What is a Local Search Ranking?

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What is a Local Search Ranking

Optimizing your business to rank in local search results is more important than ever. Especially since the pandemic, the rate of consumers searching online for local services has now grown tremendously.

The goal of improving your local SEO profile is to increase online visibility so potential customers can find your business.

Local search rankings (SERPs) are the results that appear for local-based queries based on where the user is located. Local SERPs typically include a local 3-pack (map, local pack, and organic search results) at the top of Google which shows the most relevant results about the search term.

Why are local SEO rankings important?

More and more local businesses nowadays are grasping the importance of SEO. And a part of that realization is being able to understand how to dominate the local search results.

Local businesses typically have a brick-and-mortar store that relies on traffic.

Local SEO rankings become important in this regard because it provides potential customers a way to discover your business online—boosting your visibility and attracting more relevant customers.

This is why it’s valuable for your business to rank highly in local queries that are near your area. 

Are local rankings different from your standard Google search?

Yes, local rankings can differ greatly depending on what your search term is or if a location is relevant to the keyword being searched. Since Google is always aiming to provide a personalized experience, it’s only expected that they would show different results for a local keyword compared to a standard search term. 

For instance, non-branded keywords that don’t have a location or business name in Google’s local engine ranked higher compared to the default Google US engine. 

This means that if someone searches just “Indian restaurant” then the local engine will rank nearby businesses higher but if you’re searching the same keyword on the Google US engine, local businesses would rank way much lower.

How to Improve Your Local Search Engine Ranking

Improve Local Search Ranking

One way to improve your local search engine ranking is to monitor your keywords locally. This will give you an understanding of how they perform in specific areas versus how they perform nationwide.

The next step is to create measurable goals based on the keywords you monitoring.

Develop content and employ marketing efforts that build on your main keywords as well as related ones to rank locally.

It’s also important to optimize your site for US search though by publishing various forms of content as well as leveraging different social platforms. This overall strategy will result in a credibility boost which you can then progress on a nationwide level which will also impact your local results.

Another important thing is to check that your site is optimized for local search by making your on-page SEO profile on point. Add your keywords to key areas of your posts and pages such as the title page, meta description, headings, and more. 

Give it time and don’t throw in the towel too early. It takes time for Google to collate all the data you’re adding so patience is key here. 

Now that you’ve done the work, your monitoring efforts will show you what you need to know when it comes to how well you’re performing in local searches as well as what keywords will give you the best advantage in local searches.

Local Pack and Local Search Ranking Factors

Ranking in Google local search results is influenced by several factors. Here are the most important ones:

  • Google My Business & Categories
  • Proximity of Address
  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Reviews
  • Links

Google My Business

One of the easiest and the most simples way that your business is visible online is to create a Google My Business listing.

It’s a free service offered by Google and gives customers an accessible way to find more information about your business.

Upon setting up your Google My Business listing, you must pick relevant primary and secondary categories for your business. This way, Google can know what your business is all about and can then show it for relevant local search queries.

Proximity of Address

Proximity of Address

This is something that’s out of your control but plays a determining role in how your business shows up in local search results. If a searcher is looking for products or services that your business offers and you’re situated nearby, then your business is more likely to show up. 

However, this goes the same for your competitors as well. If they’re closer, then they’ll likely rank at the top. This is because Google puts a premium on its users’ convenience. 

Physical Address in City of Search

Another significant local ranking signal is your business location. This is important because Google bases your address when ranking results based on distance. Make sure your address is correct and consistent in all local citations so your business appears in results that are near you and are relevant to what you’re offering

Reviews

Over the last few years, having business reviews has become a main local search ranking factor. Since Google values user experience and knows that consumers look to online reviews before making a purchasing decision, they have made reviews a priority in establishing the credibility of a business. 

Links

site links

Links are also another way that Google assesses the trust and authority of your site. Different websites will have varying domain or page authority scores. This is why you have to be strategic when it comes to procuring links. Try to acquire quality local links which will prove valuable to your business.

What’s Next

Although success isn’t 100 percent guaranteed when it comes to achieving local SEO success, following a proven process that works will no doubt strengthen your chances.

Consistent research, effort, and openness to adjusting your strategy along the way depending on what’s needed can make a big difference when it comes to ranking in local search results.

You have to know where your priorities are and focus on the most important things that will make a big difference for your business. This is a bonafide way to be one step ahead of your other local competitors.

Make the insights in this article your guide in assessing your local search strategy for this year.

Heeding expert advice will no doubt help take off the guesswork out of your local SEO effort so you can dedicate your time and energy to other areas of your business that you would prefer to focus on.

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