If you are a shop owner or run a local business, having a local website and optimizing it makes it easier for your users to find you & your business in real life. Even if the building where your business is located has less footfall, you must target the audiences that fall in the same geographical area as yours. To make all this work, you’ll have to optimize for that specific area. This process is nothing, but “Local SEO”. Several local search ranking factors can affect your local business and its ranking.
When doing local SEO, it is utterly important to think that you’re not only going to cater Google audiences, but also the ones coming from various other search engines like Bing Local, Bing Maps, Apple Maps, etc.
All that being said, Google still holds the topmost position in the market. Due to this, we will have our focus on attracting local traffic for that particular search engine.
Top Local Search Ranking Factors For 2021:
1. NAPs make a Huge Difference
NAP (Name, Address and Phone number) citations are considered to be one of the important Local Search Ranking factors. The term NAP citations refer to a place where all your name, contact number, and address are put together.
One must use NAP as Google takes its help for confirming the information about any business. The more times Google looks at your business, it becomes easier to say that they are more confident regarding the authenticity of your contact number and address.
Due to this reason, you must try to get constant NAP citations on all the reputable websites you can.
2. Google My Business Profile can do Wonders
The topmost local search ranking factor in the map pack is none other than your Google My Business Profile. With this, we don’t mean to say that your business website is not important. It’s just that the content your page contains and the links that point towards your site have an amazing role in your Map Pack rankings.
If you wish to see your business ranking on the topmost positions in The Map Pack, then you’ll have to make sure that your GMB profile is perfect in all aspects. People always forget to optimize their Google My Business listings.
But if you’re waiting to gain local visibility, then you must claim the local listing for every location. To seize this local opportunity in the best possible manner, you must try to get ahead of the standard set up of Google My Business account. If you’re not able to do this yourself, then you can also approach a Local SEO Company.
The way to strengthen your local appearance in Google Maps results and the local pack is as follows:
- Ensure to add relevant features that will showcase the working of your business and its main elements.
- Landing page optimization is a must. Make sure that your landing page shows all the characteristics specified in the GMB listing.
- The additional categories you allocate to your locations do wonder.
3. A Big Yes To Online Reviews
According to a recent search, it was found that online reviews act as an important local search ranking factor. Remember, one negative review on your GMB profile can impact your website adversely. Google makes use of all of these reviews even on third-party sites like Yelp, etc.
Try to get as many positive reviews as possible.These reviews will help you improve the online reputation of your website. Avoid getting negative reviews as they can damage your business.
When there are reviews of audiences along with the owner’s response to them, it is a symbol of trust the audience has on a brand. As we have already mentioned trust is one of the most fundamental factors for ranking.
So as an owner of the business, always remember replying to all the reviews be it positive or negative. Doing so will have an amazing impact on your local SEO efforts.
4. Never Forget The “Normal” SEO
While you’re trying to do so many different things to improve your local rankings, you must never forget the traditional ranking factors. and work on your SEO strategy.
Google’s traditional ranking factors still work on the local. Even Google has validated that your rankings in the organic SERPs can have an impact on your local rankings. In simple words, the higher your ranking is in the organic results, the higher you’ll rank in The Map Pack.
Due to this reason, It is utterly important to create SEO friendly content, optimize your pages, and build backlinks for your local SEO rankings.
5. Importance of Adding Location Information to Meta Tags
If you’re someone who is into SEO, then you must be aware that meta titles can help achieve higher organic rankings and increase organic traffic. Besides this, they also have a great impact on your local ranking.
If you’re looking forward to intensifying your chances of appearing at the higher position in local search, then you must consider including location within landing pages’ meta titles.
Another easy way to be noticed by your audience is to reference locations in the meta description
6. A Website having Appropriate Content
We have already mentioned the importance of relevance in the local SEO. Interestingly, it is also one of the local SEO ranking factors. If you wish to be on the local search engine, then you must take some time out to ensure that your website is brimming with high-quality content. This content must have the ability to engage the audience and attract them enough to come for more.
Once this happens, your site will be considered as an authority site on Google. An Authority site is the one that has a high quantity of high-quality inbound links. Besides this, these sites also have high-quality outbound links from their posts and pages.
7. Keep in mind the Basic Link Building
Just as web SEO relies on the links coming to and from various sites, even the Local SEO works on similar lines. Search engines are capable enough to recognize the expertise, relevance, and usefulness of a website with the links that link to and from it.
High-quality inbound links signify that the website holds an authoritative position in its field. With this, there are higher chances of it ranking on the organic results for search engine users. So, you must make sure that you focus on these areas.
8. Website Quality
Have you ever wondered about the designing of your website? Is it user friendly? Is your website safe and secure with regards to search engines? If not, you must, because websites that follow the HTTPS protocol by default are thought safe and secure by search engines.
It is next to impossible for unsafe websites to rank on the search engines. Every website owner must install an SSL certificate and use a quality hosting service like WPEngine.com.
You must also think of redesigning and developing your website for better user experience. Not only that, but you may also need to audit your website for various SEO issues like lack of meta tags.
9. Evidence of a Physical Address
Generally, Local search engine results are geography-based. Websites that want to rank higher on their local ranking must make sure to provide the specific address. Here, we mean to say that you should give an address where you actually work or conduct business. Remember that, you should have the same information on your social media account.
It will be extremely difficult to rank high for websites without any real physical presence. Last but not least, you should provide the map of your business which will have directions of the actual physical location. With this, it will be easier for your audiences to find your business and reach without any hassle.
10. Mobile Responsiveness
One of the major contributing factors to behavioural habits is mobile device access. According to research conducted, local search from mobile phones has intensified almost 900% when compared to last year. Local searches are always done through mobile devices rather than desktops.
If your website is less mobile-friendly, there are higher chances of audiences leaving your website and looking for other options that are more mobile-friendly. If you wish to have more users on your website, then you must work harder towards making it smooth and mobile-friendly.
Local SEO is utterly important for people who operate businesses in a specific location. Always remember that your rankings in Google Maps or Local results have no relation to your company’s website. Several things might affect your Local Search Ranking factor and the factor of being found in local search results. Some of these factors are the information in the company’s Google My Business account, number of reviews, review score, and business responsiveness to reviews.
We hope this compiled list of Local Search Ranking factors will provide you with the knowledge to plan and execute activities for your business in 2021.
If you have any suggestions or feedback, please feel free to share it in the comments.