KEO Marketing

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Top Factors for Local Search Rankings

local searchThere are many factors that can affect search rankings—but fortunately there’s a great resource that can help marketers pinpoint the most important ones they need to focus on.

In her post on the Moz Blog entitled, Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors: An Illustrated Guide, Miriam Ellis discusses some of the most interesting findings from the latest installment of the Local Search Ranking Factors survey. The survey identified 83 basic ranking factors, but Ellis focuses on the 20 most important (and even includes a helpful illustration for each one).

Here are a few of these most important local search ranking factors:

Proper category associations

During the process of creating your Google+ Local page, you will be choosing categories at two distinct points. When you enter your initial details, you will be selecting a primary category for the business. This is the most important category you will choose.

You will then get the pick up to nine other categories from inside the dashboard. Tip: while some of the choices will be obvious, in some cases it may be worthwhile to do keyword research to help pinpoint the best options to pick.

Physical address in city of search

Ellis notes that your business is most likely to appear in Google’s pack of local results for searches that either:

  • Contain the name of the city in which it is physically located, or
  • Stem from devices based in that city

If you are a technology services company in San Francisco, you are most likely to appear in the local pack of results for a search like “san francisco tech services,” or if someone searches for “IT company” from a computer or cell phone based in San Francisco.

If you want to attract traffic from areas other than the city in which your office is physically located, Ellis suggests creating city landing pages that specifically focus on the areas you want to target.

Quality/authority of inbound links to domain

Because organic signals play a big part in local rankings, Ellis says earning high quality links from authoritative sources will help your business to improve its visibility in the search engine results. “For a local business, high quality, authoritative links may come from a variety of places, including local and national newspapers, local business indexes, high profile bloggers and professional industry associations.

These days, strategies surrounding the acquisition of links have evolved from link building (the process of actively seeking web pages on which links can be placed) to link earning (the process of generating links without having to build or request them due to some outstanding aspect of the website).”

Local search optimization can be a challenging and time-consuming task that involves everything from managing local directory submissions to inserting geo-targeted keywords into your website content. We specializing in helping clients with these tasks—check out the wide variety of local search services we offer.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.