A Look at the top Ranking Factors for Google’s Local SEO

Local SEO Ranking FactorsGoogle says that about two-thirds of smartphone users buy products and services from companies who customize information for them based on their location. This means you’ll need to go beyond creating a great website if you want to get in on this action. To rank well in Google My Business (GMB) today you’ll need to focus on relevance, distance, and prominence.

Relevance

This is a staple for SEO so make sure that your GMB profile is as relevant as possible to what searchers are looking for. To do this you should:

  • Choose an accurate category (e.g. instead of “attorney” choose what you specialize in).
  • Add your practice area and create a 1,000-word business description for your business profile. Make sure to use all the space and include relevant keyword phrases.
  • Complete your business information with an accurate name, address and phone number (a.k.a. your NAP). Make sure this information is consistent across the internet.
  • Make sure your profile is filled out as completely as possible with relevant information about your business.

Distance

Google favors businesses that are closer to where your searcher is located when determining SEO for its SERPs. In fact, this is one of the most influential factors for GMB results rankings. While you can’t do much about this, you can increase the likelihood of relevance by creating location-based pages on your site and linking them to your online profiles – including your GMB profile. Some other things you should do to make your location page more effective include:

  • Choose a high-volume keyword phrase that has location intent (e.g. “type of business” + “city name” = “personal injury lawyer Philadelphia”).
  • Create a page on your site that targets the same phrase you use in your online profiles. This page’s permalink should include the phrase too (e.g. example.com/city-name/target-keyword-phrase/)
  • Make sure you also include this phrase in your page title, headings, page copy, meta description and image file names to further help with your SEO. These are also important places to include your name, address and phone number when possible.

Prominence

This is an area where you can really get ahead of your competition when it comes to local SEO. Creating a prominent GMB profile embraces a broad SEO strategy that should include:

  • Adding as many images as possible to your GMB profile: Make sure you at least have more images than your competition.
  • Having as many reviews on your GMB profile as you can: Make sure to get reviews on other top sites too (e.g. Facebook, Yelp). Never openly solicit such reviews though since this violates many sites’ TOS.
  • Improve your physical presence by adding more permanent signage: Since Google tries to mimic the weight of businesses in the offline world you’ll want to make sure it looks prominent there.
  • Create citations (mentions of your firm name on other sites) and inbound links to your website: By enhancing your web presence in this way you’ll achieve better local rankings.

When you open a new location for your business there are a few additional tips you’ll want to keep in mind. These include:

  • Make sure that you staff the location during business hours. In other words, don’t simply rent an empty office so you’ll have an additional address.
  • Hire a real staff. Don’t create a virtual office or use a co-working space. Your office needs to stand apart from everyone else. Sharing an office with another professional or business causes filtering issues.
  • Always have permanent signage that’s visible from the street.

These are only a few of the SEO tactics you need to put to work for your website. The many different parts of this strategy each play an important place when you want to rank well for location-based search. Since you’re already busy maintaining your business, you should leave all these things up to Local SEO Tampa to handle for you.

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