The Internet is an unruly and overpopulated place. How can your business’s website stand out? Using Search Engine Optimization, you can make sure to be discovered by potential customers. By knowing what factors Google takes into account, and how to utilize them, your business’s website can climb to the top of the results page. Here are the top 10 local SEO ranking factors, divided into three categories:
Things You Can Do To Your Website:
1) Include City, State in Your Landing Page Title
A local search allows users to submit geographically constrained searches against a database of local business. That is, “What + Where = Local Search.” Therefore, it is important to include the location of your business in the Landing Page Title, so it is included within the local parameters. The location should be included on individual page titles, as well.
2) List Your Name, Address and Phone Number
Your NAP should be crawlable on your Landing Page. This encourages Google to include your page in its search results of your local area. It is also important that your NAP be consistent across the data ecosystem, so that your correct information be displayed for all relevant searches. This consistency will also enhance your SEO.
3) Increase the Domain Authority of Your Website
Domain Authority, a measurement created by Moz, takes many of the factors here discussed, and evaluates how strong is your domain. A high Domain Authority will lead to more searches and a higher position on the SERP. As a starting point, focus on optimizing your Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, and use of Keywords.
Things You Can Build Externally:
4) Quality of Inbound Links to Domain & Landing Page
The number of other sites linking to yours greatly increases the likelihood of your page being displayed by a search. One way to start building links is to search for other local businesses in your field, see what links those at the top of the results page have, and focus on obtaining those links for your site. Developing links with strong and relevant anchor texts is key; your site will be included in searches for keywords used in anchor text.
5) Quality of Structured Citations
As with inbound links, an increase in citations will lead to an increase in your search optimization. Find ways to be cited on sites such as Google+, Yelp, FourSquare, Bing Locals, and others — and watch your results skyrocket.
6) Diversity of Inbound Links and Citations
While the quality of links and citations is important, cultivating different links and citations is also necessary. The more places you are mentioned, and linked from, the better!
Customer-Based Factors and Behavioral Signals:
7) Customer Reviews
The more, and better, reviews your site has on prominent sites, the more likely you are to be included in a given search. The number of Yelp reviews, Twitter followers, “likes” on Facebook, and other similar social-media indicators are key factors.
8) Quality, Diversity, and Velocity of Reviews
Similar to links and citations, there are several important factors to the reviews you cultivate. Quality is of course preeminent, but diversity and velocity are also important.
9) Click-Through Rate From Search Results
The more people who click on your site from a search, the more often it will be displayed in that search. This creates a beneficial cycle: the more clicks, the more views, the more clicks.
10) Mobile Clicks, Check-Ins, Offers
As with the click-through rate, the number of mobile “click to calls,” Foursquare check-ins, online offers accepted, and any other way to drive traffic through your website will increase your SEO.
Optimizing the search results for your website may seem daunting, especially when you are busy running a small business, but it is not impossible. Keeping in mind these tips and tricks, you can be on your way to the top of the Google results page in no time!