1. Introduction
Article #1.9

What are the possible ranking factors for Local SEO?

Everything keeps on changing and so as local search results every year!

After the rolling out of Pigeon algorithm update, not much algorithm changes has been noticed. The Snack Pack changes rolled out simultaneously early this year, where it talked about ‘7 pack’ of local map results reducing to ‘3 pack’ results which indeed has been of a great impact to businesses listed below top three, and has been of a great value to those that rank in top 3. Google has now made the competition harder by reducing the conversion window to half.

In the above image, what you see is only three listings of cafes in New Jersey. Before the snack pack rolled out, there were seven listings which were shown to you earlier.

Well, coming back to the point of Local Ranking factors. Recently, Moz did a study where it showed the stats for the ranking factors. The study was carried out by David Mihm. The study talks majorly about two factors, i.e On page signals and Link Signals which affected the most local rankings. The rest are as follows:

  1. On page signals - 20.3%
  2. Link Signals - 20.0%
  3. My Business Signals - 14.7%
  4. External Local SIgnals - 13.6%
  5. Personalization - 8.5% 
  6. Review Signals - 8.4%
  7. Behavioral/ Mobile Signals - 5.0%
  8. Social Signals - 5.0%

Source: Moz

Spreading the word about the survey, On page and link signals includes presence of NAP, keywords in titles, anchor texts(inbound), inbound authority, linking domain quantity are the most important factors which affects the local search.

Coming on to next important factor that affects local search is My business signals and External local signals. These includes categories, keywords in business title, proximity, IYP(Internet Yellow Pages) aggregator, NAP(Name, Address, Phone) consistency, Citation volume - the amount of citations you have across the digital space. 

The next factor which leaves an impression on local search is through Behavioral or Mobile signals. This shows how many times does a listing gets clicked i.e. Mobiles clicks to conversion, how many checks ins have been done from mobile, what are the latest offers, click through rate etc. Here the mobile factor drives through a major dependencies on Social Apps which in turn have enabled better presence of Businesses and helped them outreach new customers.
The next factor is Review Signals. It includes Review quantity i.e. how many times is a business reviewed, review velocity i.e. the frequency by which your business is getting reviewed and review diversity which means essentially how many web properties are talking about the business.

The next factor is Social signals. This covers links coming from social networking sites like facebook. The likes through facebook, how many people follow you on twitter, and Google+ authority. These Social Websites have also become an important place to generate your citations upon. You enable your customer to check in or post Social content involving your business.
In general, the top ranking factors for local Seo are:

  • Physical Address
  • NAP Consistency in your Citations
  • Google My Business Categories
  • Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (i.e. physically where is the searcher)
  • Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Product/Service Keywords in Google My Business- Business Title
  • City, State in Google My Business Landing Page Title
  • HTML NAP matching Google My Business Location NAP
  • Click Through Rate from Search Results

There are some guidelines which are given by Google, which i have already covered above. But if you want to go by the Google words, here you go : https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en 

The above mentioned factors are very essential while optimizing your local search. Though these are not the only factors but, definitely the important ones. Consider these factors and you are done!


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