Written by: Justin Mark
Local search is one of the most powerful tools for small businesses as four out of five consumers use local search to find information regarding the desired product or service. It means if your business is not optimized for local search, you can miss out on 80% of your potential customers. So, it is important to optimize your business so that you are ranked at the top when potential consumers are looking for a particular service or a product. This will increase your local ranking which will eventually increase your chances of getting in Google’s Local Pack.
To optimize your business for local search rankings, you need to know what are the top local SEO ranking signals?
For this reason, here are 20 local search ranking signals that can boost your business and bring your business on the top search which will surely increase your potential customers.
1. Google My Business
The first thing to appear in local search rankings is that you need to claim your Google my business page. This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to appear in the local search. It also helps to improve your local SEO. So, do it now as it takes only a few minutes and is free.
2. Proper Category Associations
Proper category associations are also important local search ranking signals which helps to be ranked Number 1 in the survey. But you need to make sure that you are choosing the correct category as for the best results, it is important to choose a few categories possible for your business. You also need to make sure that you have chosen the most accurate category regarding your business.
For instance, a dentist will always choose ‘dentist’ as his primary category, but he may also look for keyword searches such as ‘cosmetic dentist’ or ‘dental clinic.’ So always make sure to choose an accurate category for your business.
3. Physical Address In City Of Search
When a consumer looks for a product in a specific area of a city, it is important that your business site has a physical address mentioned on it. Because your business is most likely to appear in Google’s pack of local results for searches that either contains the city name where it is physically located or a stem from the devices based in that particular city. So, set goal of earning local pack earnings for searches related to your city.
4. Online Directories
When you put your business online and want more potential customers, it is also important to make sure you have claimed other popular online directories such as Apple Maps, yellow pages, foursquare, or Yahoo’s Local works. This will help you appear in local search ranking regarding a particular product or a service.
5. Claim Listings On Review Sites
In addition to online business directories, you should also list your business on review sites such as Yelp, Glassdoor, Angie’s List, Citylocal Pro and BBB. These sites will help to show your reviews that carry the most weight, directly on Google. Because according to Google, when you have high-quality reviews, it will improve the visibility of your business.
6. Positive Reviews
When you are claiming your listing on different review sites, you also need to make sure that the majority o0f your reviews contain positivity in them. According to the policy of Google, when there are high-quality reviews on the review sites about a particular business, it can surely improve the online visibility.
7. Reviews With Keywords And Location
According to a local SEO Guide Study, the language used by reviewers matters a lot. So, it is important for a reviewer to use the keyword or city name while writing a review. It will send signals to Google that you are a trusted local business which will eventually boost your local search ranking.
8. Reviews With Responses
Local SEO Guide Study also showed that when there are responses with a number of reviews, they also contribute to the local SEO and improve your visibility to potential customers.
9. Percentage Of Negative Reviews
When it comes to local search ranking signals, it is also an important signal that number reviews with responses counts and they also include negative reviews and the ones that have no response. These signals show that you need to make a plan to keep a follow up for all online reviews for the sake of Google.
10. Make A Facebook Business Page
There are many businesses that use Facebook as a major search engine and that is the reason it has its own number on the list of search engines. so, when you are making strategies to optimize your business online, you need to make sure that you have created a Facebook business page that is updated with information such as your website, working hours, and a description of your business. Social media is a platform that may have a limited impact on local search ranking, but it has a great impact on social SEO.
11. Claim Social Listings
You also need to claim social listings on different popular social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, as these platforms help to boost your business. No matter if you are not active on these sites, but you need to create and claim social listings on these platforms. You can pin a tweet or make posts to invite users to call or visit your websites and follow your social media platforms for updates. Remember people also expect a response from business owners, you need to be sure that you leave a note or contact information in case you are not active on these platforms.
12. Accurate And Consistent NAP
When you add your name, address of the business, and phone number, you need to make sure that you are consistent across all listing sites, maps, review sites, and most importantly social media. This helps to ensure Google that you are providing accurate information regarding your business and the same phone numbers and addresses make this easy for customers as well and they can connect with you.
13. Mobile Responsiveness Of Site
Mobile-first indexing in Google has become a new trend now which means Google looks at your mobile site first and later considers desktop site. So, you need to bring your mobile site at the top. For this reason, you can use Google’s mobile-friendly test to get started.
14. Use Structured Data Markups For Local SEO
It is also one of the great local search ranking signals to use structured data markups for your local SEO. Such as you can use multiple departments, hours, address, menu, website and phone numbers because these markups are highly recommended by Google. You can add these markups by using Google’s guide or any other tools such as Schema.
15. Click-Through Rates From Search Results
It is said that when you are able to do well in SEO, you will automatically perform well in your Local SEO as well. So, it is suggested to make sure you focus on your meta titles and descriptions so that they can make sense to users and they can easily find what they are expecting when they visit your website.
16. Localize Your Content Publication
You also need to make sure that your content is constantly publishing in your local area where you can add keywords and the location of your business. Such as you can write about local events regarding your business or whatever is related to your brands. It will help in bringing your brand to the top.
17. Use Location With Keyword For Optimization
When you are optimizing your keyword, make sure to add location along with keywords such as don’t just optimize for ‘water damage repair’ but you can use ‘water damage repair Chicago’ for optimization.
18. Use Location In Meta Title And Description
Add keyword along with the location in your meta title and meta description as much as possible. This goes best in local search ranking signals and holds importance to be mentioned separately.
19. Use High-Quality Inbound Links
When Google trusts some links from sites, it means these are good for SEO so, it is also important to use high-quality inbound links which are solid as it can be good for local SEO.
20. Diverse Inbound Links
It is also another local search ranking signal that can boost your business that you need to add diversity in inbound links such as new local sites, community blogs, which can prove that your site is trusted by your neighbor’s sites.
So, what do all these local search ranking signals mean to your local SEO strategies? It can be concluded in two ways:
- First, you can use these local search ranking signals to boost your local SEO rankings by claiming to optimize your Google my page account.
- Second, you can focus on a holistic SEO strategy by building an authentic and solid link profile where you can create useful content using your location and keywords to ensure your meta titles and descriptions are optimized.
Author: Justin has been a digital marketing strategist since more than 5 years. The mutual interest in social media marketing strategies and writing took me here, where I opt for writing as a profession. My articles are not bound by any form but confide the latest trends and happenings of digital marketing and the ways SEO is tackling it. To stay connected with what’s latest, my posts are a great help.