DIGITAL MARKETING > LOCAL SEO
Local SEO Ranking Factors – All You Need to Know to Strengthen Your SERP Position?
To gain maximum success and realize the highest profitability in local search it is important to know how to compete in Google’s local and organic search results. Did you know mobile makes up almost 88% of all the “near me” searches? And the searches are growing incredibly at 146% yearly. It is important to know the direction you need to put the effort to ensure that your local business ranks well for the relevant search terms. Read on to explore the local SEO ranking factors and find out how to rank for near me searches. 
Learn what local SEO is or why it matters, and you should care about it, here is a recommended read for you: What is local SEO & Why Does it Matter?
Essential Local SEO Ranking Factors
What makes a local SEO campaign successful? It may sound surprising, but the exact ranking formula is not known! However, several important factors help local businesses to maintain a higher position in local search results. There are two rankings you need to pay attention to:
Local Pack Rankings:
The small box that appears on the SERPs with your information such as opening hours, contact information, and reviews. The stats show that 93% of Google searches with local intent include a Local Pack within the results. 
Enrichment of organic search helps your business rank higher. Organic search is a great opportunity for your local business to appear in front of motivated searchers and help your website rank high in organic search results.
Now let’s dive into the local search ranking factors.
Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile listing is undoubtedly one of the essential local search ranking factors. When creating your GBP listing keep the following points in consideration.
- The name of your business, address, and phone number must be correct and updated.
- Mention your business hours and the current website.
- Ensure that you have selected the appropriate category and incorporated the relevant keywords in the title and description.
- Add a logo and professional pictures of your business to improve its appearance.
- Google’s local ranking factors consider the proximity of your business to the searcher as well.
Read More: How to Optimize Your Google Business Profile Listing for Local SEO
The reviews on your business’s website are not just for the customers to view, it is another local SEO ranking factor that Google uses to determine your rank. The positive and legitimate reviews on your website will create a good image of your business in the minds and hearts of your customers as well as contribute to the Google search ranking factors.
Other than receiving good reviews on your Google Business profile, check signals from GMB, Facebook, and Google Maps are also factored into your local SEO ranking. Receiving frequent glowing responses, reviews, and ratings from happy and satisfied customers online will benefit Google’s local ranking. Moreover, they will reflect well on your Google Maps ranking factors. Hence, you need to encourage your customers to leave good responses to such platforms. 70% of the consumers do leave a response if they are asked to do so. 
Some of the elements that impact the reviews are:
- Are the reviews from the recent dates?
- How often does the business receive a review?
- On how many platforms do the reviews exist?
- Are text-based reviews better than star ratings? If so, how?
What about negative reviews?
Negative reviews have a great influence on your customer’s perceptions and local search engine rankings. Google takes into consideration all of the information, reviews, and feedback from customers. So, do not ignore the negative responses instead engage with the audience by acknowledging their concerns, a good first step to begin with. This will make you look authentic, genuinely interested, and willing to solve the issues your customers might be facing. It will help you increase your credibility and portray a good picture of your business by delivering the message that you care about your customers and that you listen and respond to their concerns.
Quality and Structure of Content
Enhancing the quality of the content on your website is important for optimizing local SEO. Content Quality is one of the most important Google ranking factors. Hence, your business needs to pay attention to the content on your website, its structure, and the keywords used. Use the relevant keywords, and make it look natural and effortless. You can use the keywords in the titles, subheadings, meta descriptions, and anchor text.
Be detail-oriented, and make sure your business contact information is available on every page of your website. You can place it in the header or footer making it visible and keeping it in front of your potential customers at all times.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that the Backlink Profile is the backbone of the Google local search ranking factors. A well-structured and diversified Backlink Profile helps your business rank higher. Backlink Profile is the anchor, quantity, and quality of the links that point to your business’s website. You should have a diverse Backlink Profile to achieve a high ranking else your website will disappear into the abyss of search results.
It is a challenge to get good backlinks but keep in mind while linking other sites to yours that the quality matters more than the quantity. The Local SEO ranking factors affiliated with Backlink Profiles consider the quality of the linking domain, the quantity of the linking domains, linking domain authority, the relevancy of the links, and the anchor text used to link your websites.
According to a survey, Behavioral signals have up to 10% influence on local ranking factors. Behavioral Signals are the actions of the audience when they engage with your website. Google algorithms use behavioral signals to determine the rankings of the local search results. CTR, Mobile Clicks to Calls, and Social Media check-ins are all factors that are analyzed by search engines to determine which business is more relevant and receives valuable attention. Monitoring the signals will help your local listing rank higher in search results and attract more nearby customers to your page.
You can not ignore the importance of social media and its strong presence. Facebook alone sees 1.5 billion searches per day . The high domain authority and user base of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are indicators that Google pays attention to them. Optimizing the social media presence of your business is important to maintain a high rank.
How does Google determine local ranking?
The three key factors that Google takes into consideration for local ranking are mentioned below:
it refers to how well the Local Business Profile matches with the searches. It is essential to add correct and complete information about your business to help the Google algorithms understand your business and match it with the relevant searches. Simply put, Google asks “Is this business relevant to the search?”
The proximity of your business to the searcher. Google considers how far the potential customer is from your business location. In case, the user does not include the location, Google uses the data it has collected before from that particular user, for instance, previous location history or searches history, to calculate the distance.
How well-known is the business? Google considers the reviews, web results, and links to get a better understanding of the prominence of the business. 
If you want to see long-term and lasting benefits, it is important to identify the factors and the elements that affect the Local SEO rankings. There are several local SEO ranking factors the Google algorithms consider; local SEO is a complicated task that requires ongoing efforts and consistency from your side.
 Marketing Strategies – Think With Google
 Google Local Pack – BrightLocal
 Consumer Survey – BrightLocal
 New FB Search – WordStream
 How Google determines local ranking – Google Support
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