Common Local Search Ranking Factors

Written by: Jason Bayless | September 09, 2014

As many business owners know, local search has become an incredibly effective SEO strategy to implement for the purpose of increasing online visibility and subsequently maximizing profits. In many cases, however, business owners lack the knowledge and experience necessary to design and implement a great local search marketing campaign. Yet by learning more about the most common factors that affect local search ranking, business owners who want to outshine their competitors online can do so. To accomplish this objective, consider the following common local search ranking factors:

1. Domain Authority.

In the internet world, the term “domain authority” refers to how popular and positively viewed a website is in the minds of readers, critics, and major search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The more domain authority your website has, the more effective it will be in gaining a great local search ranking. In recognizing the truth of this principle, you should know that there are a wide range of things you can do to gain greater domain authority. One effective strategy is to earn a page one ranking in the search engine results pages of the major search engines. To do so, you can implement several search engine optimization strategies simultaneously, such as great content creation, keyword analysis, and link building. Another great way to increase your domain authority is to become a thought leader regarding the topics you cover.

2. Popularity of Site Listings.

If you’re serious about earning a competitive ranking in the local search engines, it’s important that you seek listings with popular websites. Because their domains have a great deal of authority, a broad range of people will likely use these sites for their local search needs. Since this is the case, gravitate towards gaining listing with incredibly popular local search sites such as Yellowpages, Yelp, and Google.

3. Google Places Reviews.

As many marketing experts know, getting a positive review on your business’s Google + Local page can positively impact your ranking. Since this is the case, you should concentrate on earning these reviews. Luckily, there are a variety of ways to realize this objective. Perhaps the most important strategy to implement is to simply offer great products and services to your clients. When this is done, they are quite likely to become lifelong, loyal customers. And, in many cases, they will become brand ambassadors who willingly go out of their way to sing the praises of your great company. Yet another strategy to consider implementing is politely asking customers who have had a positive experience to write a positive review on your page. In many cases, customers are delighted to attain exceptional, expedient service, yet never think to share the experience with others. If asked, these satisfied customers are oftentimes willing to assist you.

4. Keyword Analysis.

Keyword analysis is important in the world of local search because there are specific terms that people enter when looking for the goods and/or services you offer. If your listing isn’t peppered with these terms, you are less likely to show up in the search engine results pages.

5. Make Sure NAP Information Is Accurate and Current.

The acronym ‘NAP’ references your business’s name, address, and phone number. As John Rampton notes in his important piece “How to Improve Your Local SEO: An Interview With Greg Gifford,” failing to ensure that you are listing accurate contact information can adversely impact your local search ranking.

In addition to ensuring that your basic NAP information is up to date and accurate, Jon Schepke’s important article “Listing Management: The Required Foundation for Local SEO,” he points out that “local listings should be as robust as possible, also including product descriptions, categories, services provided, hours of operation, coupons, photos and payments accepted.” This is good advice, so ensure that the aforementioned listing components are concise and accurate.

Getting Professional Assistance

In recognizing that perfecting your local search campaign can play an integral role in helping you optimize your conversion rates, it is oftentimes advantageous to attain assistance from professionals. Typically, these individuals will possess the education and experience necessary to optimize your strategic plan quickly and effectively. If you’re ready to attain professional assistance now, consider the services of established companies such as


If you’re serious about being found in a prospective clients’ local search, you should know that there are a plethora of common factors that will affect your ranking. By reviewing the guide provided above, you can begin optimizing your local search campaign so that your business can maximize profits through effective strategy implementation.