Local Search Ranking Factors

Main Elements Shaping Local Ranking

Traditionally, discovering business and services was a daunting task with unsavory ramifications for prospective customers and profitable business. However, the advent of the internet and search engines have completely eliminated previous challenges, making it super easy for individuals to find services and products no matter how obscure or far flung they may be. More than ever before, people utilize the internet search engine to discover local businesses. Typically, when people look for local businesses on search engines like Google, they are largely unlikely to move away from the foremost page on Google. This means that there is an overwhelming chance that they would make a purchase decision based on the results listed on the first page of Google.

Given the aforesaid, it becomes evident to any sensible business person that being on the first page of Google is absolutely imperative to reach out to potential customers. However, with just ten listings available on the first page of Google search, you immediately realize that it is ridiculously rare and most likely competitive. With more people depending on mobile phones to surf the internet, you may want to consider being on the top three listings when your kind of business is searched by a potential customer on Google. With all of this in mind, you realize that Google search listings and local SEO are crucial to the growth and profitability of your business.

Awareness of the staggering benefits offered by the Google search listing has engendered lot investigations with many experts and businesses trying to crack the system behind Google’s ranking in hopes of pushing their businesses to the forefront. Needless to say, being listed on the first page of Google listing means high exposure and huge influx.

Understanding the local search ranking survey

As far as SEO is concerned, the Local Search Ranking Factor Survey has an incontestable reputation as the highest survey with far-reaching relevance and applicability. The survey is implemented yearly and is targeted at identifying and measuring the elements that are largely responsible for shaping how Google sets its local rankings. To find out, about forty prominent Local SEO professionals would be required to rank more than one hundred and thirty diverse elements based on how these elements shape the local ranking search of Google. The various outcomes would be collated to form Google Local Search Ranking Factors.  It is worth mentioning that survey utilizes a great deal of personal information. However, the professionals producing this information implement SEO campaigns consistently.

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Local SEO Factors

While finding out the major elements and consideration that shapes Google’s search results could appear somewhat convoluted and incomprehensible, the results of this survey provides a clear hint on the various elements that shapes Google’s ranking. A clear in sight into these elements would effectively empower you to tactically increase the local ranking of your business. You would be empowered to make informed SEO decisions with a clearly defined line of action that yields desirable outcomes. The main elements shaping your local search ranking are explained below:

  • Nearness:

    Just two years back, nearness was ranked as the fourth element that shapes Google’s local ranking. However, Nearness has advanced, becoming the foremost element shaping Google local search results. What this indicates is that the local business environment has evolved into being highly competitive. More than ever before, Nearness of your business to potential customers is of the essence.  Expectedly, many businesses were affected by sudden rise of Nearness as an element shaping local ranks. Investigations uncover that advertising was largely responsible for making nearness the foremost element that shapes Google’s local ranking.

While nearness has become a major element that shapes Google local ranking, executing a formidable local SEO plan would certainly give you a great ranking and would propel potential customers towards your business.

Upsurges and Declines in Local SEO Factors

Prior to 2017, the survey was last held in 2015 and has shown significant transformations in local SEO elements.

Upsurges in Local SEO Factors: 

Local SEO Factors That Changed

Review signals experienced a major upsurge from 2015 and have become very relevant to Local SEO ranking. What this reveals is that potential clients and customers are increasingly propelled by reviews when making a buying choice.

The relevance of reviews has expanded significantly, as Google and various clients utilize reviews as a measure to ascertain the value, reliability and acceptance of a business. An overwhelming majority of people would have confidence in reviews just like they would when it is a friend or mate endorses it. Google is acutely aware of the fact that clients would investigate reviews and appraisals immediately they find a list of local businesses. This realization has propelled review signals into becoming of prominent relevance as far as local search is concerned.

Declines in Local SEO Factors:

Declines in Local Search Signals

While there was a major decline in the relevance of citation signals, it still remains very vital to the SEO of businesses. Citations simply refer to various places online where your business contact and name is displayed. When citations are integrated with GMB mentions you would find that they jointly contribute significantly to Google ranking.

When addressing the decline of citations, it is imperative to point out that the decline did not emerge from how it shapes Google rankings but the decline emerged from the way potential clients view the relevance of citations. Nonetheless, when your citations are strewn throughout the net, it would still have an impact on SEO. While this remains the case Citations do not offer competitive advantage.

When it comes to citations, there is growing awareness on the relevance of quality as oppose to the pervasiveness of citations. What this implies is that it is not enough for you to have citations everywhere on the net. What matters is that the source of the citation and the placement of your business in that citation.

 Foundational Elements and Competitive Elements of Local SEO compared

There was a major breakthrough in the investigations of SEO in 2017 as the survey was able to create distinctions between foundational and competitive elements.

Just as the name implies, foundational elements are the basic elements for proper SEO ranking and they must be executed effectively if you want your business to have a rank at all. Foundational elements cannot be leveraged to gain the upper hand over another business. The only thing it does is to position your business adequately. Major foundational elements are contained in the following:

Foundational Factors

Competitive elements on the other hand are what create a distinction between your business and rivals.  Competitive elements are what makes you rank higher than others. There are a variety of competitive elements and a synergistic integration of all of these elements would certainly give better placement that rival businesses.

Competitive Difference Makers

Undoubtedly, your rank on local search is fundamentally central to the growth and profitability of your business. When you rank well on the local search page, you receive a heightened level of exposure and traffic which would commensurately lead to more conversions and higher sales. In addition to the aforementioned benefits, great ranking engenders credibility for a business while making its operations and services to appear superior to rivals. Implementation foundational elements as well as competitive elements would reposition your business for tremendous success as your business would be effectively positioned for unprecedented success.

Would you like us to do a web audit or show you how your business appears online?  Maybe a consultation on the above information?  Contact us at 855-943-8736 or email us at marketing@businesscreatorplus.com.

Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A.
BusinessCreator, Inc.


Local Search Ranking Factors
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Local Search Ranking Factors
Being listed on the first page of Google listing means high exposure and huge sales growth. How do you reach that first page? Here are some insights.
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BusinessCreator, Inc.
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