How Google ranks you in local searches.


The most important ranking factors in Local SEO (2/10)

In this second in the Local SEO course, we will talk about the signals that affect Google's local algorithm.

Nobody knows exactly what's in the Google algorithm except Google engineers, so how could you know how to optimise your business;

Every year, several companies and specialized tools publish their lists of important ranking factors, but you should never take anything you read or watch as gospel. Sure, it's likely that most of what you read or listen to will be useful, but some of it may not make much difference to you.

The peculiarities of local SEO

Local SEO can be incredibly complex - tactics that work for businesses in one industry won't necessarily work for businesses in another industry. The things you would do for a lawyer are completely different than what you would do for a plumber.

Also, tactics that work in one city or metro area will not necessarily work in another city or area. The things you would do to optimize a restaurant in a busy area of Greece are completely different from what you would do for a tavern in the middle of nowhere in a small village.

How great it would be if there were some courses to explain all this to you and suggest best practices. But, wait a minute... 🙂 🙂

Right. You're in the right place. It's important to implement as much as possible (if possible everything we're going to recommend). All of this comes from years of experience in Local SEO and the exclusive availability in Greece of an awesome tool that automates all of these processes. But it's still too early for that. First you need to arm yourself with knowledge. Rest assured that the tactics and strategies you learn here will result in greater visibility for your own business. 

Local search factor ranking survey

You should also pay attention to the annual Local Search Ranking Factors survey - basically, the Local SEO Bible. Each year, the top 35-40 global experts in Local SEO receive an in-depth survey on the various factors that influence local search results. After much experimentation, the experts know how to get a local business more visibility in local searches.

So see below what applies for 2023.

Google's most important ranking factors for local businesses in 2024

Top local SEO ranking parameters: google my business, local links, third party references, profile interaction etc.

Proximity (how far the search result is from the user) is an important factor in Google Maps results, and since this factor falls within the range of Google My Business, is the biggest piece of the pie with 32%.

The signals on your website affect 19% your ranking in local searches and are about optimizing your website content, keywords and NAP (Name - Address - Phone) information. Especially for NAP as we will explain, it is 100% necessary that the information is correct across the web. Something we encounter very often is the ignorance of businesses that they are listed in the FourSquare and therefore all the information there is incomplete. Try for yours too and tell us.

At 17% are the reviews in Google Maps are vital for local SEO, as they build trust, influence your search ranking and demonstrate your dedication and professionalism when it comes to customers. To manage them effectively, encourage reviews from satisfied customers, reply immediately to all comments, watch and report on the fake reviews, respond personally and individually to each customer (every customer is different so why say a dry "thank you very much" to everyone?) and use keywords in your answers. This active review management can boost your local SEO and improve your online reputation to the benefit of your business.

The links at 11% are vital for local SEO because they confirm the relevance of the local business to searches related to the service/product it offers. Focus on creating high-quality links from local directories, navigation apps and industry-specific websites.

And finally, personalisation as we mentioned is very important. You have to address your own audience with daily posts on Google to show why you are the best choice locally and to keep your profile alive. Google will have a hard time recommending a business that looks "inactive" and has no interaction with their platform and audience.

Local SEO ranking factors: course summary

In the following lessons, we will analyze each of these parameters and explain what they include and how you can optimize them.

So that was the second lesson on Local SEO. We hope you learned something useful for your own business and we look forward to the next lesson where we will analyze the importance of links on other websites where your business is mentioned.

For any questions you can contact us.

If you need help understanding how we could help your local business too, we are at your disposal. With no obligation, we can do a free consultation session and a free audit of your business and show you what you need to improve.

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