10 Local Ranking Factors for Small Businesses
If you are a small business that operates on a local level, relying on foot traffic, and people driving to your store is critical for your sales. Local SEO will help your business to appear on the 1st page of Google Search results and connect with potential customers on their relevant search queries in your area. At MarketKeep, the digital marketing agency for small businesses, we have identified 10 Local Ranking Factors for Small Businesses that will help you to improve your search presence online in your area, and your chances of connecting with your target audience through search engine optimization.
Local Ranking Factors for Small Businesses: What Are Ranking Factors?
Ranking factors are elements that Google uses to determine the position of your website in search results. Google has many ranking factors, most of which are derived from your URL and website, but they can also extend to your online presence as well. A popular ranking factor that many small businesses are aware of is your website’s load-time. A fast-loading website page is likely to rank higher and ahead of those websites with a slow-loading website.
The 10 Local Ranking Factors for Small Businesses
Again there are many factors that go into a website’s local SEO strategy but there are 3 in particular that Google pays the most attention to:
Relevance: is your business relevant to the person searching online? Does your website’s content match with what the user is looking for?
Distance: How far away is your business located from the person searching online? The closer you are to the person searching and the more relevant your content is the higher the likelihood that you will appear in search results.
Prominence: How popular is your business? Are you well-known within your area? The more that people actively engage with your business online, the more likely you are to rank well.
Being relevant means that your company offers the services, products, or answers that the person searching is looking for. While this may seem pretty obvious, sometimes people do not go into enough detail on their website. So when drafting content for your site, make sure that you are doing the following:
- Explaining your business fully
- Explaining what products and services you offer
- Using the keywords and search phrases your target audience uses
Google My Business
Out of the 10 local ranking factors for small businesses, none may be more important than your Google My Business Account. Without a proper Google my Business page, your local SEO campaign will not be successful. Make sure that after you have claimed and verified your listing that you start generating customer reviews, posting photos of your business, and keeping people up to date with your business through Google Posts.
Local Business Structured Data
If you are a local business and serve mostly local customers it is important that you add your address to your website. To help Google and other search engines understand your business, adding your address is a creates Local Business schema which is very important when it comes to search results!
Verify Your NAP
Regardless of if you are a single location or multi-location business, make sure to stay consistent with your NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number). By having a consistent NAP on your website it helps Google and other search engines make the right connection to your business.
Facebook Listings and Reviews
After you have verified and claimed your Google My Business profile, you will want to make sure that you spend some time on your Facebook listing as well. Add your company to a page on Facebook, make sure that you generate reviews for your business online, and add information about your product and services.
Get Local With Your Pages
An obvious but effective approach to ranking well locally is just adding a city and state to your website pages as well.
Submit Your Website to Local Listings
In addition to your Google My Business listing and social media listings, there are many other listings that you can submit your website too. Take some time to find the most important local directory listings and website pages and submit your company information to them. Citations work in confirming the address of your business and helps to boost your overall search visibility as well.
Generate Links From Other Local Businesses
In addition to generating local citations online, try and connect with other local businesses as well. Try to find ways to get your website on other local listings and local businesses for maximum local SEO exposure.
Get Mentions from other Social Media Accounts
The more that people talk about your business on social media, the more search engines like Google will notice. If a lot of people are talking about your business on social media, it means you must be relevant.
Use Local SEO Keywords
Google will not rank your website for a keyword if it is not on your website. So make sure that when you are drafting your content, try to incorporate local SEO keywords into your site.