The latest results from David Mihm’s annual local ranking factors survey have just been released. The results from the survey illustrate the most important ranking factors when it comes to local SEO and ranking well in your local area.
Here is Mihm’s take on the results where he identifies that many of the fundamentals of local SEO have not changed over the past few years.
It’s still important to:
- Have an address in the city that’s being searched
- Associate your business with complete and proper categories.
- Have an address close to the Centroid
- Ensure your data is accurate and complete across the Local Ecosystem–especially on authoritative citation sources
- Work on getting your customers to review you at the new Google +Local
For those businesses who want to improve their rankings in their local area, the following are the top 10 ranking factors that need to be taken into consideration.
Top 10 Local Search Ranking Factors for 2012:
- Physical Address in City of Search (Google Places page)
- Proper Category Associations (Google Places page)
- Proximity of Address to Centroid (Google Places page)
- Domain Authority (Your website)
- Quantity of Structured Citations – IYPs, Data Aggregators (off-site)
- City, State in Places Landing Page Title (your website)
- Quantity of Native Google Places Reviews (reviews)
- Quality/Authority of Structured Citations (off-site)
- Local Area Code (Google Places page)
- HTML name, address, phone (NAP) Matching Place Page NAP (your website)
Much of these ranking factors are the similar to previous years with a greater emphasis being placed on Google being able to associate your Google+ page with your website.
So what does this mean for your business? If you haven’t already, make sure you head over to Google Plus and set up your business profile on there. Then you should focus on building out your Google Plus page and actively try to get customers to leave reviews on your page.
It is extremely important that you address all these ranking factors when updating your website and your Google+ page. It can be the difference between ranking 1st – or not ranking at all!