2015 Local Search Ranking Factors

Written by: Jason Bayless | December 08, 2015

Local search is the most important marketing channel for local businesses. This was proved by Local Clicks & Calls survey conducted by a firm BrightLocal. This survey was conducted in 2015 and had a total of 477 respondents. Among its key findings is the fact that local search provides business owners with the highest quality leads, while display ads, Facebook, and Twitter provide business owners with the lowest quality leads. Moreover, organic and local search generate 80 percent more traffic than social media sites. Therefore, you took the right step by opening this article that will teach you 2015 local search ranking factors that you can use to boost the online presence of your locally owned business.

1 Domain Authority

Domain authority has been consistently ranked by marketing professionals as the most important ranking factor of local search. Simply put, domain authority is the score that predicts how likely a website is to rank high in the search results. It depends on the number and quality of links pointing to the website.

If your site has lots of good links pointing to it, then it is likely to have a high domain authority. If your site has lots of bad links pointing to it, then it is likely to have a low domain authority. The best way to improve site’s domain authority is through content marketing whereby you create lots of high quality content and other sites link to your content.

2 Authority Of Links Pointing To Your Site

As already discussed in previous paragraph, links influence your site’s domain authority. However, even without that influence, links can make or break your local search marketing campaign. But even if you get lots of relatively good links that will not necessarily boost your search rankings.

Therefore, when building links, remember two things. First, relevancy is the king. So you should be focusing your link-building efforts on sites that are relevant to yours. Second, quality is much more important than quantity. So it is much more beneficial for your local search rankings if you get two high quality links from relevant sites than if you get twenty links from crappy sites. Also, as far as local search is concerned, you should try to get links from relevant sites that are located in your city. This will significantly increase the chances of those links boosting your local search ranking.

3 Search Results' Click-Through Rate

Click-through rate is the measure of how often the people click on your link. This tells search engines that people found your search listing either relevant or irrelevant. So it can play a huge role in determining your local search ranking. There are two ways you can boost your click-through rate. One of them is meta title. The other one is meta description.

Simply put, meta description is the short explanation of the page which is often used by search engines to generate a search result listing for that page. Practically speaking, meta description is one of the easiest and most effective ways to optimize your site for local search.

About 99 percent of top 30 search results for a given keyword have a meta description. Therefore, write a unique meta description for each of your pages.

If your site is running on WordPress, then you can do so by installing WordPress SEO by Yoast plugin, opening your list of WordPress pages, clicking ‘Edit’ button next to the page you want to edit, and scrolling down to ‘Yoast SEO’ section. While writing a meta description, keep in mind two things. First, begin your meta description with a call to action. Second, follow a call to action with a keyword you want to rank for. So if it is “pizza in New York” you want to rank for, your meta description will begin with the words “order pizza in New York”.