While we don’t know all the specific signals that go into Google’s ranking algorithms, we do know what’s working in real life to help websites show up for more local searches. Here’s a quick overview of some of the top local SEO ranking factors and how you can make the most of them to improve your website’s organic search performance.
1. Content & Metadata
Take it from Google: the content on your site is a top ranking factor for ranking in organic search. Great website content includes your top business keywords naturally placed in your site’s content, optimized page titles and descriptions (e.g., metadata), and search-friendly image content. While Google recently confirmed that links and RankBrain are the other two top ranking signals for SEO, both of those are improved when you have robust, relevant content on your site that people want to engage with and link to.
2. User Experience
What does a website’s user experience have to do with its SEO rank? A lot, actually. From how mobile-friendly your website is to how easy it is for a user to navigate and find information, your website’s structure is considered in your search rank. Google wants to provide the most useful results possible to a searcher, no matter how they choose to search, and that involves more than just whether your content matches a search query.
3. NAP & Consistency with Offsite Citations
One of the biggest factors Google considers for local searches is whether the name, address, and phone information, or NAP, on your website is consistent with local citations (or listings and sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Citysearch, and more). That’s because when all of this information matches, Google will recognize that information as trustworthy and authoritative, giving your site (and your local listings) a boost in the search results for searches with local intent.