Top Local Search Ranking Factors

What is Local SEO?

Local Search Engine Optimization is the art of improving your website’s ranking for a specific area like your city or region.

If you have a local business, regardless of type, you want your web pages to rank for the search queries that people in your area may type in to find your business, product or service.

Examples of local search queries

1. Local Business - “State Farm Insurance Colorado Springs“

2. Local Restaurant–“Best Pizza Detroit”

4. Local Auto Repair Shop–“Cheap mechanic Denver”

5. Local Hair Salon–“Hair stylist Aurora” etc.

Using the city in your search query will give you specific geo-located results. This is good to do, especially if you live in a large metropolitan area that may have different suburbs with their own “name.”

Best Pizza from physical location

Do you have to use the city in a local search query?

No! Most search engines are smart enough that they will list the results that are closest to where you are at the time you make the search.

The caveat to that is that if you are searching for the best pizza place close to your house and you are across town, the search results will probably show what is closest to your physical location.

So if you want the best pizza closest to home you will have to use a modifier like suburb name or zip code.

How does Google or any other search engine determine what cities I am looking at?

Google uses several factors when determining where users live including IP address, browser language settings, time zone, GPS coordinates, mobile phone carrier information, Wi-Fi access points, cell tower triangulation, Wi-Fi hotspots, and other data from various sources.

That is one reason that having a Google My Business page is extremely important. A Google My Business Page allows businesses to create a free profile which includes basic contact details such as name, email, telephone number, hours of operation, directions, photos, reviews, ratings, location, special offers, coupons, deals, events, news, blog posts, videos, social media links, and much more!

It also gives them control over how they appear online, allowing them to manage all aspects of their presence across Google’s platforms.

What Gives Me The Biggest Impact For Local Search Ranking Factors?

If you want to maximize your success in local search engine rankings, you will need to understand what Google and other search engines deem as important ranking factors.

In order to serve the most relevant results for any search entered, Google is placing more emphasis on factors such as location and engagement to determine a website’s relevance. Here are some of the top local search ranking factors:

Location as a Ranking Factor

Location plays a huge role in whether someone finds your site through organic searches or paid ads. If you don’t provide accurate information about your business’ location, it can be difficult for customers to locate you.

When you optimize your listing with the correct business category and location, you’ll include keywords related to your neighborhood and city. This helps ensure searchers find you quickly based on their specific needs and proximity.

Google reviews

Google Online Reviews & Ratings

Positive Google review signals and ratings play a big part in helping consumers decide which products or services to buy. When potential buyers see positive feedback from previous clients, they tend to trust these opinions even more than others.

This means that if you want to rank highly for certain terms, you must offer high-quality content with lots of customer testimonials and positive reviews. These types of pages help increase your credibility among shoppers by showing that you’ve been around long enough to gain valuable experience.

As a side note you should always do your best to reply to any Google review you receive.

Social Media Links

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. have become increasingly popular ways to connect with current and prospective customers. In fact, according to HubSpot research, almost half of business-to-business marketers use social media as a marketing strategy to promote their brand.

Social signals have proven themselves to be effective when used properly. For instance, studies show that companies using social media saw higher sales conversion rates compared to traditional methods.

Quality Content

Quality content is another key factor that determines whether users click on your link. It doesn’t matter how good your product is if no one knows about it. That’s why creating unique, informative, engaging articles is crucial. Plus, having an active blog with exceptional blog posts allows you to share new ideas and insights regularly.

You should always strive to create original content that adds value to readers. You may also consider hiring writers who specialize in SEO writing so that you get quality content that your visitors and the search engines will like.

Website speed test results

Website Speed

Google wants websites to load fast. They are placing more emphasis on speed and performance to determine a website‘s relevancy. The faster a page loads, the better chance it has of being ranked well.

If your webpages take too much time to load, then they won’t appear in SERPs. To make sure your site performs optimally, check it’s loading times regularly. Use tools like GTMetrix or PageSpeedInsights to measure your site’s overall performance.

To make sure your site loads faster, focus on optimizing images, videos, JavaScript files, CSS style sheets, and any other resources that slow down loading times. Both of the above tests will tell you exactly where the slowdown is occurring so you can address the issue.

Mobile Friendliness

According to Search Engine Land, Google considers mobile friendliness as a major SEO ranking signal. As of 2017, Google considers over 50 percent of its queries coming from smartphones and tablets.

In order to appear relevant to smartphone users, you must create a responsive design that automatically adjusts to fit different screen sizes. Make sure all links work correctly across devices and browsers.


Backlinks (or inbound links as they are also known) are hyperlinked text or image references pointing back to your own Web pages. They’re often found within the body copy of blogs and news stories but can also come from third-party sources including forum posts, press releases, and paid advertising campaigns.

Gaining quality inbound links take time and effort, but it pays off handsomely because it improves your domain authority score — essentially, this tells Google how trustworthy you are. A higher DA score indicates greater relevancy and authority.

On-page SEO

Your site needs to be optimized so it can compete against sites that already exist within the same niche. Optimizing content, meta tags, title tag, URL structure, internal linking, images, alt text, headings, H1/h2 tags, keyword density, speed, and crawl ability should be a main focus.

Off-Page SEO

Off-site optimization refers to activities outside of your website that help improve its visibility in organic searches. These include building backlinks, creating new accounts on social networks, submitting articles to article directories or blogs, writing press releases, getting listed on industry blogs, commenting on forums, guest posting, and participating in link exchanges. Some of these have little effect today, so it is crucial to spend time on the options that provide the most value for your time and money.

Google My Business

Google My Business is a tool that enables you to manage and optimize your Business Profile on Google. To explain what Google My Business is and how it works, let’s first make sure we’re clear on what a Business Profile is.

Your GMB Business Profile is a place where you can update the important information concerning your business such as address, telephone, website URL, hours of operation, and more so that customers are able to find and connect with your business. 

Business profiles are created by businesses or organizations who want their information listed on Google. They can be found under “Local Listings” when searching for an address using Google Maps. You will also see them if you search for a specific business name.

The benefits of having a Business profile include being able to add photos, videos, reviews, ratings, hours of operation, location details, contact info, etc. It’s an SEO strategy that is all about making yourself more visible online so potential customers find you easily!

How to get started with my Business Profile?

To create a new Business Profile, you will need to enter your company name, phone number, email, website URL, and any other relevant information.

Once this has been entered into your account, you have a couple of options:

1) Create a brand page, which allows you to upload images, set up categories, write descriptions, and schedule posts; OR.

2) Add pages to existing brands. This option lets you edit the content of individual pages within your brand.

Once your business profile is created, there are many other things you can do within your GMB profile, as we noted above.

As a business owner you can hire an SEO expert to create and optimize your GMB if you don’t want to do it yourself. This may be a good option as they understand the search industry, and how to use Google My Business signals to create a positive impact in your search efforts.

If you want to give this a go yourself here are a couple of tips to set you on your way.

  • Make sure to use relevant keywords throughout your description–including those related to your products & services. If possible, try adding links to your own websites.
  • Use descriptive titles and brief paragraphs so that it is easy to understand and digest the information. 
  • Include high quality pictures. Photos really sell a product or service.

Online Citations

A citation is an online reference to a business listing that contains the name, address and phone number. It’s commonly known as NAP (name, address, phone number). Basically, it is a business profile. The most important thing to remember when citation building is that every citation that you or someone else creates for you should be the same exact information across all sites.

Part of the local SEO process when building citations is to submit the NAP to various directories and sites. While we mentioned name, address and phone number, online citations can include a mixture of other information as well, such as

Company name
Phone number
Opening hours
Products or services
Social media links

In Summary

As you can see, there are several individual factors to consider if you want to rank well within local search engine pages and many additional options that can help you succeed.

The first step in your local search marketing journey is to identify those individual factors and elements that influence the rankings of your website. Competition is increasing every day and local SEO is critical for both brick and mortar and service-based businesses. It is not something you should put off until later.

Hopefully, the information provided above gave you some useful insights into creating a successful Local SEO campaign. If you prefer to have someone experienced do all the legwork then call us or contact us via this contact form and we will put aside some time to get together and discuss your options.

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Colorado Springs, CO 80911

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