Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors for Local SEO


We take a look at, and drill down into the Top 20 local search ranking factors as voted for by some of the worlds leading local SEO experts.

The local search survey conducted by Moz is a very useful litmus test as to what the general consensus is for local ranking factors moving into 2015.

 

Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors for Local SEO

 

1 City, County in Landing Page Title
2 Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
3 Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Page
4 Physical Address in City of Search
5 Quality & Authority of Structured Citations
6 Product & Service Keyword in Website URL
7 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
8 City, County in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
9 Consistency of Structured Citations
10 City, County in Most/All Website Title Tags
11 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
12 NAP Matching My Business Page
12 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
14 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
15 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of  Links
16 Diversity of Inbound Links to Landing Page
17 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search
18 Quality & Authority of Unstructured Citations
19 Proper Category Associations
20 Quantity of Structured Citations

What this list tells us, is that you can no longer rely on a few trusted search factors within local SEO. Local SEO still has it’s own unique factors but as algorithms change and get tweeked, we need to continually focus on getting the product in front of the customer, whilst maintaining a unified business structure across all properties.

 

City, County in Landing Page Title

The City and County ( State in US ) should be in the landing page that you want to position in the search results. The Length of some counties in the UK take up a lot of real estate and needs to be taken into account.

By including your city and county in your landing page title tag, you will be letting both search engines and human visitors know that your business serves and is located in a specific geographic location.

Check your Title in SERP’s.”

Test your page title with the Dejan Serp preview toolhttp://dejanseo.com.au/serp-preview-tool/

Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Domain

The Quality & Authority of a link pointing to your Domain plays a part in your visibility in search results. The old adage quality over quantity is very real in earning links that point to your domain.

A local business can earn links from a variety of sources; local and national newspapers, local charity sites, local business citations, business associations, chambers of commerce, local high profile bloggers.

Earning Natural Links.”

Quality & Authority of Inbound Links to Page

As with links pointing to a domain, relevant and quality links pointing to a particular landing page are equally important.

If you have a landing page that may be for a second business premises in another county, links should be relevant to that country and area, similarly if it is a product or service page, then the inbound links should be relevant to that page.

Local SEO Link Building Tips

Physical Address in City of Search

A physical address in an an area, city or county will greatly boost the relevance of that page for a search query.

Add the address to page or site and markup with schema. Local citations will also be using the address, creating a strong signal for that business and its locality

Local Business Schema.”

<div class=” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/LocalBusiness “>
<span class=”address-title” itemprop=”name”> Business Name </span>
<div itemprop=”address” itemscope itemtype=”http://schema.org/PostalAddress”>
<span itemprop=”streetAddress”> Street Address</span>
<span itemprop=”addressLocality”>Town</span>
<span itemprop=”addressRegion”>County</span>
<span itemprop=”postalCode”>Post Code</span>
</div>
<div class=”phone-number”>
Phone: <span itemprop=”telephone”> Tel Number </span>
</div>
</div>

Quality & Authority of Structured Citations

Local citations are an important factor for search engines in deciding how important your site is locally and where to position it within localised search results. Combined with other links to your site and reviews about your site, create a powerful signal to search engines.

A Local citation is a reference to your business from another online source. This citation in ideal cases include Business Name, Address and Phone Number ( NAP ). These can be linked via your business name or just referenced without an actual link to your site.

UK Authority Citations.”

View: UK Business Directory List

Product & Service Keyword in Website URL

The website URL for the page (i.e. www.yoursite.co.uk/your-keywords-here). Is a good place to add keywords. If your website produces unfriendly url’s, check with your developer to see if your cms can enable search friendly urls.

Search engines have no problem with either variant, but for certain reasons it’s better to use static (prettier) URLs rather than dynamic (uglier) ones. Thing is, static URLs contain your keywords and are more user-friendly, since one can figure out what the page is about just by looking at the static URL’s name.

Anatomy of a URL.”

Anatomy of a URL

Source : moz.com/blog/seo-cheat-sheet-anatomy-of-a-url

Click-Through Rate from Search Results

I need to point out, that this has taken a prominent place in the top 20 list after research was presented at SMX East. On average, 71.33% of searches resulted in a page one Google organic click. Page two and three get only 5.59% of the clicks. On the first page alone, the first 5 results account for 67.60% of all the clicks and the results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.73%.

The CTR shows the total percentage of people clicking on your results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). The CTR is calculated by as follows: (No. of clicks/No. of Impressions) x 100.

Therefore, if you had 5 clicks and 200 impressions, the CTR would be 2.5%.

City, County in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags

Making sure your city and state (county) is present in the title, H1 and H2 tags of your organic landing pages is very important for search engines understanding the intent of the page.

For your main page your H1 should include name and overall service and the H2 would include town and county. On a product specific page the H1 would be the actual product / service and the H2 would ideally contain the area again.

This is not set in stone and could migrate to the H3 tag, but be aware of a proper structure.

Consistency of Structured Citations

For your Local SEO campaign to work, having consistent and correct business citations is at an all time high for ranking in Google locally. So it essential that you find and correct any duplicate and inconstant citations.

If any part of the NAP information found on an external site is incorrect, Google may not pass the credit onto your business.

Find Inconsistent Citations.”

This local citation resource combines some of the best ways to find and correct any inconsistencies in your NAP citations.How to Find and Correct Duplicate or Incorrect Citations

City, County in Most, All Website Title Tags

The City and County ( State in US ) should be in the landing page that you want to position in the search results. The Length of some counties in the UK take up a lot of real estate and needs to be taken into account.

By including your city and county in your landing page title tag, you will be letting both search engines and human visitors know that your business serves and is located in a specific geographic location.

Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain

As mentioned above, high quality and relevant links from trusted sites helps to increase your sites relevance in that demographic, and as a result your search visibility increases.

The next level is domain diversity. 100 great links all from the same domain will hold less weight then 100 links coming from separate but relevant domains. Developing diverse links will also appear naturally as you develop the resources on site to attract natural links.

Earning Natural Links.”

NAP Matching My Business Page

NAP Format: Business Name, Address & Phone Number

These are the crucial details that need to be consistent across the web. They should accurately reflect the crucial Starting Point for this information … your Website. If any part of the NAP information found on an external site is incorrect, Google may not pass the credit onto your business.

Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Links

Having a location keyword in the anchor text of a link would be ideal, however in the age of penguin this could cause problems in the long term as they may appear or flag up an unnatural element to the link.

In general, it’s still a best practice to obtain keyword– and topic–specific anchor text when possible. However, SEOs may get better results by striving for a variety of anchor text rather than the same keyword each time.

Key Points About Links.”

Proximity of Address to the Point of Search

Proximity of the address to the point of search plays a very small part in regular search. Where it certainly comes into play is within the local pack, where local business pages are displayed. You have probably noticed when you search a general term, how Google tries to return localised results where relevant.

In general the further away from the centroid cluster of businesses within that area, the lower the business appears within map related results. Mobile is especially interesting, where results will differ based upon the proximity of the phone to a search query.

This is one to keep an eye on in the future.

 

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