Optimize These 5 Key Factors to Improve Your Local Search Rankings
According to HubSpot, 97% of online searches account for finding local businesses.
Additionally, 92% of searchers choose businesses found on the first page of local search engine results pages or SERPs.
Lastly, the same article reports that 72% of consumers who searched for local businesses online ended up visiting the stores within five miles of their location.
These interesting pieces of information should convince you to work on improving your business’s local search ranking and invest in a premium search engine optimization service if needed.
Local search engine optimization (SEO) refers to the process of optimizing your online presence to obtain business from local searches on search engines.
When done correctly, local SEO can boost awareness about your business and move local consumers towards the next stages of the sales funnel.
Vital Elements to Focus on When Conducting Local SEO
Knowing which factors to prioritize as you work on your local SEO increases your chances of climbing higher on local search rankings.
If you want to know which factors to focus on as you work on your local SEO, read below:
Local search ranking signals
Ranking signals or factors are the elements search engines use to determine how they arrange and display website pages.
The two most important ranking signals that can affect your ranking are local pack ranking factors and local organic ranking factors.
Local pack ranking factors refer to the elements of your listing relevant to the user’s location. It is the boxed part on top of the list that shows up when you are doing a local search.
On the other hand, local organic ranking factors are the blue links that redirect to specific websites.
Both factors rely heavily on proximity, which pertains to the relevance and distance of the business address or areas where the company offers their products or service in response to a search query.
If your website is optimized properly with the right local or geo-targeting keywords, your chances of having your site appear on the first SERP increase.
However, you also have to optimize other factors, such as your Google Business Profile, customer reviews, and citation signals, to maximize this element to your advantage.
Keywords are the words and phrases Internet users type onto a search bar when they are searching for something.
Ideally, these are the words and phrases that searchers should use to be able to find your business online.
As mentioned, optimizing your website with the most relevant local or geo-targeting keywords goes a long way in helping you boost your search rankings.
You can identify the right keywords to use or target by conducting local keyword research.
Local keyword research is the method of finding search terms or phrases that searchers use when they are looking for local products and services on Google and other search engines.
To start the process, think about the keywords that convey your business and the places you provide your products or services.
Once you have a list, use an SEO tool to find out which keywords are worth targeting and give you the results you’re looking for. Some of the most reliable platforms that can help you with these are Ahrefs, Semrush, Keyword Explorer, and UberSuggest.
After narrowing down the best local keywords, incorporate them into your website pages. But make sure you don’t keyword stuff to avoid getting penalized.
Google Business Profile listing
The Google Business Profile (GBP), also known as Google My Business (GMB), is a Google tool that allows organizations to create and manage an official business profile for Google Search and Maps for free.
This tool also gives organizations an idea of how they appear on local SERPs.
To optimize your GBP listing, do the following:
Select the right primary category for your business.
Add other categories relevant to your business.
Provide all required, correct details of your business and ensure your profile is complete.
Make sure your listed business hours are correct.
Create an engaging description.
Upload good-quality relevant images.
Content is still king, even in local searches. As such, you have to create new content or tweak your existing pieces to improve your local search rankings.
Incorporate local keywords in your existing and new content for optimization. Additionally, craft or tweak them well to ensure users find them handy, relevant, and engaging.
This means honing and polishing your communication skills and using them well for creating your content.
Don’t forget to create local-focused content since you are working on boosting your local search rankings.
Write and post articles about events as they occur or will happen to inform your target audience and excite them.
Best-of guides or listicles are also great articles that get the attention of searchers who need to get information as quickly as possible.
Lastly, regularly publish blog posts that appeal to locals.
These types of content can help your site compete in local SERP queries and generate good quality backlinks.
Local citations are mentions of your company and key details on third-party websites or directories.
The details often mentioned are your business name, address, contact numbers, and opening hours. Some directories may also include information about your products or services and social media pages.
Generally, your business may appear on some third-party websites or directories even if you don’t add your details there. This is because they accept data feeds from other sites when they get or update their listings, meaning your information is automatically shared.
However, if you want to have your business added to citation sites where it is not listed, you can try two strategies: manual submission and aggregator submission.
Manual submission entails entering your business information manually on the site or directory. You can go the DIY route or pay someone to input the details on one or more websites.
Although this method can be time-consuming, the upside is that you can be sure you are submitting correct, up-to-date data.
Meanwhile, aggregator submission entails using a service, such as Whitespark or BrightLocal, to submit your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) to the main data aggregators. This will result in your details being inputted into other directories and websites.
Regardless of which method you use, make sure you provide consistent data to avoid confusing Google’s algorithm and getting your website into all sorts of issues.
Local SEO takes a lot of time and effort. However, the rewards are worth all your investments since you will see a change in your local search rankings, particularly if you are consistent and you implement the right practices and strategies.
Eloisa Mangilinan is a full-time content writer at SEO Sherpa, a multi-awarded search engine optimization company in the UAE. She produces content for different niches for guest post sites, blogs and client websites. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Saint Louis University.