The latest version of David Mihm’s local search ranking factors was released last month and is once again, a fantastic resource for local businesses. The results come from a survey by Mihm of the top local search marketers from around the world to get their view on what the most important ranking factors for the local search results.
Ranking in Google for local searches is becoming more complex and challenging as the competition increases. Identifying what the ranking variables are allows you to create a Places page which is more likely to perform well for local searches.
The local search rankings take into consideration factors from the following areas:
b) Website (SEO factors)
c) Off site/off Places page
It is important for all local businesses to make sure they address these three areas as they are all interrelated.
The top 10 local ranking factors in order are:
- Physical Address in City of Search
- Manually Owner-verified Place Page
- Proper Category Associations
- Volume of Traditional Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
- Crawlable Address Matching Place Page Address
- PageRank / Authority of Website Homepage / Highest Ranked Page
- Quality of Inbound Links to Website
- Crawlable Phone Number Matching Place Page Phone Number
- Local Area Code on Place Page
- City, State in Places Landing Page Title
Obviously, the most important ranking factor is the physical business address being located within the particular location if it is to rank well for queries relating to that locale. However, one thing most local businesses may not have considered is making sure they have a consistent name, address, and phone number across the local search ecosystem. This consistency is vital in connecting all of your local citations.
Ranking well in the local search results requires a local business to focus on their Places page, their website and off site/off Places page factors (such as link building). Ignoring any of the factors mentioned above could cost you customers and hurt your business in the long run.