In 2021, “We can,t ignore the importance of Local SEO and Local Search Engine Optimization.” To validate this statement, when you’re on the go just think about what you are searching for on the internet. More likely, you will search about the result around you and the places around you, which means your search includes a local intent.
For example, you are searching about anything from shops, restaurants, dentists, offices to events and sports and many other places will fall into this category. Which will be equal to literally billions of searches every year.
As a company owner, this is a tremendous opportunity. What’s more, you’re most certainly already benefiting from Google’s apparent move toward local results and aren’t even aware of it. When “local intent” is activated, Google will alter the appearance of the standard search engine result page (or “SERP”), as we call it in the SEO business.
Local search is extremely beneficial to small businesses: Because 46 per cent of all Google searches are for local information, if your business isn’t optimised for local search, you might be missing out on prospective consumers who are eager to purchase in your region. In summary, if you want your firm to remain relevant, local SEO is essential.
By the conclusion of this book, you’ll have a strong grasp on how to optimise your business to attract potential customers that use local search to decide which items or services to purchase.
To acquire data for local searches, search engines rely on signals such as local content, social profile pages, links, and citations.
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Table Of Content
- 1 Local SEO Ranking Factors (Signals)
Local SEO Ranking Factors (Signals)
Local ranking signals are continuously changing, making staying on top of local search marketing considerably more challenging. When it comes to optimising their online presence for local search, Google has three key local SEO ranking elements that every local business should consider: proximity, prominence, and relevancy.
Whitespark gathered the responses from those local search specialists to figure out how much each signal influences a company’s position in the local pack/finder. The following is an overview of the findings:
- Google My Business Signals 33%
- Reviews Signals 16%
- On-Page Signals 15%
- Link Signals 15%
- Behavioural Signals 8%
- Citations Signals 7%
- Personalization Signals 6%
We at ItsGeekynerd read these reports in the same way you do, evaluating what’s working and what isn’t. In fact, we compared the 2018 report findings to the measures we did in 2019 and discovered that they were fairly comparable. You may read our opinions on the Local Ranking Factors for 2019 and get recommendations here. We didn’t generate a report for 2020 because it isn’t released every year.
Today, we’d like to explain the results of the 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors Study and provide context, which you can utilise in 2021 to help your local company clients rank higher in the local pack and on Google Maps.
The Highest Ranking Signal Is Google My Business
Take a look at the top signal, which is Google My Business, which has a score of 33%. This comes as no surprise to us, and we’re sure it won’t surprise you either. Google is continually adding new features in order to keep users on the search results page and in Google Maps for extended periods of time. They even take information from a company’s website to keep customers reliant on them. Remember when you could search with only one click? Although the Google My Business (GMB) listing leads to fewer visits to a company’s website, having a well-optimized website is still vital. We’ll talk about zero-clicks and the GMB listing, as well as why they’re important.
Reviews, On-Page & Links Are the Next Highest Signals
The next highest-ranking signals are Reviews, On-Page, and Links. Let’s take a closer look at why these figures are so high.
Reviews Signals 16%
Other studies show that reviews are what consumers trust, in addition to the experts who participated in Whitespark’s study. BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey from 2020 is worth a look. “Only 48% of customers would contemplate utilising a service with fewer than 4 ratings,” according to the survey.
On-Page Signals 15%
This relates specifically to the company’s website, with items such as the presence of the company’s NAP (name, address, and phone number) on the website, website optimization – items such as H1s, H2s, and EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) within the website’s pages and posts – and, of course, keyword optimization without keyword stuffing. We’ve spoken about EAT a lot recently, and we’ve got a case study, an infographic, and a tutorial on the subject. Visit our website if you haven’t already done so.
Link Signals 15%
It all comes down to the number, quality, and authority of the websites that link to your client’s website. While Whitespark removed social signals from the 2020 Local Ranking Factors Study because “we don’t think social signals directly impact your local rankings,” Advice Local would like to point out that this does not negate the importance of having links to your business’ website from social media sites.
Because search engines respect the authority of sites like Facebook, posting on them is a no-brainer. Plus, they generate traffic to your company’s website, which sends Google a slew of additional good signals for organic search ranking of a website’s pages and posts outside the local pack.
The lowest scores are for behavioural, citations, and personalization.
You only have one pie, and it may be sliced in a variety of ways, just like a pie. Someone will receive a worse score since it is difficult to divide search engines and consumer behaviour into equitable slices. There isn’t much opportunity for alternative signals with Google My Business accounting for 33% of the market. It’s as simple as that.
Behavioural Signals 8%
Consider the click-through rate, clicks to call, check-ins, and other metrics. Behavioural signals are the behaviours that a customer makes to communicate with a company. With privacy concerns and the usage of tracking-blocking cookies and browsers, it’s understandable that behavioural signals would suffer a drop from 11.5 per cent in 2018.
Citation Signals 7%
Citation signals are among the lowest signals, yet they are still quite important. Citations account for only 7% of the total, according to the report. “Wow, only 7%,” you might think. “Do I need to quit performing listing management for my clients?” No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no Consider the customer for a moment. The individual who purchases the company.
Consumers don’t trust a company if the information they have about them is inconsistent. Customers dislike being lost when looking for a business. If you discontinue providing listing maintenance to your customers, old business information will surely resurface on the internet.
People would really be directed to the wrong locations by mapping applications, and phone numbers would no longer be accurate. And, if the phone number is incorrect, how will the customer be able to contact the company, schedule an appointment, and so on?
Simply said, while citations have a weaker signal, they are nevertheless critical for ensuring that the businesses you represent are found by people looking for their goods and services.
Personalization Signals 6%
Personalization has the lowest proportion, which isn’t unexpected given that, while customers appreciate individualised experiences, they may be creepy at times. How can a firm genuinely deliver such an experience with less and less access to a customer’s search history? It’s not simple — the line between customization and violation of privacy is razor-thin, and the balance has yet to be struck.
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