What are Local SEO Ranking Factors? And How to Use Them
Ranking factors are things that influence your rankings in SERPs. Local SEO is different from regular SEO and so, it has a different set of ranking factors.
Focusing on these factors will help you boost your website’s ranking in local SERPs. In this chapter, you’ll find out all the local SEO ranking factors and how you can use them for your advantage.Let’s get started.
Optimized Google My Business
Your Google My Business page plays a crucial role in your local SEO ranking. We’ve already covered how you can set up your GMB page and how to optimize in the previous chapters. Make sure that your GMB page is properly optimized and has clear categories, media and NAP (name, address and phone number).
A proper GMB page is responsible for your business’s presence on Google Maps as well.
Domain Authority is a score given by Moz, to determine how authoritative your site is. It ranges from 0-100 and the higher you have the better the result. It uses 40+ signals to determine the score. Take it as a measure to compare your site with your competitors. High DA leads to a considerable boost in local SEO rankings.
You can check your DA score on Moz’s Link Explorer. To improve your domain authority, take the help of the following points:
Get backlinks from reputed and credible websites present in your niche. It has a direct impact on your DA and helps you establish your own business’s credibility.
Improve internal linking:
Make sure that getting from one page of your website to another takes the least number of clicks possible. Perform great internal linking with optimized anchor texts.
Optimize on-site SEO:
We’ve already discussed on-site SEO. It is a vital factor in determining your site’s Domain Authority so you should follow all tips properly.
Become an authority:
Publish high-quality content and provide value to your prospective customers. Engage with them and help others online. it will establish your brand as an authority and make it easier to get backlinks.
Citations from Websites
You might ask, ‘what’s a citation?’ A citation is a brand mention of your local business from a website or domain. If you get citations from a reputed platform, your rank gets a boost. Getting citations from authoritative websites is a little difficult because you need to be a credible and reputed brand.
That’s why we recommend publishing a great deal of quality content. You might have an ordinary business but with outstanding and valuable content, you can easily get citations from authority sites. You don’t need to contact Forbes or Business Insider for citations. You can get in touch with local reputed blogs and websites.
They’re great, to begin with, and getting links and brand mentions from them, will definitely improve your website’s local SERP ranking. We’ve discussed this topic in detail in the upcoming chapter.
NAP (Citation) Consistency
NAP refers to the name, address and phone number of your business. Remember we mentioned to add accurate information on your GMB page?
Well, this information isn’t limited to your GMB page. In fact, you’ll be using your NAP in multiple locations on your website.
For example, you could have a clear NAP citation in your contact us page. There’s a dedicated chapter on citations in this guide. Be sure to read it.
Following are some points you should remember about your local business’s citations:
- Avoid modifying your NAP unless necessary. It’s important that your NAP is consistent everywhere. It is a crucial ranking factor for local SEO.
- Don’t add a keyword in your NAP. If your business’s name is ‘Michael’s Cereal Shack’ then don’t say ‘Michael’s Cereal Shack Restaurant’ at a place. Your NAP should be consistent everywhere.
Backlinks to your Site
Backlinks have always been a crucial SEO factor. They play a huge role in local SEO as well.
What is a backlink?
It is a link for another website or page. When a website adds a link to your site, the link is called a backlink.
Backlinks not only influence your site’s DA score but also your overall SERP ranking. Your site’s success also depends on the kind of backlinks you get.
What determines the quality of backlinks?s
The source of the backlink is the main determiner of its quality. If you get links from a reputed source then you’re getting high-quality backlinks.
Your goal should be to get a large number of high-quality backlinks. You can use Moz’s tool or Ahrefs to find out your website’s backlink profile.
Location of your Business
An obvious local SEO factor is the location of your business.
It has been seen that the distance of a business from the centre of the city or town has a direct impact on the local SERP rankings. Unfortunately, you can’t do anything in this regard.
You can’t move your business to another location for SEO. Some business opens up virtual branches to leverage this SEO factor but it isn’t necessary that you do the same.
Location of the Searcher
The distance between your business and the searcher’s location is also a vital local SEO factor. If the searcher is far from your business, then Google might not show you in the top results. Some searchers have local intent but they don’t specify a location such as, ‘restaurants near me’.
Google will take this query and present results according to the GPS location of the user. It’s another factor which is out of your hand.
Use of Location Name
How many times have you used your town/city name on your website?
The number of times you use the town/city name is an influential SEO factor. It is an on-site SEO feature and you can take a look at the respective chapter to get an idea.
Make sure that you don’t mention the location name too many times.
Social Media Presence
Do you have a Facebook Business Page?
How many times do you post there? How many followers do you have on Twitter?
These social media indicators are also important for your local SEO. Connect with your audience there and engage with them.
It will not only help your business get more exposure but also enhance your brand authority. Stay active on social media and provide value regularly. You’ll easily get ahead.
You can now devise a solid local SEO campaign with these factors in mind. Targeting all of these factors might seem a little too much but you’ll get the hang of it.
There are numerous SEO factors but with these in mind, you’ll get an easy start. Next up, we’ll find out more about citations and how to use them for your local SEO.