What affects local SEO?
To help businesses pinpoint which factors affect local SEO, we asked small business owners and SEO experts this question for their best insights. From a Google Business Profile to user behavior, there are several considerations that may help you enhance your business’ local SEO and increase visibility online.
Here are 13 factors that affect local SEO:
- Google Business Profile
- Domains That Are Linking To Your Site
- Online Citations
- Titles & Content
- Relevance, Distance, & Prominence
- Site Content & Design
- Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP)
- Close & Convenient Locations
- Geotagged Images
- Local Content
- Customer Reviews
- User Behavior
Google Business Profile
Improving your Google Business information is incredibly impactful for your local SEO efforts. This will help you appear in local search for Google Maps and Google search results. To make sure your profile generates the most local SEO traffic, follow the below steps:
– make sure your profile is fully complete
– verify your business locations
– keep your business hours accurate (including holidays)
– add photos
– manage your reviews
This will ensure your page is updated and can be found when people search for local businesses like yours.
Elyse Flynn Meyer, Prism Global Marketing Solutions
Domains That Are Linking To Your Site
Evaluating links that are pointing towards your site is one of the ways Google measures your site’s authority and trust. Different domains may have different domain authority and page authority ratings.
But acquiring backlinks from local domains can be super helpful for boosting your rankings in that particular region and that is all you need to improve local SEO.
Raaquib Pathan, Salesmate
A citation is a mention of your business online –– typically in a local business directory or on a local blog or other business website. It often consists of your business’ name, address, and phone number. Citations are one of Google’s local SEO ranking factors, and they can boost your Google My Business Profile in the local listings featured at the top of the search engine results page.
Depending on how competitive your industry is locally, you can often get results fairly quickly by building a few high-quality citations. (In my case, it took just a few citations built within a few weeks to see a significant boost in the local listings.)
Chloe Brittain, Opal Transcription Services
Titles & Content
First of all, careless and imprecise title creation for the home page and subsequent subpages of the website. Some people overkill it and write more than needed, and others treat them as non-existent and irrelevant. The proper length of the title should have no more than 70 characters and apply the KISS principle.
Second of all, content matters! When completing the optimization for local SEO, the information about the company’s location has to be specified. There should be an address, contact details, telephone numbers, and an e-mail address somewhere on the page. In many cases, the information in question is given only in the contact form, which is a mistake.
Magdalena Socha, PhotoAiD
Relevance, Distance, & Prominence
Relevance, distance, and prominence are the top three factors that affect local SEO. Does your product match what the consumer is looking for? To make sure it does, have a comprehensive website with pertinent details. Next, what is the physical distance between your company and the customer? In a local search, proximity is very important. Keep your location up-to-date. Lastly, how well known is your business? Use your SEO practices to increase your website’s domain authority. The more visible your company is, the more likely a customer is to visit your website over your competition.
Melanie Bedwell, Olipop
One of the most important factors of local SEO is distance. In short, how close are you to the customer searching for the products or services you provide? For products and services that require a local response, Google wants to rank businesses in their search results that are nearby. In fact, as close as possible.
So how does Google know you’re close to this person searching for your product or service? Obviously, you can add your address to your website so that Google knows you’re nearby and serve local customers, but it takes more than that. It takes structured data in the form of schema (machine-readable format) for Google to fully understand and appreciate your locality. And the easiest way to add this schema to your website is with Yoast’s Local SEO plugin. This plugin makes adding local schema to your site a cakewalk and allows you to nail the all-important distance factor.
John Ross, Test Prep Insight
Site Content & Design
Multiple factors influence your local SEO rankings, but the most important variables are on-page optimization and inbound link quality. You need to coordinate SEO strategy with content strategy for your business’ website to rise in the local SERP listings.
This will mean spending some time shaping your web pages to be easy to navigate and to include certain criteria Google favors when formulating its search results. Your content should engage with relevant keywords for your business so that your targeted traffic gives you the best overall conversions.
Local SEO requires many factors to be optimized in sync to do the most for your business. Make use of the power of these search engines to maximize your reach and grow your business to capacity.
James Shalhoub, Finn
Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP)
I’d suggest publishing your website in local directories and mentioning your NAP every time. NAP stands for Name, Address, Phone Number, and it’s key to most effectively getting your contact information out to potential customers. NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results, because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches. In other words, this makes you easier to find by potential customers.
The other piece of advice I’d give is to create content tailored to the local community. This means writing about topics, events, and places that are relevant to your community. This will help you rank even better.
Stefan Chekanov, Brosix
Close & Convenient Locations
One big factor that affects your local SEO is your business’ brick-and-mortar location, as Google understands that local searchers favor close and convenient locations over others. If you have a sweet spot downtown or the only business of its kind in a smaller area, it’s time to utilize your location to your SEO advantage.
Ensure your address is fully completed and 100% accurate in all local citations, including Google My Business, and add local neighborhoods and cities into your keywords on your website. Highlight your location and watch your foot traffic improve!
John Li, Fig Loans
Images aren’t just eye-candy anymore. They’re now clickable content that’s packed with important metadata, making image optimization an SEO must. So make sure those you include in your Google Business Profile are top-notch and that you geotag them by embedding location-specific data.
Geotagging enables search engines to connect your photo with the location of what it depicts, where and when it was taken, or both. You can even set the geotagging down to specific latitude and longitude coordinates, making it easier for customers to find your business when they’re searching for what they need that is available “near me now.”
Well-shot, high-res exterior photos will also help them spot your business more quickly when they’re on the go. And ensure your images appear professional yet approachable and not overly polished or filtered. Remember, your photos are typically the first visuals of your business customers lay eyes on, so be sure your images speak louder than words.
Daniel Tejada, Straight Up Growth
Valuable content will always be a driving force behind SEO, which is why businesses that produce quality local content often rank higher in the SERPs. Creating content like blogs, videos, and graphics that are specific to your community and that appeal to the people within it can signal to Google that you’re a local authority.
Being local can give businesses an intimacy and unique knowledge that can be leveraged to produce content that draws local users in. As with any SEO-friendly content, you’ll want to do some digging regarding location-relevant keywords and terms that’ll drive the most traffic to your pages.
Nick Drewe, Wethrift
Customer reviews affect Local SEO. If you get lots of positive reviews, it’s not just potential customers who will view your website as being more legitimate. This is one of the many local SEO ranking factors that Google uses to determine how well you rank, so it’s best to focus on getting good reviews from happy customers.
Don’t use fake reviews to boost your online presence, instead try and get as many reviews as possible from real customers. Ask your customers to leave a review at the end of their purchase and you’ll be happy at how quickly you get results.
Ouriel Lemmel, WinIt
Once your business is appearing in local results, Google analyzes user behavior to determine rankings. Actions like clicking the link to call the business, visiting the website and staying on the GMB Profile are all taken into account. These signal that users are finding some value in the page. So ensure your Google My Business Profile is optimized to target your ideal customer.
Claire Routh, Elevato Digital