Local ranking factors in 2018
We looked for the factors that are common in the businesses that are ranking in Google’s local pack. We looked in to over 100000 local businesses to find answers to questions like
- How far has Google shifted away from traditional local signals?
- How far do reviews work?
- Is GMB spam still working?
We have been able to come up with a huge number of SEO local ranking factors this year by looking in to an increasing number of SERPs with data from 100 to 150 cities. With API data from Majestic, AHREFs and Moz, we can certainly help you find the best link tool for your business, be it big or small. However, one of the most important conclusions that we have reached to happens to be the fact that organic search algorithms and local search algorithms are still interconnected to a massive extent.
The variables connected with pack execution (and could be measured by a number) is certainly to a limited extent. In fact, a very small number of components correspond over an informational collection of several hundred.
Google My Business (GMB)
Reviews undoubtedly have a massive importance in Google ranking. It’s certainly hard to spam. The hot and happening businesses are most likely to elevate to a large extent in terms of reviews even before they put in to use the traditional ranking factors. So, it’s certainly something that is easier for them to trust on. The mention of your city and the keyword you are trying to rank for are correlated and this will certainly help your business rank higher in Google My Business results. Another important factor that seems to matter a lot with Google My Business is engagement. Photos and reviews are certainly the best contents to keep the traffic engaged with.
One of the most striking conclusions that we have reached to is the fact that most of the businesses that rank in packs have a low trust on themselves and in fact, the links they have are from other low trust websites as well. Of course, there’s no denying the fact that there are exceptions to it. Another interesting conclusion we have reached to is the fact that winners in local packs are most often found to have invested in SEO services at some point which is why they have brilliant keywords infused in the anchor text. Google, on the other hand seems to be rewarding some level of optimization with anchor texts for both keyword and city.
Off Site Local Signals
The ranking usually has a very less correlation with Off Site Local Signals and the reason we say this is because they aren’t able to differentiate you even with 10 local search results. However, in some cases, they may produce some competitive value through reviews and the links on the citations sites.
Even though, there’s no denying the fact that some businesses do rank without a website but having a website can bring in a huge difference in terms of ranking organically and link building which are of course important factors for even a local pack to perform brilliantly. Ranking higher in local organic search will certainly help you rank higher in packs.
What we noticed is that businesses that performed really well in packs have actually used in addition some of the important SEO techniques like Meta tags optimization, get their websites mobile friendly, etc. What it did was helping them rank better in local organic search and of course, engagement signals continue to be directly proportional to ranking positive in packs.
How do we prioritize on Local SEO?
What we noticed is that businesses that performed really well in packs have The study presented above is quite an eye opener and a good starting point as well. Here is what you need to remind yourself almost every time.
- Emphasize more on your owned assets like websites to achieve better organic ranking which in turn will help you with positive local pack performance.
- If you are still not working on how to infuse keywords and cities in the reviews, you are missing out on a great deal of optimization.
- It’s absolutely no point wasting your time and money on a traditional factor as Off Site Local Signals as they continue to decline and are mere table stakes.