Looking over the Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors, I’ve identified 6 key areas where local search results are affected. These are important management tasks for any business trying to rank their website for specific search terms in local search.
- Your Google+ Local page – The most important thing to get right here is your categories. Make sure you list your business in the right categories. After that, make sure you are listed in the right city and state, encourage your customers to review your business, keep your information updated to affect your page authority, and make sure it is owner-verified. Also, make sure your business contact information is correct.
- Structured citations – Consistency, quality, and quantity are key. Look for authoritative business directories and ensure that your business information is accurate and consistent. It might be a good idea to ensure you get a good number of citations from locally-relevant and industry-relevant domains.
- Your website – There are several items on your website you should pay attention. First, work on increasing your domain authority. Secondly, is your business or service mentioned in your business title? Thirdly, are your city and state mentioned in your page titles?
- Inbound links – I list links separately because these are important on their own. Pay attention to the quality and authority of your inbound links.
- Third-party reviews – Just as Google+ Local reviews are important, so too are third-party reviews. This would include on sites like Yelp and Yahoo! Local.
- Searcher location – This is one you have no control over. Your search results, however, are based in part on the location of the searcher and how central your business is to the search they are conducting. In other words, if a searcher is looking for a flower shop in Minneapolis and your shop is in Wayzata, you likely will not show up in the search results. Conversely, if the search is for a flower shop in Wayzata, then you’re in like Flynn.
That’s a lot to be sure of when you position yourself for local search, but it’s important to make the checklist.