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A Guide to Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2022

We all know that business success requires that we make our businesses visible on the web. Long gone are the days when a simple advertising plan would suffice to bring name recognition for our product or service. To gain traction on the web, you need high-ranking SEO factors. Even more, 2022 brought some changes that impact local SEO ranking factors

Google made changes to its algorithm that favors specific features of local businesses. One of these changes is that Google now favors local businesses that have a physical address. This is one of the important local SEO ranking factors you need to understand. 

There is a lot that goes into generating the SEO that gets a business the attention necessary for success. And these factors change as fast as the web changes. To boost your recognition and convert that into success requires you to stay on top of local SEO ranking factors even as they change and shift.

What are local SEO ranking factors? How do you improve your local search ranking? And what are the ranking factors your need to keep track of to stay ahead of the game in today’s business world? This guide will walk you through the basic information you need to understand local SEO ranking factors. 

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a marketing technique that makes it possible to optimize your online presence in a local online search. When consumers search for a product or service in your area, the same kinds of algorithms rank SEO terms as those that work on a more general level. By building your local SEO ranking, you can raise the profile of your business in any given web search, and this makes all the difference in today’s markets. 

There are several factors at work in maximizing your visibility in a local SEO ranking, and we will get to these below. The important thing to keep in is that the success of your product or service depends in large part on gaining rankings in a local web search. This depends on increasing your ranking through the correct local SEO.    

What Are Local Search Ranking Factors?

Google’s algorithm to rank local search results relies on a wide variety of different signals, so it can be difficult to know where you should dedicate your efforts. To ensure a local business ranks well for relevant search terms, it’s important to pay attention to several different local SEO ranking factors.

As more businesses become aware of the importance of ranking in local web searches, local SEO becomes increasingly important. This means ranking high in search engine results pages (SERPs) becomes necessary for the success of your business. 

We will define and explain each of these below, but the main factors that enter into local search rankings and SERPs are:

  • Google My Business
  • On-Page Signals
  • Local Citations (NAP)
  • Online Reviews
  • Backlink Profile
  • Online Citations
  • Behavioral Signals

 

The degree of importance of each of these factors is different on a national search. This is why it is so critically important to understand how these factors work on a local search and how to work with your local SEO. 

How do I Improve my Local Search Ranking?

Google offers a webpage that can help improve local search rankings, but to do this correctly, you need to understand how Google uses this information. Simply entering the information does not in and of itself convert to high local search rankings. 

Google uses three primary factors to determine local search rankings. These are:

Relevance

For this, you must identify SEO keywords that fit with what a potential customer is looking for. Once the relevance makes a connection, your local business will come up in search results. 

Distance

This is one reason Google has begun to favor businesses with a physical address. Google will sort out businesses that are not in the geographical proximity of the users who are searching keywords. One way you can optimize this factor is by linking your business address to Google Maps. This is especially useful for home service businesses like plumbers, electricians, and HVAC contractors. 

Prominence 

The more presence you have online, the more Google will rank it. Your social media presence, business profile, and customer reviews compound on themselves and make it possible for Google to rank your business higher in a web search. This factor means you must improve your search engine optimization to gain traction.

Some tips for optimizing your local search ranking include:

Enter complete data and regularly update your data with key information. You must keep your Google My Business profile up to date. This is not something you set up once and for all. Make certain that all the necessary information for your business is prominently displayed and regularly update this information on the Google My Business (GMB) dashboard. 

Make sure your GMB listing is on Google Maps. 

Google Maps

Set up your GMB listing so that it is automatically linked to Google Maps. Many potential customers search for businesses on Google Maps rather than on a general Google search. Make sure your business information is up to date and complete. Without a complete and accurate profile of your geographical location, you will not come upon a local business search. 

Verify and claim your business listing. 

Google generally asks that you verify your business listing when you set up your GMB account. It is critical that you verify your information otherwise it will not appear as an authentic account and will be excluded from SERPs. The verification is at Google business help

You can take the extra step and get Google Guaranteed. This provides an additional level of verification that can help your business rank in SERPs. 

Add high-quality photos

The internet is a visual system. Businesses with high-quality photos are considered more reputable. Simply by providing high-quality photos, you can drive clicks higher by as much as 35 percent. 

The average number of photos on a GMB listing is about 12. These photos can significantly raise the visibility of your business. This is again especially true for home service industries. Potential customers tend to view the presence of these photos as proof that a business is legitimate and trustworthy, and this influences rankings in local business searches.

Set up a Q and A section

There is a GMB tool that will help you submit questions about your business. Both business owners and the general public can answer these questions. This is another feature that you need to regularly update. Check-in frequently to see if new questions are gaining traction.

Regularly post on your business profile. Your business profile operates like social media in this regard. You can provide regular updates on your GMB profile. This can include things like general announcements, seasonal offers, and discounts. Bog posts are a great way to keep your GMB profile regularly updated. By continually updating your GMB profile, your business appears active in local searches, and your rankings increase. 

Generate reviews and respond to them. 

Reviews

90 percent of your potential customers are reading reviews on the internet. This means any local business search is likely to be a search of reviews of that business. Google understands that reviews are a key feature in customer searches and this enters into the data that influence search rankings.  

Which Ranking Factors do I need to rank Locally?

To understand how your Google rankings work locally, some features go into the algorithm when it evaluates data. These features are different from national and international rankings so you must pay attention to how they work for your local business. Ranking factors for local searches include:

Google My Business

Google My Business

This is perhaps the most important factor for rankings. GMP is a free tool that Google offers to help users list local businesses and link them to Google Maps. Properly setting up your Google My Business is the first and most important step to generating customers online locally. When you set up your Google listing, GMP is the first thing you will see. 

The search algorithms use GMB signals like proximity, contact information, and categories to analyze, decipher and sort data for Google searches. Not only must you set GMB up properly, but you must also optimize keywords to push your visibility in a Google search. 

On-Page Signals

Several on-page factors are analyzed and evaluated when your website is up against other local rankings. The first of these is relevant keywords. This is why keyword SEO is so important. Not only must you present the right keywords, but they also need to be strategically placed to generate on-page signals. Relevancy is the most important of these. If you are in the business of HVAC, you need to have HVAC on your on-page content. 

Vital details are also crucial. As we noted above, a local address to a physical location is now required, and this needs to be properly linked to Google Maps. The Google algorithms will evaluate your location through local online searches. 

Another important factor in on-page signals is the mobile-friendliness of your page. 30 percent of Google mobile searches relate to location. This means your website needs to be user-friendly for mobile devices. 

Local Citations (NAP)

These are the internet version of the Yellow Pages. Local online citations ensure that customers get consistent information about your business in online local searches. These also make it easy for people to search things like local backlinks and legitimate and authoritative websites that verify your business. The search engines use these local citations to confirm the information provided by local businesses.

Part of the local citations used for verification is the consistency of name, address, and location. This is referred to as NAP. NAP consistency is an imperative element for local SEO ranking factors for 2022. Make sure your business name, address, and phone number information are the same across all directory and citation listings. The use of directories and citations reaffirms your accurate contact information to both search engines and users.

Online Reviews

Potential customers will always read online reviews for businesses and products. We cannot stress this enough, and online reviews factor into rankings in local Google searches. It is essential to maintain positive online reviews. The Google algorithms started using this in 2022, and you cannot rank without them. 

SEO rankings consider positive online reviews with ranking systems, and they figure in frequency, total number, diversity, and quality. When a business receives frequent positive reviews, Google takes this as a sign that that business is worth placing at the top of an online search. A solid SEO strategy is to encourage positive online reviews on platforms like Google Maps, Yelp, Glassdoor, and Trip Advisor. 

Backlink Profile

Backlinks are an essential part of your online presence. These verify outside sources and give legitimacy to your business. In the case of backlinks, quality is more important than quantity. 

Online Citations

Online citations are of a piece with local citations. They simply accentuate the ways your online presence is verified and linked to things like Google Maps to demonstrate that you are legitimate and a local business. 

Behavioral Signals

Behavioral signals are actions that your audience uses to indicate how they interact and engage with local businesses, listings, and websites. Google uses these to determine rankings for online searches. The most common online signals are 

  • Click-Through Rate (CTR)
  • Mobile Clicks to Calls
  • Social Media Check-ins

 

Each of these is analyzed by Google algorithms to determine which businesses are relevant to an online search. An effective SEO campaign will take these factors into account to optimize the ways these factors are influencing online visibility. 

Local SEO Ranking FAQS

What Is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a marketing technique that makes it possible to optimize your online presence in a local online search. When consumers search for a product or service in your area, the same kinds of algorithms rank SEO terms as those that work on a more general level. By building your local SEO ranking, you can raise the profile of your business in any given web search, and this makes all the difference in today’s markets. 

What Are Local Search Ranking Factors?

Google’s algorithm to rank local search results relies on a wide variety of different signals, so it can be difficult to know where you should dedicate your efforts. To ensure a local business ranks well for relevant search terms, it’s important to pay attention to several different local SEO ranking factors.

How do I Improve my Local Search Ranking?

To improve local search rankings you must optimize relevance, distance, and prominence for your business website.  

HeyDay Marketing Services make it easy for you to negotiate and implement all of the factors that maximize local SEO rankings. We are a full-service marketing agency based in Miami, and it is our business to get your business at the top of local online searches. 

While Google provides the map for how to list your business and begin the process of ranking in local searches, the process of optimizing your rankings is not provided ahead of time. As you can see from this guide, many factors and considerations will work to place your business at the top of an online search. Putting these factors to work can be a challenge. 

HeyDay Marketing Services will take the guesswork and anxiety out of these processes for your local business. For example, our SEO services can map out the best strategies for putting your business at the top of local online searches. Website traffic from SEO is more valuable than traffic that comes from social media because it is more targeted. Your visitors from Google search will be more likely to convert to paying customers. more likely to convert into paying customers.

You are in business to succeed at what you do. HeyDay Marketing Services is the business of helping you succeed with online strategies that maximize your success. 

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