As well-known experts of the web, every year Moz bring out an analysis of the ranking factors for local businesses. This research provides a wealth of incredible information for people hoping to improve their SEO and garner more interest in their products and services.
With the 2017 results out, we’re taking a look under the hood and seeing what you should be paying attention to if you want your website to rank…
Proximity of address to the point of search
In Moz’s 2017 study, they found that Google tends to give top-ranking positions to local businesses who are nearest to the searchers location. While this is obviously not something that you can control yourself as a business owner, it can have its merits. While previously it seemed that location phrases were key to ranking in that area, Moz states that this new factor means even if they search for ‘best lawyer’, for example, the searcher will be shown results for local lawyers instead.
Quality/authority of inbound links to the domain
This is a factor that has been around for a while, but it has slowly driven itself up the ranks of Moz’s yearly surveys. If your domain is linked from other trusted websites, that tells Google that you can be trusted – because other websites trust you. This of course doesn’t mean you can ask your friend to slap one link on his site and call it a day. These links need to come from someone with domain authority themselves and you’ll need several of them to really do well in the rankings.
Proper Google My Business category associations
Google My Business is a free tool that allows you to manage your Google online presence in a way that is super user-friendly. With that in mind, you should really make sure your local business is across it – because it’s 3rd on Moz’s list of ranking factors for 2017! When setting up your account, you should make sure that your category associations are entirely relevant to what you do, otherwise you might be penalised. After all, Google trusts and ranks domains that give users what they are searching for.
Quantity of inbound links to domain from locally relevant domains
This one seems to feed back to Google’s focus on local factors. Not only is it important to get inbound links from trusted websites (as we mentioned earlier), but you should be striving to get them from local domains too. You can do this in a number of ways, such as creating content that local people will share, guest-blogging on someone’s website or even contacting the owner of a local website and asking for a link swap. By building up those local links, Google will begin to trust that they can sending their users to your business is a good idea.
So now that you know a few of the biggest factors to influence your local business ranking, it’s time to put the wheels into motion! With a bit of research and careful planning, you could make sure that your business shoots straight to the top of local search results, landing you a whole lot of customers along the way.