August 2020 | Digital8

8 Local SEO Ranking Factors to Improve Your Search Results

Local SEO is important, especially for small businesses that operate on a regional level as opposed to a national level. Though national SEO primarily focuses on ranking in searches in the entire country, local SEO focuses on appearing in search engine result pages within a specific locality. 

This article discusses the key local SEO ranking factors to improve your local search results.

What is Local Search Engine Optimisation (Local SEO)?

Local search engine optimisation is a type of search engine optimisation strategy that assists small businesses to become more visible in the local search results on Google.

READ ALSO: What is SEO? A Beginner Guide to Search Engine Optimisation for 2019

1. Create a Google My Business Account

Optimising your business profile is one of the most effective ways to improve your ranking on Google Maps. It also helps you gain strong visibility in Google search local results. To gain access to your company profile and come up with these optimisations, you will have to come up with a Google My Business Account.

You must supply all the requested details requested in the Google My Business account dashboard. The same details will then be added to your Business Profile. This is the same business profile that will show up in Google Search local results, Google Maps, and Google Search Knowledge.

2. Local Search Simulation

This is one of the most powerful Google local ranking factors that, if well implemented, will help your business rank highly. A good strategy is to always begin by researching keywords using the best keyword tools available. The fact that Google abolished its local search filter makes it hard to simulate Google local search results from a different location.

Though things have gotten a little complex, you can try things such as incorporating the ‘near’ parameter in your URL. After you have put the query, the SEOs will add the ‘&near=cityname.’ By doing this, you will get results that would have appeared if you were in or near that particular location.

3. Seek Reviews From Happy Clients

It is important to ask your happy clients to write positive reviews regarding your business. Besides optimising your Google My Business presence, it will also lure more local buyers into purchasing your products or services. Sources have it that at least 88% of online buyers treat reviews like personal recommendations.

To get reviews from clients, ask them to do so each time you have closed a sale. You can also deliver them a post-purchase text or email asking them to write reviews about your products or services. Also, professionally, you should respond to the reviews that you already have on the website.

4. Have a Responsive Design

As a way of working on your local search engine optimisation, you want to make your website as mobile-friendly as possible. With a responsive design, your site can adapt to any device used by your customers. As a local enterprise, you should understand that most people will use their mobile phones to access dealers near them. Therefore, for potential clients to find information about your business, your website should be adapted for mobile devices.

Consider improving the user experience by giving your site a sleek, attractive design and simple features for easy navigability. This will make customers interested in your page, so they will keep coming back whenever they need products and services from your business.

5. On-Page Signals

There is an array of on-page factors that must be considered when your site faces rigorous analysis for local rankings. The first thing is only to use keywords relevant to the information you are sharing on the website. Search engines are designed to ensure that websites only use keywords that are relevant and strategically placed.

Relevancy is crucial for local search engine optimisation and can help your website rank in given areas of your industry. There need to be important details such as an address, phone number, and name since they assist in the on-page ranking. These details are used by Google to realise vital proximity data for your rankings.

6. Optimise for Voice Search

In the coming years, it is believed that voice search will grow rapidly. Thus, in local SEO, it is crucial to optimise how people ask various questions when they talk into devices, instead of what they type when searching for information.

Customers, when using voice searches, use long-tail keywords as opposed to when typing search queries. Therefore, you will need to optimise your website to fit a more conversational tone of clients speaking into their mobile and desktop devices. For instance, you need to adjust it to account for traditional question prefixes such as what, when, who, why, how, etc.

7. Backlink Profile

Backlinks are some of the most important local search ranking factors that your local business needs to thrive. Local enterprises should try to attract links from relevant, local, and authoritative websites to impact their websites positively. It is never easy to get good backlinks; however, it is crucial to note that when it gets to other sites connecting to yours, quality plays a central role. 

While getting backlinks to your business site from other highly authoritative sites is an important factor to get priority placement in search results, it can be time-consuming to earn. If you prefer, you can find an SEO agency to work on acquiring the highest quality backlinks for you. Always make sure though that they’re using ethical, white-hat strategies.

8. Get Online Citations

Online citations and directories are the current yellow pages. Through citations, you can get accurate information on the internet about various businesses in a given locality. Citations also help you in getting local backlinks from credible and authoritative sites. Today, most clients prefer using citations and directories to get products and services and contact details of their preferred dealers. Search engines are designed to use citations to ascertain necessary information about various businesses.

The Bottom Line

Learning the elements and factors that affect local search engine optimisation ranking is an important way to commence your local search marketing expedition. Therefore, to compete fairly, you need to use the tips mentioned above to make your business appear in Google’s local search results. The points above are some of the most commonly used google local ranking factors and must be used to gain a competitive edge. As you can see from the information shared, local SEO is not easy for small and medium-sized businesses.

Digital8 Community Impact Fund Launch

Last Wednesday morning we launched our annual Community Impact Fund with a fun brekky event. Fund recipients past and present were invited to the D8 Office in Cordelia St for a great morning full of laughs, conversations and incredible ideas. The Community Fund is an initiative set up by Digital8 that aims to help community-minded organisations increase their capacity to do good in the community by offering organisations our time and resources. 

This year’s recipients are set to benefit from a collective $200,000 worth of web and app development in the next 12 months and all came together to celebrate the launch over coffee, breakfast and COVID Safe Regulations.


Don’t Let COVID Stop Positive Community Impact

While faced with some challenges due to COVID-19, Digital8 pushed on their commitment to support vulnerable communities. We are dedicated to helping these businesses that are passionate about creating social change to improve the community, despite the funding and resourcing challenges that have faced them. 

“It was incredible to see the number of organisations that are contributing to society in such impactful ways – even during a global pandemic, this year’s recipients each demonstrated how a project delivered by Digital8 could drastically improve their success in years to come, whether it be via a website, app, digital marketing or UX,” said Joe McCord, Digital8’s General Manager. 

“Our team is looking forward to working alongside our 2020 recipients to deliver services that will empower and enable them to thrive both on and offline,” said Joe. 

The Heartwarming Story of a 2019 Community Fund Recipient

“I had a wonderful time this morning at the launch of Digital8’s Community Fund!” Ms Rachel Greenfield, the founder of Rachie’s Ratirement Home said. Rachie Ratirement Home was the recipient of 2019 Digital8 Community Impact Fund. Digital8 built a $20,000-worth website on the Drupal platform. 

We met at a rat adoption event

Digital8 team met Rachel Greenfield during a rat adoption event and got to know that her rat rescue association has been working hard to help domestic rats to find foster carers and forever carers. A few weeks later, the team at Digital8 reached out and offered to build a rat-adoption website where her organisation can offer more educational pieces and support to the rat-loving community. 

“We’re so incredibly grateful to the team at Digital8. It’s incredible being able to host educational pieces and get our work out there to help the wider community, we cherish this gift every day.” Ms Rachel Greenfield said. 

charity facebook post

Credit: Rachie’s Ratirement Home Facebook Post

In A Season Of Isolation, Be There For Each Other

When people are isolated from each other during a season of pandemic, it’s even more important for people to find a different way to come together and support each other. 

One of this year’s Fund recipients is Empathy First – a social enterprise using virtual reality to educate people around mental health literacy and communication. Founder, Leanne Butterworth, said Digital8’s services will be a game-changer to the business and community. 

“This year has magnified hardships and mental health issues for many, so the timing of Digital8’s generosity will have huge, positive impacts on Empathy First and our wider community,” Ms Butterworth said.