In the modern digital world, businesses have realized the value and potential of getting a high rank on search engine. But as the competition has increased over the Internet in last few years, it has become difficult for a local business to get good place on search engine. This, in turn, has put pressure on local SEO where service providers are receiving tough competition in the online marketing. In addition, tough measures by Google have also made it more difficult for local businesses to appear on first page of search results.
In the last few years, local search ranking factors have changed a lot, which further have made the process to rank local search keywords more difficult. Every change in local search ranking factors is needed to be observed carefully to stay ahead in the local business competition and make the most of SEO strategies.
Here are survey results of Local Search Ranking Factors for 2017:
Google My Business Listing
Also called GMB listing, it is primary listing of a local business on Google which comes with the feature of editing. Using Google My Business dashboard, the listing at Google can be edited to make necessary changes. Publicly, it is accessible in three areas, which are:
Google My Business landing Page
It is a page with which Google My Business listing is linked. It could be location page or a homepage.
It is regular local 3-pack that can be noticed during the most local search terms over the search engine.
Local ABC Pack
It’s a local three-pack (A, B and C) which appears on the left of every result during a local search on search engine. Here, review or rating is not considered.
Local Snack Pack
This type of local three-pack appears in case of terms such as hospitality, entertainment and dining. In the search results, there will a picture, but no website link or any phone number.
Local Sponsored Pack
It’s a type of special pack that is available for plumbers and locksmiths in San Diego. This pack is an addition to regular pack on the search results.
This type of list on local search results appear when someone clicks on ‘more places’ link appearing on bottom of local pack.
This year’s survey was divided on five sections
- General Ranking Factors: During this phase, people taking part in the survey were asked about clusters affecting rankings across result types at Google. The clusters included: Citation signals, Review signals, My Business signals, On-page signals, Behavioral/mobile signals, Link signals, Social signals and Personalization.
- Specific Ranking Factors: In this survey section, experts were asked about top individual ranking factors affecting pack ranking. They were also asked to tell about factors affecting localized organic rankings.
- Foundational versus Competitive Factors: This section of the survey included experts telling important foundational ranking factors and competitive difference making factors.
- Impact of the Possum Update: Here, experts told about factors given attention since the Possum update and factors that were mostly ignored in the same time.
- Negative Ranking Factors: As the name suggests, this section of the survey dealt with negative factors that were found to be with damaging effects.