In 2016, comes a study on Quantitative Local Search Ranking Factors. It’s a great research that has analyzed more than hundred factors across 30,000 businesses around the globe. The purpose of this study was to find out how local businesses can do better on Google.
Local SEO always possess unique challenges and it actually is quite interesting to deal with. In this post, Webryze SEO Services Toronto is going to discuss top three things that you and your team needs to be doing to increase instore visits.
According to the study, of all the factors analyzed in the study, links have a loin’s share of 50%. Other factors were website factors, off-site factors and Google My Business factors.
The reason why links have so much weight age is due to their importance for the website. There are other things to do, such as getting reviews, website analysis and many others, but links always hold the key to ranking.
In short, whatever you’re doing right now, stop doing it and try to get a few links.
2. Get Good Reviews
According to the pros, reviews are the most important correlated factor for local search ranking. And that becomes so important because Google puts a lot of emphasis on popularity. In the past, it never was the case. All you needed way to make simple things, such as, get backlinks, to rank higher.
Now, according to Google, social media has a bigger influence, and its more about your reputation than links. If people are talking about your business, that means you’re popular.
Reviews are important for CTRs (click through rates), bounce rate, time spent on the website etc. They impact each and every factor.
How to Get Reviews Easily
You can ask for reviews, especially if you’re a startup, or run a small business. You can opt for a buy-in for a review program. It’s quite difficult to get your locations all invested in that at the same time and it’s something you want to control with the marketing team.
3. Google My Business
Nowadays, photos are also correlated to local ranking, although they fall below reviews, profile views and link signals. If you have more photos, more people will talk about you, and Google will value your business. However, it’s not found out whether the photos shared by people hold more weight than those shared by business.
Another view is, Google emphasizes more on branding, because it gives richer user experience. So, richer and robust content drives better engagement than any other thing.
SEOs have done experiments showing that more user engagement with the Google My Business page does seem to improve the rankings. So anything you can do on the branding side to make your business look better and make people more willing to engage with it has the potential benefit of improving your ranking.
If you have an owner-verified Google My Business listing, it accounts for strong search performance. So, for a small business owner, verifying the business is quite important.