What is the most important factor in local search?

Survey outreach, on-page signals and links include NAP presence, keywords in titles, anchor texts (inbound), inbound authority, number of linking domains are the most important factors affecting local search. On-page signals are, of course, incredibly important for both traditional and local SEO. As you can see below, these signals outweigh all others by some margin in their influence on localised organic results, and they are certainly no slouch when it comes to the local pack: the page accounts for 15 per cent of the local pack ranking factors. Given that many Google queries are made with local intent, proximity is a key ranking factor.

Proximity depends primarily on the distance between the physical location of a business and the location of a Google user when performing a search. However, Google may not be clear that it is seeing the same thing as its users if there are no consistent citations. A citation refers to any place where your business information appears together online within directories, social media profiles and website. Google My Business (GMB) is by far the most important place for a citation to exist for a local business.

Your listing should include your address, contact information and hours of operation. When people conduct local searches, many of them are looking for this information. If potential customers cannot find it, they will look for another business. With this increased awareness of the benefits of local search comes a complicated system of search algorithms that has changed dramatically in recent years.

Both Google and the search engines are continually looking for ways to provide users with the most valuable and useful information in their environment; therefore, ranking well in local search results requires a strategic approach with a multitude of factors. Optimising these factors can help increase your local rankings, increase your chances of appearing in Google's Local Pack and help customers find you. Around 89% of people search for a local business on their smartphone at least once a week, and 58% search daily. The best way to become more relevant is through local keyword optimisation, which involves adding local keywords to your website, blog posts, GMB listing, social media profiles and other areas of your web presence.

We will create a local seo strategy that is tailored to your needs and goals and focus on delivering meaningful results. According to Moz's local SEO report, Google My Business signals, including proximity and keywords, are the main ranking factors. Local content includes blogs, news, articles, videos, graphics and event announcements related to a local area. This is a common goal for small businesses, so local SEO is often classified as a strategy of its own.

Rather than focusing solely on the overall value of a link building strategy, we look at ways to get a local brand to engage with the local community and also gain links, social media shares and get the brand in front of potential customers. Increase your local SEO visibility with easy directory distribution, review management, listing updates and more. If you want to compete locally in search rankings, focus on creating some content about your city or local area on your website pages. When planning your local SEO strategy, always keep in mind that different factors will require very different time investments, so it's not as simple as reading these results and saying: "OK, I'm going to spend X amount of time on X".

In the table above, you can see what Whitespark's expert survey respondents said were the most important ranking factors for the local package and localised organic results. Local SEO takes time, knowledge and ongoing effort to get right; it should never be a case of 'set it and forget it'. Once you have optimised your website for local SEO, you should be in a better position to improve your rankings and increase local organic traffic. Links play an important role in boosting your website's ranking in organic search results, making them another ranking factor in local SEO.

Since Google considers many of these citation sites to be quality, trusted websites, they provide useful link sources for local businesses, either to get started or to put them on equal footing with their local competitors. By adding the appropriate Schema markup for local businesses to your website, you are telling Google that you are a local business and not a big brand.

Claudette Lorenzo
Claudette Lorenzo

General social media junkie. Devoted pop culture scholar. Wannabe bacon enthusiast. Subtly charming tea fanatic. Freelance foodaholic. Lifelong twitter enthusiast.