Local Ranking Factors


Local search engine optimization (SEO) is the key to marketing your business online. Creating a great looking website is one thing, but getting people to visit that site is what makes your online presence really worthwhile.

By focusing on local SEO, you can promote your products and services to local customers the moment they look for them. But, with more businesses realizing the importance of SEO, ranking is getting to be more difficult.

Every year the top local ranking factors are released, and we’re here to give you the lowdown on what you should be considering in 2017.

The Google Factor

Google’s new “Possum” updates has us seeing some changes to their SEO algorithm.

Created with the goal of diversifying local results and prevent spam rankings, Possum rolled out September 1st, 2016.

It’s no longer good enough to rank in the top seven on the first page of Google, now only three listings show up in the “Local pack” at the top of a search. While users are likely to look at the rest of the first page, they’re most likely to pick from the local pack first.

On the bright side, if your business is just outside of city limits, you’ll have less difficulty ranking. This may be because of an added focus on location. For the past two years “physical address in city of search” has been the number one local pack ranking factor, but now it’s “proximity of address to the point of search”.

As users aren’t always looking for the closest service, but the best service, this may be concerning. But don’t worry, your quality still helps with ranking.

The Citations Factor

Want to get in that local pack? Accounting for 13.3% of your ranking, it’s all about citations. Start off by claiming your free page on Google My Business and Bing Places for Business, and go from there. The more directories your business’ name, address and phone number (NAP) are featured on, the higher you’ll climb in the rankings.

Google My Business on its own accounts for the largest portion of ranking at a whopping 19.01%!

As always, make sure that these listings are accurate. If they are not, search engines will not see you as a credible business.

The Linking Factor

Coming in second at 17.31% of the search ranking equation, is link building. Local SEO always has and always will love links.

Investing time and resources to nail down quality links for your website or clients is going to reap you the highest rewards when it comes to ranking.

Everything Else

Reviews are still of the utmost importance, along with On-Page, Personalization, Behavioral and Social factors when it comes to local ranking.

Google and other search engines are always going to be changing their focus and updating, so staying on top of the direction their going is important for keeping your business ranking at the top.

Take an hour out of every day to make sure you’re making the right decisions, and you can stay in that local pack for a long time.


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