2016 has been a very interesting year, and we have seen a wide array of different and very important details come to light about search engines. For example, the popularity and usage of local search engines has changed almost immeasurably since what it once was, and that naturally it had a major impact on how search engines rank local sites and put them into the spotlight.
To help you out with that, here are some of the major local search ranking factors that have played a big role in Local Search in 2017 – and is very likely to continue all the way into 2018:
What Matters in Local Search Ranking?
- The quality of your inbound link signals. For example, inbound anchor text and the quality of the domain authority will have a big weight in determining how people tend to see your website – and its local performance.
- Local Citation Pages. How many other local websites are linking to you? Do you have consistent NAP (Name, Address & Phone Number) on your local listings like Yelp, Foursquare, etc.? Are you only linking with high-quality citation pages?
- A local search ranking is now determined by the kind of reviews that are being left for you. How many are there? What are your customers saying? What is the average review? How diverse are your reviews? Are people ranging from 1-star to 5-star on a regular basis?
- What kind of click-through-rates are you getting? Does your website get much attention from mobile devices? These kinds of factors will take into effect in the way that you work and how you tend to think about your business.
- The quality of Google My Business usage – proximity, keyword usage in the business title and links will play a major role. Google My Business is one of your most useful companions as a local business so you should do everything that you can get to fully utilize it.
- On-page optimization such as keywords being used in content, layout of the page, how easy it is to be read and how unique the content is will be another additional factor. From inbound anchor text within the content to other areas being highlighted on your website is another factor as well.
- Social media usage, such as your engagement on Twitter and Facebook. Google+ social media engagement is very important too even though it might not be one of the larger social media sites, but it does allow you to better understand various local search ranking factors.
Maintaining Local Search Ranking Consistency
To make sure that your website continues to rank in Local Search, learn and understand the ranking factors. Improve the strength of your local presence and hopefully in due time, you will be able to dominate your local area.
No business can truly thrive for the long-term without a clear capacity for dominance in their local area. If you are serious about improving your local business’ chance of growth and success, be sure to invest as much time as you can into improving your local search ranking; the rewards will be well-earned.