25 Local Search Ranking Signals You Need to Know!
Increase your chances of a wider reach by learning these 25 local ranking signals that can help you optimize your content. Ranking higher on the search results can be challenging due to the ever increasing competitor websites– but we’ve got you covered. With this guide, you’ll understand ways to incorporate your Local SEO to get more traffic.
SEO Ranking Guide to attract more visitors to your website
#1 GOOGLE MY BUSINESS PROFILE
Setting up a Google Business Profile is not just easy, but its free as well. No, we are not sponsored by Google to promote the great features that they offer on their Business Profile. But, nonetheless, having a Google Business Profile is essential for businesses big and small as it can help improve your Local SEO.
As a leading SEO Company in UAE, we always make sure to set up a Google Business Profile for all our Clients that links directly with their websites. This method has worked well for us and our clients have entertained a lot more traffic on their website through this.
#2 CATEGORIZE YOUR GOOGLE BUSINESS PROFILE
Categories help your audience easily understand what industry your business falls under and it narrows down your visitors to highly specific audiences looking for your products or services.
Always be sure to choose a primary category while setting up your profile. For example, if you’re a restaurant providing authentic middle eastern meals, make sure to add your category as ‘Middle Eastern Cuisine Restaurant’ instead of just ‘Restaurant’.
#3 AUTHORIZE THE ADDRESS PROVIDED
Earlier it was easier to add your business location to your Google Business profile. However, now this procedure requires a verification through post.
It is recommended to get this done as soon as you create your profile as the post can take 25-30 days to reach you and for your verification to succeed.
Adding a location to your profile can help people in your area easily search for your business, thus promoting with Local SEO.
#4 PHOTOS ON GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
You can add photos and videos to your Google Business Page that can give your customers a better insight into your product and services. Adding captions with hashtags and keywords is all the more effective when updating content on your Google Business Profile.
Photos can add interest and credibility to your listing and also serve as a local ranking signal.
#5 ADD YOUR BUSINESS TO ONLINE DIRECTORIES
Adding your business to popular online directories can help with a better Local SEO ranking.
Some great online directories include:
- Apple Maps
#6 LIST YOUR BUSINESS ON POPULAR REVIEW SITESIt appears that reviews on Google carry the most weight, but listings on these other sites are still very valuable. Listing your business on popular review sites can help with the credibility and customer satisfaction, as well as your local SEO ranking. Popular Review Sites in UAE are:
- Angie’s List
#7 POSITIVE REVIEW COUNT
The more positive reviews that you get, the more trustworthy your brand will be amongst new potential customers. According to Google, high-quality reviews help the customer by improving your business’s visibility and increasing the likelihood that a customer will visit your location.
Reviews can help increase your brand visibility and bring in more customers to your website. Although it is also very important to make sure that all your reviews are organic and not paid.
#8 REVIEWS WITH KEYWORDS AND LOCATION
Reviews with keywords and locations are all the more better when it comes to bringing in traffic to your website through Local SEO.
When reviewers use the city or particular keywords, it sends signals to Google that you are a trustworthy local business. If you have a lot of different products, it’s recommended that you request your customers to review one product/service at a time to enhance the results.
#9 MAKE SURE TO RESPOND TO REVIEWS
You must pay attention to all your reviews and respond to each one of them, be it a positive or negative review. Owner responses prove to Google that the page is actively managed and that you are constantly engaging with your customers.
Google has in particular indicated that your replies are very important as they help build trust.
#10 DON’T IGNORE YOUR NEGATIVE REVIEWS
Google keeps an eye out on businesses that don’t respond to their customer’s negative comments. It’s always nice to send out a polite reply, or a solution to your customers problems not just to build goodwill, but also because the more actively you engage with your audience by responding to their reviews, the more likely your page is to rank higher.
#11 CREATE A FACEBOOK BUSINESS PAGE
Thousands of businesses use Facebook to make purchasing decisions, so creating a Facebook Business Profile for yourself will be easily searchable. Make sure you link your website to you Facebook Business Page, add your location, business hours and a good description.
Facebook also allows you to create a catalog for your products which can be linked directly to your website and can prove to have more chances of Local SEO Visibility and generate more sales for your business.
#12 SOCIAL LISTINGS
It is important to claim your business on popular social media networks, even if you choose not to be very active on all of them. The more your business appears on these sites, more likely is its ranking to increase on search engines.
#13 MOBILE RESPONSIVENESS
Google always evaluates your Mobile Site before it does your Desktop. Incorporating back-end tools to make your website more mobile friendly is key to achieving a better search engine ranking, thus proving Mobile Responsiveness aligns perfectly with Local SEO.
#14 KEEP YOUR INFORMATION CONSISTENT ON ALL FRONTS
Be it your social media accounts or your website, you must keep all your information such as business address, contact details, timings,etc., consistent on all fronts to allow Google Searches to provide accurate information and make things easier for your customers when they want to connect with you.
Keep in mind that attention to detail is very important here. For example, your business is named ‘Moner Daily Diner’ on Facebook and ‘Moner Diner’ on your website. The difference in names can create a sense of confusion for your customers as well as Google’s search engine.
#15 STRUCTURED DATA MARKUP
Structured Markup Data can be used in several ways for Local SEO, including:
- Multiple Departments
- Phone Numbers
These are highly recommended by Google and you can add them using a tool like Schema.
#16 CLICK THROUGH RATES FROM SEARCH RESULTS
Make sure your meta titles and descriptions are aligned and make sense to ensure better click-through rates. If you are succeeding at regular SEO in general, you are likely to do well with Local SEO as well.
Don’t just use random metatags, focus on how they can align with your brand and its products and services to get highly localized website visitors.
#17 LOCAL CONTENT
Putting out content that attracts the local community is another way to get more out of your business.
Consistent publishing is key here. Make sure the content you put out is highly localized, yet organic. You can write about local events, share efforts to raise funds for a local charity and informational topics that are beneficial to your local community. This will not just help with your local search engine rankings, but also help you build a bigger community.
#18 ON-PAGE LOCATION AND KEYWORD OPTIMIZATION
On page location and keyword optimization is very important and if followed correctly, it can help get more traffic to your site. Be sure to keep your keywords highly specific, for example, ‘Marketing Agency in Abu Dhabi’ is any day a better keyword than just ‘Marketing Agency’, especially if you’re trying to scale a local audience.
#19 INCLUDE KEYWORDS IN YOUR TITLE AND META DESCRIPTION
Including highly specific keywords in your title and meta description can help you with your on-page SEO. However, don’t overuse keywords so much that the content doesn’t make any sense to your viewer or starts to look too promotional.
#20 HIGH QUALITY IN-BOUND LINKS
Links from trusted sources are good for Local SEO. The topic of inbound links is important and a deep discussion on it is beyond the scope of this article. However we do recommend them highly if you’re looking for better search engine rankings and an extensive research and implementation of it should do the job!
#21 INBOUND LINKS FROM LOCAL SITES
Getting inbound links from local sites like local news, community blogs, etc. can make your website more trustworthy.
For some businesses a press release to local news stations could be of help. However if you have a tight budget, engaging in social media discussions on local social media sites or Local Facebook Pages can do the trick just as well for your business.
#22 DIVERSITY OF INBOUND LINKS
An investment portfolio is a good analogy if you want inbound links that are highly relevant, authoritative and can be accessed organically.
To accomplish this, your link strategy should be diversified.
You want as many links as possible from as many different websites as possible, but be sure to quality check all of these links for best results.
#23 INBOUND USING LOCAL + KEYWORD IN ANCHOR TEXT
An inbound link from a highly authoritative website using both your business’s city and neighborhood and your main keyword is like a ‘holy grail’ of all links.
This is definitely a hard goal, but not an impossible one at that if you are adamant about your search engine rankings.
#24 PROXIMITY TO THE SEARCHER
Your proximity to the searcher is what it is and is a factor that can’t be optimized.
However, it is a strong ranking signal, which is why claiming your Google Business Profile and having a consistent name, address and contact number across all your social media platforms is important.
#25 PREDICT YOUR WEBSITE’S RANKING
There are various software that can help you predict in advance the likelihood of your website’s search engine ranking before it goes live or while its under maintenance by simply providing it with the necessary information.
Knowing this information in advance can help you make necessary changes to your keywords, meta descriptions, content, etc.