more sophisticated as they now try to figure out topics instead of just looking at keywords, however, keyword occurrences and consistency still matter. Naturally including your keywords in your content and incorporating them into the metadata associated with that URL will help you rank at the top of Google and in the local pack.
5. TOTAL REVIEWS
Google loves reviews and the total number of reviews that your business has is growing in importance. Reviews on relevant platforms for your business such as Yelp and TripAdvisor will dramatically help with local rankings and with brand reputation
Fact: 88% of consumers will consult online reviews before they purchase local goods or services
Gaining citations/business listings in the important local and niche directories for your business, although less important than it once was, is still considered necessary as this helps to verify that your business is real and also helps build credibility in the eyes of the search engines. Citation consistency is a key factor in getting you into the local pack.
Fact: 7 out of 10 consumers are more likely to make a purchase if your company is represented in multiple locations on the internet.
7. SOCIAL MEDIA
Promoting your website on social media platforms is essential for greater visibility.
Fact: 70% of consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available to them on a social media website.
Successful social activity can have significant secondary effects on search engine discovery and indexation and also content distribution, which leads to links and shares. We recommend creating social media profiles on the platforms where your target audience are and using them as effectively as possible in order to engage your target audiences.
Want to know EXACTLY how to rank at the top of Google?
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Power up Your Google Presence contains everything you need to know about optimising your website to take it from obscurity to the top spots on Google. It’s an easy-to-understand online course with guaranteed results and includes 6 incredible bonuses that are yours as soon as you sign up. It comes with lifetime access and lifetime assistance, all for a fraction of the cost of hiring an SEO company.
Check out the details here: Power up Your Google Presence
Questions or Comments: Any queries, give me a shout.
Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
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