Top 10 Local SEO Ranking Factors

Written by: Jason Bayless | February 18, 2016

If you are operating a business at a local level, understanding local SEO and how “Near Me” searches work is incredibly important for bringing real customers through your front door. There are a number of factors that contribute to local SEO ratings, and if you want to appear at the top of the list, you need to master them all.

Here are the top 10 local SEO ranking factors you should know about:

1. Establishing the Correct Category
In order to appear in local searches for a specific service, you must first identify yourself as a provider of that service. This can be done when setting up your Google My Business page, which will be the main source of information when Google is conducting a local search.

2. Including Your Address
If you have not supplied a physical address for your business, you will not have much luck appearing in a local search. Because local searches take into account the individual’s proximity to the potential search results, a physical address is necessary for appearing high on the results.

3. Consistent Information
When establishing your various pages, including your website, Google My Business page, and pages on other platforms, like Yelp or TravelAdvisor, be sure that the information is clear and consistent across each page. This means double checking the address, phone numbers, and business hours, especially if any of that information has changed recently. Even small details, like a missing suite number or different phone number, can ruin your rankings.

4. Inclusion of City & State in Landing Page Title
If you are specifically a local business, meaning you only provide a service to a particular area, your landing page title should include the city name and state.

5. Domain Authority
A website’s domain authority takes a look at the contents of the website and evaluates how it stacks up in normal SEO measurements. This includes everything from keyword strength to backlinks and everything in between. While it is important to understand how local SEO differs from standard SEO, it is also important to see that you cannot focus on one or the other if you would like to appear in local SEO searches.

6. Webpage Authority
Like a website’s domain authority, the webpage authority is also an important factor when it comes to Local SEO. Similar to the domain authority, the webpage authority looks at how strong a particular webpage is.

7. Links to Your Page
When determining what pages to include in their searches, Google wants to provide websites that come recommended by other websites. This is measured by the number of quality websites linking from their website to yours.

8. URL Keywords
Another strong factor is if the product or services keyword is in your actual URL. For example, if you are a dentist, you should have “dentist” in your URL.

9. Using City in Headers
Just like you wanted the city and state in the title of your landing page, you will want to see the same city and state in the henders on the website’s pages.

10. Search Results Click-Through Rate
This measures the number of individuals who decide to click your website from the results. To have a high click=through rate, you need to deliver the most compelling information and be the most enticing option.

Understanding how local SEO works is crucial for businesses only appealing to a local group. Use these 10 factors to boost your chances of appearing at the top of the list.