Which Factors are Important for Local SEO?

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Which Factors are Important for Local SEO

If there’s one thing that you have to know about SEO is that it’s ever-changing. In fact, it changes every year. Sometimes, multiple times depending on how frequently Google publishes algorithm updates. 

But after the Snack Pack update was changed from seven to three, the top ranking factors for local SEO are now the following:

  • Correct physical address
  • NAP consistency in citations
  • Properly categorized Google My Business listing
  • The proximity of the searcher’s address to your business
  • Quality and authority of citations
  • Domain authority of your website
  • Product or service keywords used in your Google My Business listing
  • Clickthrough rate of your business listing

Read on below to get to know more in detail about how each factor affects your local search visibility.

Correct physical address

Using the correct physical address of your business is important if you want your business to rank locally.

Google strives to provide the most accurate information possible and if you list the wrong or inexact address, they will less likely to show your business at the top of the rankings.

Make sure to double-check your address before publishing and include relevant details such as unit or floor number, street name, and so on.

NAP consistency in citations

Aside from listing the correct address, your NAP (name, address, phone number) also has to be the same across all listings citing your business.

Google puts a premium on trustworthiness and being consistent in your NAP signals to them that you’re a legitimate business presenting the right info for potential customers.

Properly categorized Google My Business listing

Properly Categorize Listing

One way Google is able to provide relevant search results to its users is through personalization. 

Correctly categorizing your Google My Business listing means Google can appropriately suggest your business to searchers looking for the kind of service or product you’re offering. This will be of tremendous benefit to your business since you’ll have more targeted prospects who will be able to discover you.

The proximity of the searcher’s address to your business

For the most part, Google will put you at the top of local search results if you’re business is located near the searcher’s area. Google does this because they want to provide the most convenient and relevant options to its users so they keep coming back.

Quality and authority of citations

Like with any backlinks, the quality and authority of your citations also matter. Make sure to list your business on reputable sites and business directories so you don’t waste your resources in the process.

Remember that all link opportunities aren’t created equally. 

You may be able to snag a citation on a local blog but if that site doesn’t have enough authority or is clearly not a quality site—then your efforts to get a link there might prove to be in vain.

Domain authority of your website

Website Domain Authority

The domain authority (DA) score of your website also matters.

This scoring system is created by Moz in order to determine the likelihood of a site ranking on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

For the most part, increasing your site’s DA score primarily relies on getting high-quality backlinks from other authority sites.

The more powerful websites link to you, the higher your DA score will be. A higher score also means Google trusts your site so they’ll likely rank your content higher.

Product or service keywords used in your Google My Business listing

If you’re not using product or service keywords in your Google My Business listing, you have to start doing so. 

Otherwise, you’re missing out on a lot of opportunities. Incorporating relevant keywords into your listing allows Google to identify what you’re business is offering to potential customers. This way, you’ll be able to rank locally for search terms that are related to your keywords.

Clickthrough rate of your business listing

Another key factor that Google looks at when it comes to ranking a site locally is the clickthrough rate. A clickthrough rate is a percentage of how many people are clicking on your site relative to the views it’s garnering.

Since the average clickthrough rate is 3.17% for search, your site has to have a clickthrough rate that’s near or more than that.

If you’re faring way below your industry average, you might want to look at different things that could be affecting it such as your page title and meta description.

Make both more compelling by introducing a clear message of how you help your target customers so they’re more bound to click on your site.

Three More Factors That Influence Local Search Results

Search Results Factors

The other three factors that Google uses as a metric to influence local search results are relevance, distance, and prominence.

Relevance is how fitting your business is in relation to the user’s search terms. If they’re searching for an Indian restaurant and that’s what you’re offering then your site will likely be shown in the results by Google.

Distance is how near you are to the user’s location. If they’re searching “pet stores near me” then it signals to Google that they’re looking for something that’s nearby. If your business is near, your site will likely be included in the top search results. 

But even if users are not including the word “near me” in their search terms but your business is close then your site will also get bumped to the list of top search results.

Lastly, prominence is also a key factor. This pertains to how well-known your business is. If your business is pretty well-known then you’ll likely appear on top as well. Good examples are grocery stores, malls, and markets—to name just a few.

These are commonly well-known businesses so they’re bound to appear even if the user’s location is sometimes far.

Why is local SEO an important factor for Google?

Local SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to help your business stand out. It gives businesses a chance to appear on search results even if they don’t have a website and as long as they have a Google My Business Listing.

Getting found on Google helps drive more foot traffic to your business’s physical location since it lets potential customers discover your business. And with more people visiting your shop, restaurant, or cafe, your business is also likely to pick up more sales!

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