As there continues to be regular improvement and advancement in the digital world, local businesses are also in a frantic search of ways and strategies to improve their chances of being found by local customers.
The rate at which businesses strive to outperform others in the game has created a kind of competition for customer attention. Hence the more reason why businesses have to improve their local SEO game.
But before we go any further, why is local search important for local businesses to grow? Here’s why:
- 46% of all searches involve location
- 86% of consumers search for local businesses using Google Maps.
- 72% of consumers looking for local businesses visit stores within five miles radius.
However, Google guards its algorithm well enough that it doesn’t make its ranking factors public. Besides, we’ve experienced several advanced personal search and discovery tools put in place to track unnatural, spammy, and bad business practices these past few years.
This makes it harder to detect the exact ranking factors that search engines use to place local businesses on the top of search engine result pages.
So, in this article, we’ve made a list of the possible local SEO ranking factors in 2022.
What is Local SEO?
Local SEO involves making your business visible to people who need products or services in a particular community. It involves making your business accessible and viable to local customers in your local community. Local ranking involves optimizing your business for local SEO to make it easier for customers to locate you.
Local SEO is more of a give-and-take local game. What this means is that the more directly important your products and services are to your local customers’ needs, the higher your chances of being ranked at the top of Google’s top local search results. If you have no idea what a local search result looks like, it goes like this: Google first displays a map, then it shows the top three businesses as the result for the user’s search, it’s called Google’s 3 pack. This means that the top-ranked results in any market may be similar, but the order in which you appear depends on the area where you are.
For instance, if you’re living in the San Francisco Bay Area and you’re in search of an electrician, Google’s Top-ranked search results will show a listing for a local plumber. However, if you reside somewhere else and you search for a local electrician, Google would show a list of local electricians in that area.
To stay on top of local search results, businesses have to incorporate some factors that affect local SEO ranking into their business: They include:
- Relevant keywords;
- High-quality site content;
- Optimizing your site for mobile;
- Optimizing for local rankings with voice search;
- Ensuring your site conforms to Google’s local guidelines;
- Providing quality products and services.
Without further ado, check out the top 7 local SEO ranking factors to be on the watch out for in 2022.
- Google Business Profile Signals
Google My Business is yet another tool that Google uses to rank local businesses. The Google My Business API makes it very easy for local businesses to manage their business location, upload all necessary information about their business and promote their online presence across their local community.
Hence, businesses that want to rank high in local SEO search results have to begin by letting their customers know about their location. You can also share other information about your business like opening and closing hours, the specific services you offer, etc.
All businesses have access to Google My Business, the only requirement being that you have an account with Google and your account can be configured to show your information both on Google maps and Google search. If you follow the right step, your GMB listing can help bring in more organic traffic and lead to your business.
- Authority of Inbound Links
The number of backlinks on your website also affects your Google local ranking. The more authority google thinks your website has the higher it ranks you in search engine result pages. That’s why it’s imperative that your website has as much authority as possible and that it’s well positioned too.
Having said that, you need to know now that the authority of inbound links should be treated with caution. It’s a fact that the higher the number of authoritative inbound links on your page, the higher your ranking. At the same time, there are two ways involved in acquiring links:
- Some inbound links are given to you for free by the authority sites because they want to increase their author, brand, or content.
- Some inbound links are bought from third-party link sellers. These are spammy activities with the sole aim of making profits.
The second way of getting links is a high risk for your business to rank high on local searches. The only recommendable and best way to acquire links is by genuinely getting them from authority websites. Google detest spam, spammy backlink, and low-quality content. Engaging in this could affect your site’s ranking on local search engine results.
- Domain Authority
As it has been established earlier, google ranking is no more based on crawlers’ ability to find a site’s pages and links, now local ranking is based on different factors. Speaking of the different ranking factors, your domain authority is one of them.
Domain authority talks about the relevance and importance of a website in a particular subject area. It’s a score that shows how high a specific domain ranks in Google SEO local results.
Simply put, the higher your domain’s authority, the higher your position on local SEO results.
- Customer Reviews and Ratings
Over the past few years, Google has included some changes that have concentrated on improving the customer experience when they’re searching for local businesses.
Are your customers happy that they’re working with your brand? If they rave about it, then that’s a bug benefit for your business. It’s been proven, especially in recent times, that ranking high in SEO local results is beyond having the best product or service.
Now, Google has introduced more sophisticated algorithms put in place to detect and fish out unnatural, spammy, and bad business practices. Hence the reason why you have to make your business more transparent, professional, and natural.
The only way to get this done is by providing quality products and services, keeping your customers happy, and working on your customer service.
- Quality Service Page Content
Another local SEO ranking factor that’s often underrated is the quality of service page content. Google has been using this factor to rank pages over the years. Because as you must have noticed, Google only ranks pages that have information this is trustworthy and authoritative.
Always make sure that your business’s website is optimized with the most important keywords. Be sure to make available the products and services you provide listed appropriately on your service page. Ensure that your contents are top-notch and original and that it reflects the quality.
Also, while putting quality content on your site, ensure to be consistent. Do not make the mistake of putting wrong or misleading information at any time.
- Mobile SEO
These days, there’s a huge reduction in the way that users access the internet through desktops and laptops. Now, users just put on their phones and surf the internet. Mobile devices are up for 63% of organic search engine visits. This is enough reason why you should optimize your website for mobile SEO as you’ll be accessible to more potential customers.
When you optimize your website for mobile SEO, you’ll be sure to reach out to more customers and be able to monetize the traffic.
- Page Speed
If you want your site to rank higher in search results, then the speed of your website is very important. Not only Google, but other search engines also rank your website according to its speed. The reason for this is that the speed facilitates users’ experience on your site. If your site is slow, Google will respond by ranking you lower.
If you want to remain at the top of your game, your site must increase its speed, especially with the way users access the Internet with their mobile phones. They’re always on the go and wouldn’t want to be delayed by a site’s slow speed. If you’re ready to outperform other local businesses, then work on your page speed.
On a final note;
These seven local SEO ranking factors are not all there is in the local SEO for 2022. But they seem to be the easiest and most feasible ranking factors that you can immediately incorporate into your business.
If you’re not sure where to begin, first of all, list your business and open a website with all the information about your business on it. Then write quality and top not content on the site and across social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. The aim is to build a bond and trust with your customers.