Local search ranking factors have become increasingly crucial for businesses to consider in their digital marketing strategies. As we go deeper into 2023, it becomes more important than ever to understand the intricacies of the local SEO algorithm. But what exactly is Local SEO, and why is it important for local businesses?
In simple terms, a local SEO algorithm is a set of rules that search engines like Google use to determine the ranking of local businesses in search results. It involves various factors like location, keywords, reviews, and many more demographics to provide the user with the most relevant and useful results. Optimising your online presence for local search can improve your business visibility and attract more potential customers.
With this blog, we aim to provide you with a comprehensive guide to the most important local search ranking factors in 2023. This will help you stay ahead of the curve and improve your local search engine rankings.
The key to local business success
Imagine that you are looking for the best pizzeria near your current location, and you search the search engine with the same requirements. If there are two pizzerias with similar ratings and reviews on the internet, but are located a few metres away from each other, then the pizzeria closest to your location will appear to be on the top of your search results. Ever wondered how this is possible? The answer is ‘Proximity’.
Proximity refers to the physical distance between a user and a business location. It plays a crucial role in determining the relevance and authority of a business in local search results.
The Role of Distance in Local SEO:
When a user searches for a local business on the internet, the search engine uses the location data to provide them with the most relevant results based on proximity. This simply means businesses closer to the user will typically rank higher in search results than those farther away.
Optimising proximity for local rankings:
Creating a Google My Business listing is the first step towards optimising the proximity for local rankings. Ensure to provide the most accurate details of your business, including the address, contact information, business hours, etc. Google My Business lets you create posts, add pictures, and respond to customer queries and reviews, helping you increase visibility and engagement with potential customers.
Relevance refers to how well a business’s content matches a user’s search query and location, and it plays a crucial role in determining the visibility and authority of a business in local search results. Let us consider the same Pizzeria example in this case. If a user searches for ‘Best pizza delivery near me’, the search engine will now not only show the nearest pizzeria to their location but the one with the pizza delivery service will be shown at the top of the search results.
The role of relevancy in SEO strategy:
Search engines use algorithms that consider various factors to determine the relevance of a business to a user’s search query. This factor includes website content and the accuracy of the business information across various directories on the internet. By optimising these elements, you can be more relevant to the user’s search query and location and businesses can improve their chances of ranking higher.
Improving the relevance in local search results:
The easiest and most important way of improving the relevance in local search results is by optimising the content on the website with relevant keywords and location-based information. This can help search engines understand the relevance of your business to a specific location and improve your chances of appearing higher in local search results.
Generating real and high-quality reviews from customers can also impact the relevance of your local business and authority in local search results. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave good reviews on Google and other relevant platforms is highly important. But what’s equally important is to respond to all the reviews professionally, as this can heavily impact the rankings of your business on the search engines.
Prominence is the level of visibility and reputation of a business in its local area. The more prominent the business is, the more likely it is to appear in the search results. It is a measure of how well-known the business is in a local area. It is determined by the number of reviews and ratings on the search engines, the number of backlinks to the business’s website, and the social media presence.
Maximise your rankings with Prominence:
Prominence plays an important role in determining the ranking of your business on search engines. A search engine would only show those businesses on the search results that are relevant and trustworthy to the users’ search query.
Just like with relevance, online reviews play a crucial role in determining the prominence level of the business. A business with a higher number of positive reviews on Google and other search engines is considered reputable and trustworthy by the search engines, and it ranks them higher.
Another important factor determining the prominence level of the business is the social media presence. A good social media presence can help businesses improve their visibility online. Social media also allows businesses to engage and communicate with their customers. Having a strong social media presence can also improve the overall ranking of the business. It allows customers to leave feedback about the business and their experiences which can improve business’s reputation and, eventually, its prominence.
The evolution in the digital era has highlighted the importance of Local SEO for local businesses to attract new customers. One important way of doing this is by improving content quality. Content quality means the relevance, accuracy, and usefulness of the content on your business’s website. Your website should provide high-quality, valuable, and informative content to the users to rank better on the local search engines. Search engines like Google keep on updating their algorithms, and it becomes necessary for businesses to make sure that their content is relevant enough to solve the queries and needs of the users to get a better rank even during the updates. This will improve the visibility of your website on the search engines to get in more potential customers on board. This is how you can improve the quality of the content on your website:
- Conducting keyword research
- Creating more informative content
- Providing the latest and most accurate information
- Utilising the local keywords
- Creating location-specific pages
- Leveraging the schema markup
Linking strategy or Link Building strategy is an important aspect of SEO that can impact the rankings on the search engines while determining the relevance and authority of a website. This is done with the help of backlinks. Backlinks are the incoming links from other websites that point to your website. They play an important part in local SEO by telling the search engines that your website is relevant and authoritative in the local area. To simplify it, your website has a better chance of ranking higher in the local search results if it has more high-quality backlinks from the local websites. Here are some tips that can help you build high-quality Link building for local SEO.
- Leveraging local directories like Google My Business.
- Invite guest blogging.
- Getting more local partnerships
- Participate in local events
- Diversify the backlink sources
- Strategically plan your anchor texts
Local SEO is like a superpower for businesses trying to build a strong online presence within the local area. If used wisely, you can see your business rise to the top and eventually cement its position at the top. It’s time to implement local ranking strategies in your business to ensure that it keeps getting more organic and quality leads through an organic search. Connect with the Local SEO agency in Sydney to top the online business charts locally!