Top 5 Local Search Ranking Factors
If you have a local business that you want to figure prominently in online search engine results pages, you need to educate yourself on the factors which hurl websites to the top or throw sites down the bottom. Here are the top 5 biggest, influential local search ranking factors that you need to know for the sake of your business.
1. Being listed in the proper category association
In order to be ranked #1 in the survey, your business must be listed under the right category in your Google+ Local page. The very first category that is asked is the most important so you have to choose carefully. Once you have chosen the first or primary category, you are allowed to choose up to 9 more categories.
The principle is to carefully choose from Google’s pre-set category taxonomy, taking care to choose the ones which describe your business best. If you apply this principle in listing your business on other directories, your business will have good chances of being visible in online searches.
2. Having a physical address in the city of search
Google has become more intuitive than ever so that a search term “house remodeler” for example, would yield local pack search results which show house remodelers in the user’s city. This is good for you if you are a local remodeler whose physical office is in the same city as your target clients. However, if you happen to have your office somewhere distant from your clients, you have a problem showing up in the search results.
To solve the said problem, you need to make city landing pages which will prove that your services extend to those areas. You can make pages on kitchen renovation projects you made in this city and a house extension you built in another city. Your goal is to show up in search results for specific geographic terms.
There are a few other things that can be done to expand exposure beyond your city. This is where having a local SEO service that can and will edit your website becomes crucial for success.
3. Having consistent citations in all listings
A citation is an online mention of your business’ NAP (name, address and phone number). A more specific term — structured citation — refers to a listing in an online local business directory. For better ranking, your citations should be consistent across all listings.
You can easily check whether you have consistent citations by typing in your local business name in Google and observing each item that comes up in the search results. If your business has different addresses and phone numbers among the items, a citation cleanup is needed. You can do this yourself or hire us to do this tedious task.
4. Getting listed in authority directories or websites
Getting listed in authoritative websites as opposed to low-quality ones is one essential factor for high ranking. It makes sense to have your local business listed in reputable business directories and indexes. Search for the 10 or so authoritative online business directories and get your business listed there for a start.
When you’re through listing your business in the primary business directories, you can go the extra mile by doing a search of category, service or geographic terms and you just might find additional sites where you can have your business listed.
5. Having numerous structured citations
Online marketers agree that it takes both quality and quantity of structured citations in order to get higher rankings. Since citation-building is time-consuming and labor-intensive, the priority is to get listed in the more important ones first.
For local businesses which are not in a very competitive market, citation building can be done in only a handful of authority directories followed by occasional listings here and there. For highly competitive markets however, citation-building needs to be done continuously or regularly.
So what is business owner to do?
You can research, find out the various directories that you need to be in, and copy & paste your information into each directory. What separates the good local SEO companies from the DIY’ers is that they optimize each listing with more business information, geo tagged photos and video if allowed and create many more citations. What separates the good local SEO firms from the great and very effective local SEO firms is the tweaking or editing of the business’s website and creation and distribution of videos. It is very worth the investment to hire a great effective local SEO service. With most of our clients their cost is covered within two or three new clients/jobs/customers in the 1st year. After that first 2 or 3 it’s all ROI and additional profit, which is what Digital+ is all about –- increasing the local business’s bottom line!