Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors

Each year since 2008 a Local Search Ranking Factors survey is being done – asking local search engine optimization experts around the world about the top techniques and strategies that work for them in their businesses.

The result of the survey is a list of top 20 local search ranking factors:

  1. Proper category associations
  2. Physical address in city of search
  3. Consistency of structured citations
  4. Quality/authority of structured citations
  5. HTML NAP matching place page NAP
  6. Quantity of structured citations
  7. Domain authority of website
  8. Individually owner-verified local plus page
  9. City, state in Places landing page title
  10. Proximity of address to centroid
  11. Quality/authority of inbound links to domain
  12. Quantity of native Google Places reviews (w/text)
  13. Product/service keyword in business title
  14. Quantity of citations from locally relevant domains
  15. Proximity of physical location to the point of search
  16. Quantity of citations from industry-relevant domains
  17. Local area code on local Plus page
  18. City, state in most/all website title tags
  19. Quantity of third-party traditional reviews
  20. Page authority of Places landing page URL

Read the full article and explanation of each ranking factor here



80% of Local Searches on Mobile Devices Convert [Study]

We live in a world of multiple devices, with different screens – these include your computer, laptop, tablet and smart phone.

Studies show that when it comes to searching for local information (ie. businesses and places in your city), we use a variety of devices and tend to use our mobile devices much more frequently then computers or laptops.

A recent research conducted by comScore reveals some interesting findings. Have a look at the infographic below.

Keep in mind that as a business owner, this information is crucial for you to know because it affects how you invest in your marketing efforts, especially when it comes to website design and local SEO campaigns.



Using Schema to Improve Local SEO

You can add small blocks of ‘schema’ code to your website content, which will tell Google what your website content is about.

For example, if you have a business address, then you can use codes to identify the ‘street’, ‘city’ and ‘postal code’.

This helps search engines scan and understand your website content quicker.

For local SEO, schema can be used to identify different types of local content, including company and address, reviews, products, authors and offers.

Learn more about schema from The Ultimate Guide to Local Schema, which was written by the guys at Synup.


Canadian Local SEO Ecosystem [infographic]

canadian local seo ecosystem

If your business operates in a specific geographic area, then you need to make sure that your business contact information is listed properly in relevant local directories. This is important for your Canadian local SEO results on Google and other search engines.

The guys at MOZ created a nice infographic that summarizes the Canadian local SEO ecosystem. This infographic shows how directories share and verify your business’ contact information.

canadian local seo ecosystem

Having your business information appear in different directories on the Internet, will be used by Google for “citation” purposes. In other words, to verify that your business is real.

Before you begin submitting your business details to local directories, make sure you have all contact information ready.

Important – make sure to use the exact same contact information consistently across all directory submissions.

Follow this list to gather your contact information:

  • Business Name:
  • Tagline (3-6 words to describe your company):
  • Company Contact Person:
  • Street Address, Suite, City, Province, Postal Code:
  • Local Phone Number:
  • Toll Free # (if any):
  • Fax# (if any):
  • Website Address:
  • Email Address :
  • Brands you sell / use (if any):
  • Products and Services (comma separated) :
  • Year Established:
  • Hours of Operation:
  • Languages Spoken:
  • Payment Methods Accepted:
  • Company logo: (each directory may ask for different logo size, so have several sizes handy)
  • Service Areas (cities / neighborhoods you serve):
  • Images (pictures of your shop, work and products) :
  • Videos (upload your videos to YouTube and have the video URLs handy for directories):
  • Business Categories (at least one is required):
  • Short description of your business – no more than 200 characters
  • Long description of your business – length varies by website




What impact does website’s server location have on rankings?

A question that comes up frequently is “What impact does website’s server location have on rankings?”

To clarify, website’s server location refers to the physical geographic location of the server where your website files are saved. For example, if your website is hosted with GoDaddy, then the server is likely located in Arizona, USA, hence your website files are physically stored there.

When it comes to search engine optimization, especially for location based businesses, how does the location of the website server affect the rankings of the website for that location? For example, does a Toronto-based website that serves customers in Toronto perform better then an Arizona-based website server that serves customers in Toronto?

Although Google keeps changing how it ranks websites, Matt Cutts from Google, answered this question several times over the past few years:

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From our experience, having a website hosted in the same country and even in the same city where your business is operating, has a positive impact on the rankings of the website. In particular, because a server that is closer to your business customers’ location, will load faster and thus create a better user experience. According to Google, ‘Page Speed’ is a ranking factor for several years now.

There are many ‘cheap’ hosting providers and their offers often sound very appealing. However, its worth investing $10-$20/month extra for a reliable, local hosting service. This is a minimal investment that can have an impact on internet marketing results.

Top 10 Internet Marketing Experts To Follow In 2014

The online marketing industry is full of voices.

The very nature of online marketing, whether it’s SEO, paid search, social media, or email marketing, creates a strong incentive for those who peddle online marketing services, myself included, to speak out.

This creates a lot of noise, and finding the right information can be tricky to a business leader or entrepreneur trying to figure out what’s what. It’s hard to know where to start and who to trust.

The following list includes 10 of the experts on internet marketing that I follow and listen to, and who I believe do a great job of speaking to other experts, as well as the general public.

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Have Objections and Concerns About The Effectiveness of SEO?

Google is constantly implementing changes to the way it rewards website optimization efforts. Beyond the basics, this sometimes leads to unpredictable SEO results. If you are doing search engine optimization for your own website, or considering hiring a SEO consultant – you may have some concerns or objections about SEO’s effectiveness. This articles covers common objections and ways to remove these concerns.

Read the full article

Optimizing Against Competitors

There’s an old joke about a two guys out walking in the African Savannah. They come across a hungry lion. The lion eyes them up, then charges them. One man turns and runs. The other man yells at him “you fool, you can’t outrun a lion!” The other man yells back “that’s true, but I don’t have to outrun the lion. I only have to outrun you!”

Once we figure out what Google wants, we then need to outrun other sites in our niche in order to win. Those sites have to deal with Google’s whims, just like we do.

Typically, webmasters will reverse engineer competitor sites, using web metrics as scores to target and beat. Who is linking to this page? How old are the links? What are their most popular keywords? Where are they getting traffic from? That’s part of the puzzle. However, we also need to evaluate non-technical factors that may be underpinning their business.

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4 Great Content Curation Services

Content curation consists in selecting interesting information and organizing it into categories / niches thanks to specific services. In a day and age when content is spread across millions of blogs and profiles on social networking sites, curation is very useful and can save a lot of time and frustration. Whether you are new to content curation or not, here is a list of four services that you may not know.

Read the full articles