If you are in charge of a larger business, then you are primarily concerned with overall SEO strategies. For smaller, local businesses, however, your local ranking can be much more important than the overall ranking. In order to take full advantage of this, you need to know some of the most important local SEO ranking factors that will affect where on Google or other search engines your website appears.
Category as an SEO Ranking Factor
The most important of the local SEO ranking factors is the category that your business fits in. When Google asks for the category of your business, you need to be completely accurate. For example, itwon’t list you as a result in a search for architecture companies if you don’t say you are an architecture company when defining your category. Later on, you will get a chance to add additional categories, but this first one is the most important. If you aren’t sure which category your business fits into, consider using a tool to help you decide.
Your Address for Local SEO Ranking
In order for your business to appear in local rankings, it obviously needs to be located locally. Google will check this using two factors: where you list your physical address and where you log into your information from. While most of the time this works, it can sometimes be a disadvantage for certain business owners, particularly those that work in a wide area including several cities or those located immediately outside a large city. You can sometimes counter this disadvantage to some extent by creating an additional (landing) page for the city in question.
Consistency as a Ranking Factor for SEO
Assuming that you are located within the city being searched, another of the local SEO ranking factors is whether all of the details of your business are consistently listed. This means that when your businessis listed on your website, directories, or other pages, it must have the same business name, address (including format), phone number, and website. Therefore, if you move your business, it is well worth it to take the time to clean up old citations and update them.
Number of Citations for Local SEO Rank
In addition to consistency between your company’s various citations, search engines will also consider how many there are and the type of pages they are on. To get yourself more structured citations, simply do a quick search for your business category and ask to be added to the directories you find. This should be a simple and quick way to find dozens of potential citations.
Google+ Pages Boost Local SEO Rank
If your primary concern is your local SEO rank on Google, then you need to take the time to create a Google+ page for your business. Not only is this a free way to provide your business information, but Google will also give you a higher ranking if you have one. To increase your rank even further, make sure that your Google+page has been verified by you as a user and has a matching NAP. It helps even more if you connect your Google+ website to your Google+ profile. Of course, this is one of the local SEO ranking factors that only really applies to searches on Google’s search engine and not on other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo!