With the ongoing rise of smartphones among the American public, it’s no wonder local SEO has become increasingly important to both small businesses and larger regional companies. Whether you’re a new independent coffee shop in Utah or a well-established local retailer, local search rankings are essential for your business. But how does Google decide how highly your business ranks in local search?
Rather than link-building efforts, the main components of a high-ranking local search are consistent business citations, local reviews and Google My Business factors.
For local SEO, consistent NAP citations are a huge determinant of your local search ranking. This means the name of your business, your location in Utah, phone number and hours of operation need to be consistent and correct across platforms — from your company website to listings on Yelp, Zomato and Facebook. This information also needs to be included on your Google My Business page, in addition to an accurate description of your company and an array of high-quality photos.
Local reviews are the last main component of Google local search rankings. Ideally, you want a significant amount of positive Google reviews, Yelp reviews and more. For maximum results, include instructions on how to leave a review on your company website.
In addition to the above factors, Google determines your local business ranking based on how relevant, geographically close and prominent your business is. How well does your local listing match what consumers are searching for? If the consumer is searching from Salt Lake City, Utah, how close is your business to that potential consumer’s location? How well known is your business? Naturally, the better your business satisfies these factors, the higher you will rank in that particular consumer’s local search results.
While Google’s local search factors are changing all the time, the general purpose remains the same. People want to see results that are relevant to their wants and needs. If your business successfully satisfies local consumer needs, your SEO rankings will follow accordingly.