The Local Search Ranking Factors

Author: vicque fassinger
Category: Go home.

If you want to consistently bring new customers into your store’s front doors, your local ranking is an integral component of your website’s ability to accomplish that feat. When residents and visitors to your community are looking for the exact products and services your traditional brick-and-mortar business happens to provide (or specialize in), you must make sure your website is strategically set up to ensure those potential customers searching online not only know you exist, but also where you are located geographically!

Here are 8 specific actions to implement on your website to improve your local ranking:

#1: Include your local keywords and your profession in Header 1 (H1).

In the first big header, it’s critical to mention where you are located and what you do right off the bat. Name the town where you offer your products and services as well as the profession or industry you specialize in ~ immediately ~ so that individual people online who are searching for a service that you provide in their neighborhood can instantly find you! For example, if you’re a Computer Repairman and provide your services exclusively to the NYC market, you’ll want your heading to be: Best New York City Computer Repairman. Be sure to add the adjective “best” in front of the local keywords since most people want to hire a service that is described as “top of the line” or “outstanding”. The word “best” succinctly sums that up. Other popular words that searchers often add as they type include “cheapest” and “oldest”. The “best” way to describe your business to someone who has never heard of you before is, quite simply, with the word “best” !

#2 Create a separate landing page for each of your store’s different physical locations.

If you have multiple stores set up in various communities, to improve your local ranking you’ll want to have a completely different landing page for each location. If you have a business overseas, host the server on that country and ensure you have the local domain name included in your web address. For examples:

  • (for your stores in the United Kingdom)
  • (for your Europe locations)
  • (for Japan shops)
  • (for Singapore businesses)

In addition, you also must make sure you sitemap so that you increase your chances of having Google index all of your URLs. Sitemaps supplement the mechanisms that Google and other search engines already use to discover URLs. Your website (and your business) will benefit with sitemap submission since using this protocol will enable Google and the other search engines to use the data in your sitemap to improve their crawler schedule. Further, with international websites, you’ll want to make sure your site supports different languages. No sense in having a website set up to promote your store in Paris if it is accessible only in English!

#3 Embed a Google Map with contact information for each landing page.

Along with a Google Map, include your company’s name, psychical address, and (a working) local phone number for each different location/landing page you have! Folks in NYC don’t really care that you have another location in Sedona, Arizona; when they find their way to your NYC landing page, that’s the current info they want and need immediately.

#4 Build your citation by category with local listing.

Citations increase your business’s relevance to a local area. Citations are not links; they are instead repeated mentions of your name, address, and phone number. While this is often considered one of the hardest things to do technically in getting visibility in local ranking, it’s also considered one of the most important things you can do! If it’s set up wrong, or you just completely ignore building citations altogether, you are wasting time and opportunity; doing it incorrectly or not doing it at all can make you lose countless potential customers per search! If your citations are a mess, you’re unlikely to be clearly visited in the Google+ Local results. Launch your citation-building campaign with the bigger sites and then gradually work your way down the list of sites few have heard of! To get the most out of your citations, make sure you also have correct and complete listings on Bing Places, Yahoo Local, and Apple Maps.

#5 Add testimonial for each different landing page.

Potential customers considering your business want to be confident that others have been satisfied with your work as well. By including testimonials from other established customers in the local area mentioned in each landing page, you enable others to speak for you ~ to affirm that your business, products, and services are indeed the best!

#6 Write fresh, authentic content on each of your landing pages to differentiate the locations.

While many business owners simply change the city name on their various landing pages, it’s more effective to take the time to write something unique about each particular location. Perhaps there’s an award-winning Chef at the helm of your restaurant’s kitchen ~ include an engaging and informative bio on him; or, if it’s a brand new location that you are adding to your other 5 established locations, write about how convenient the new site is for residents in that particular community and what’s nearby. Whatever it is, find something authentic to write on the landing pages of each of your different locations.

#7 Add Questions and Answers and customer stories based on areas.

Along with a standard FAQs section, you’ll also want to include new questions (and great answers) as they arise from your new, potential, and established customers. A potential customer reading your response to a question from someone in his neighborhood further helps build his confidence in your business. In addition, include customer stories for each area.

#8 Get listed on (and follow the rules of) these local-oriented sites:

There are some listings that require owner-verification by phone; for the main ones, take the time to go through the steps personally and carefully to ensure you are listed on them. Some sites where you want to be listed:

  • LocalEze and other Data-aggregators
  • Yelp and other horizontal directories
  • Industry-specific directories (e.g. Avvo).
  • Region-specific sites (e.g.
  • Any reputable sites where you can get mentioned by a local blogger

If you seriously consider these local ranking factors as the lifeline to your company’s exposure in your local community, you’ll reap all the benefits of your work in not time at all. By carefully incorporating these components necessary for local rankings, you’ll save your company money, time, and frustration while exponentially increasing your local rankings. As with anything and everything on your website, put quality over quantity. From the headers and citations to the testimonials and regular blogs, make sure each facet of your website is error-free, authentic, and engaging. A website filled with generic blogs, outdated information, and landing pages that all say exactly the same thing tacitly tell the visitor to your site that you don’t take much time, pride, or interest in how you present your products and services online. What would then be the motivating factor to have that visitor physically drive to your business location? Draw visitors to your website by effectively fine tuning and improving all of these key local ranking factors!

If you need help setting up your website to meet these criteria, contact us today!

Leave a Reply