Local Ranking Factors for Small Business SEO
If 2020 have taught something to small businesses, then it’s the importance of digital marketing and local SEO for growth and maximum reach. Although local SEO for small business is still in its infancy stage, it is quickly growing and becoming more competitive than ever. So, to understand this concept a bit more closely, let’s talk more about local SEO and the factors that affect their ranking on the search engines.
What exactly are local ranking factors? Google takes a few elements into account and uses it in its algorithm to show results for the search. And that’s what we call ranking factors. Even Google talks about local search results in terms of relevance, distance, and prominence. So, let’s take a look at them in detail.
Here Google checks if your business is relevant for the user. It also checks if your website content matches what the user is searching for. The local SEO factors that affect relevance are as follows.
1. On-Page Signals
On-page SEO comprises various small elements that help your website to rank higher. This is nothing different than optimising for general SEO. Some of the most prominent elements include:
• Relevant keywords to your industry.
• Name, address, and phone number of your office.
• Mobile-friendliness of your website.
• Keywords used in title tags, meta descriptions, and content.
2. Local Content
One cannot stress enough how important content is for the better ranking of a website on the SERPs. And when you upload content that is relevant to your local community, it will definitely improve your local SEO rankings. You just need to stress that the content you upload is relatable, relevant, and community-based.
Now, if you are thinking that content only includes your webpage information, then you need to rethink it. Some of the content pieces that you can include are:
• News pieces
• Graphic content
And many more. Just do your research for your niche and industry.You can also, in fact, go ahead and check some vernacular SEO tricks that may work for your local audience.
Here, Google checks how far you are located from the user. If you are relevant to the search and also near to the user, the chances of you ranking higher are more. So, which are the factors that show Google of your proximity? Here are some options for you.
1. Google My Business
This is arguably the most crucial factor in local search engine rankings. Google My Business is one of the most useful free local SEO tools. It is set up by Google to provide users information about local businesses through Google Maps. This means if you have a GMB profile set and someone searches for a query related to your product, there are high chances of you listed on the Maps results. However, for ranking higher you need to make sure that:
• Your GMB profile is complete.
• It is verified.
• It is always updated.
2. Online Citations
Online citations, generally known as the NAP, has an important role to play to verify your location and trustworthiness in the digital world. Google checks your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) throughout various sources on the internet to cross verify it. Online citations are similar to the yellow pages of the digital world. The listings will help in identifying your business as a local solution for that specific locality. Some of the places that you need to look for are:
• Yahoo Local
• Yellow pages
While considering this factor, Google generally checks how well you are known in the industry. Or how well people know about your business. Some of the elements that show your prominence are:
1. Online Reviews
People have always relied on reviews before making the purpose – and the online world has just made that a lot easier. Positive reviews will help your brand look trustworthy, legitimate, and reliable. And this doesn’t only influence people’s choices but also Google’s. Local SEO considers the total number of reviews, their frequency, quality, and diversity while ranking them. Some of the online places to check for your reviews are:
• Google Maps
• Trip Advisor
This is yet another important SEO element to build authority in your domain. This works in general, but when you have other business backlinks from your locality, it gives a boost to your local search rankings. But always remember, quality always comes first when compared to the quantity when you look for local link building. Some of the suggestions for building backlinks are:
• Local publications
• Local directories
• Community websites
• Press releases
Local SEO is important, especially for small businesses. But that does not mean that you will just pay attention to the local ranking factors. Rather make it a habit to coordinate your traditional SEO efforts with Local factors. As we have seen, many of them are interrelated and coincide with each other. So, plan them accordingly to solidify yourselves as a top-ranking business for local searches in your locality.
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