By Ryan Boog
One of SEO's greatest challenges is the local ranking, but in an era of location-specific search results, it's a challenge worth undertaking.
In this post, I’ll cover one of SEO’s biggest challenges: ranking in the search engines for your local listings. We’ll go over how Google determines local rank, how to optimize your website, best practices, and resources.
Distance - How far is the search term (your business) from the location term (Minneapolis) used in a search? If the user doesn't add a location keyword in their search, Google will use the user's current location.
Relevance - How well the listing matches what the user is looking for. This is why it's important to have accurate information out there.
Prominence - Is your business well known? Google will look at mentions across the web to understand how popular your business is. I would also tack on reviews to this as well. You are more likely to rank higher if you have an abundance of good Google reviews.
It is easy to create a Google listing for your business (it's also free) and this is the first step to rank locally.
You can create this by going to Google My Business. They have a very simple onboarding process to help you properly list your business.
Your ideal goal should be to rank as high as you can in the local pack.
It’s important that you have a localized keyword strategy to support your efforts to rank in the local results. You can implement this on and off-site.
Put your ideal keywords in a spreadsheet, purchase a keyword tracking program, or hire an agency to help with this process.
It is crucial to be aware of your competition and beat them in every area of the web. Being the better business (customer service and website navigation wise) will result in a higher rank. This can't be faked with keyword stuffing or other poor SEO tactics, but consider the following:
If you genuinely care about ranking well in your area, you should consider hiring an agency. Most businesses don't have the time or knowledge of how to properly do these things. They can fix up the technical issues on your site, make sure your listing are legit, add high-quality content, manage social media or paid ads, conduct A/B testing for conversion optimization, and more.
Do you have further tips or advice for ranking in the local results?