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5 Local SEO Rankings Tips

We’ve seen a lot of changes in Local SEO over the last two years, from algorithm updates to increased personalization, new listing features, and more. It’s obvious that a company’s local SEO strategy must evolve in tandem with the industry. In light of our most recent Local Brand Report, we discovered that while brands have invested more in their local business listings over time, their rankings have dropped. Here are some of our best tips for improving your business’s local SEO rankings in 2020, in an effort to help brands earn higher rankings.

Before we get started, let’s take a look at how Google, the world’s most popular search engine, ranks a company. Whitespark released the results of its Local Ranking Factors survey in December of 2018. The types of ranking factors and how much of an impact each factor has are shown in the graph above. The factors that determine where you rank have changed over time. Since 2017, for example, both review and Google My Business (GMB) signals have grown in importance, while social signals and citation signals have decreased in importance. This graph shows how the ranking signals have changed since 2018.

#1 – Citation Quality Over Quantity

The way listing directories value citations has changed dramatically in recent years. It used to be necessary for companies to be listed in as many directories as possible. Since then, the focus has shifted from the number of citations a company has to the quality of those citations.

Brands must ensure that their listing information is current and accurate on the following tier 1 sites by 2020:

  • Google 
  • Apple Maps
  • Bing
  • Yelp
  • Facebook

Brands should make sure to list their locations on the top sites for their industry after claiming tier 1 directories. Restaurants, for example, should be listed on Open Table, and doctors on Healthgrades. Following that, businesses should create and maintain listings on tier 2 directories such as Foursquare, TripAdvisor, Merchant Circle, and other sites that drive customers to their establishment on a regular basis. Claimability of smaller tier 3 sites is no longer as important for businesses. It takes a lot of effort to manage local business listings, so don’t waste time on sites that won’t help you improve your local search rankings.

#2 – Focus on Reviews 

One of the most important local ranking factors that a brand can influence is reviews. According to studies, brands that respond to reviews see an increase in both rating and quantity of reviews. Most brands have yet to respond to reviews, despite the fact that they account for 15% of how Google ranks a business.

When it comes to your rankings, responding to reviews is extremely important. Review responses are an excellent place to include the unbranded keywords you want to rank for. Most listing directories crawl reviews to connect users with the best options for their search query.

The management of reviews is an important aspect of a company’s local SEO strategy. To improve the customer experience both online and in-store, every brand should monitor its reviews. Brands can streamline their review management process by using tools to analyze customer sentiment found in reviews. 

#3 – Build Engagement

Consumer interaction with a listing indicates to the directory that people are interested in your company. A brand can encourage consumer engagement by adding photos and videos, answering questions, and sharing posts. The more people who interact with your business listing, the higher search engines are likely to rank it.

Google My Business signals influence 25% of how a local business is ranked by Google. These indicators have the most influence on your local rankings. Over the years, Google has added and removed several engagement-building features from GMB, making it difficult for businesses to keep up. Don’t take on more than you can handle; instead, start with Google Q&A and try out new engagement features one at a time.

#4 – Organic SEO Drives Better Local SEO

People frequently overlook the fact that Organic SEO (also known as Web SEO) for your website aids Local SEO, and vice versa. In fact, there is a lot of overlap between organic and local SEO. GMB signals, review signals, on-page signals, and link signals are all useful for improving your local and organic search rankings.

SEO isn’t a one-time task. In order to increase traffic, you must constantly work on your SEO. You can improve search rankings for your entire brand, across all locations, by collaborating with your web SEO team. 

#5 – Implement Better Rank Tracking

Tracking your rankings is the only way to see if they’re improving. Stridec Local SEO Rank Tracker allows businesses to keep track of their rankings in all of their locations. Because proximity is so important in how directories rank a business, brands must choose the right rank tracking system. Your rankings will be more accurate if the system can simulate a local search as closely as possible.

To simulate a local search, many tools use the city or zip code. For large cities, this isn’t always the best practise. Large cities have dozens of zip codes, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact location a customer is looking for. Furthermore, zip codes do not always reflect the area in which someone is looking. The nearest businesses are sometimes in the next zip code. As a result, Stridec keeps track of neighbourhood rankings. This allows us to provide much more accurate local rank tracking to our users.

Local rankings are more under the control of businesses than they may believe. Give these five suggestions a shot in 2020, and you’ll see your local search rankings improve across the board. Are you unsure of your current position? Try our Instant Brand Audit tool for free.

Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.