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local search engine ranking

What Are Local Search Engine Rankings?

If you own a business, your local search engine rankings (SERs) provide a great way to boost your business and increase your profit. Peppermonkey Media helps small businesses scale big with our local SEO services.

Read the following guide to discover everything you need to know about search engine rankings. Then call (888) 231-9764 to start scaling your business!

Defining Local Search Engine Rankings

If you’ve heard of search engine optimization, then you already have some idea of what local SERs do. If you own a restaurant, you want your business to show up near the top when someone performs a Google search for “restaurants near me.”

Having a high and optimized SER shows your local relevance, increases your business’s visibility, and converts potential customers to paying customers.

7 Factors That Affect Your Local Rankings

Consider the seven most common factors that affect your local SER.

1. Google Business Profile

Your GBP often gives the first impression customers receive of your business, and when you fill it with high-quality information, it can skyrocket you to the top of search engine results. Keep in mind the following factors:

  • Title: Titles that include common search terms or phrases are more likely to appear near the top of rankings. For example, a business named “Santa Fe Car Repairs” has more optimization than one named “Bob’s Automotive.” If you’ve already started your business, don’t change the name, but be aware of how your branding affects rankings.
  • Category: Google allows you to select up to 10 categories for your business. While selecting irrelevant tags could get you more views, it misleads potential customers and can ultimately hurt your rankings. Select as many relevant category tags as you can.
  • URL: The website you link on your GBP should be your strongest, most authoritative web page. If you link one that doesn’t have much traffic or crosslinking, you’ll show up lower in the rankings.

2. Reviews

Google pays attention to three types of reviews when factoring them in SERs:

  • Google reviews: Customers leave these reviews directly on your Google business page.
  • Third-party sites: These include sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, and OpenTable.
  • Website reviews: If you have a page for reviews on your business’s website, search engines factor those into your ranking.

Search engines use the following criteria to determine the quality of reviews:

  • How recently the customer left the review
  • How frequently the business receives reviews
  • How many different platforms review the business
  • Whether a professional or authoritative reviewer provided feedback about the business
  • Whether the review includes a text-based element or a simple star rating

3. Website

Your business’s website plays a major role in deciding your local search engine rankings. Consider the following when improving your webpages:

  • Domain authority: The higher your site’s authority, the higher its rankings. Domain authority depends on the prestige of the website, the quality of the site’s information, the website’s centrality, and your industry’s competitiveness.
  • Page authority: Page authority uses the same metrics as domain authority but only cares about a single page rather than the entire website. The relevant page is usually the one linked to your business profile.
  • NAP: Your company’s name, address, and phone numbers must be highly visible to increase your rankings. If customers can’t easily find your contact information, search engines rank you lower.
  • Optimization: Optimize your website’s links and information by confirming their relevancy and authority on the topic. If you own a restaurant, your web page shouldn’t talk about used cars.
  • Quality: Your website content should be free of factual and grammatical errors, be well written, and contain multiple forms of media like pictures and videos.
  • Security: High-ranking websites provide accessibility across multiple devices, like smartphones, and present no security risks to visitors.

4. Citations

When a third-party website mentions some or all of your NAP, it increases your rankings based on the citation’s quality. Search engines determine that quality using the following metrics:

  • Consistency: Does the information they provide match what appears elsewhere on the internet?
  • Spread: How many different websites feature the citation?
  • Quality: How authoritative is the site hosting the reference?
  • Relevance: Is the platform providing the citation in a similar industry, or is it just a directory of businesses?

5. Links

Links play an important role in determining the quality of your website. Your website needs links that direct the user to other pages in your website and links from other sites directing the user to your page. No matter the type of link, follow these suggestions for optimization:

  • Authority: How much relevance and quality does the website linking to your page have?
  • Quantity: Does your website or page have a high amount of inbound and internal links?
  • Relevance: How closely do the inbound and internal links relate to your business?
  • Variety: Are inbound links coming from a diversity of sites and platforms?
  • Anchor text: Are the words used to entice a user to click on the link specific and relevant or generalized (click here)? Specific is better, especially when the anchor text uses common keywords or phrases.

6. User Behaviors

Search engines pay close attention to how users behave on your website. The following actions carry the most weight:

  • Click-through rates: What percentage of people click on your site when they see it on the search engine results? The higher the rate, the more the search engine knows the public engages with your business.
  • Duration: How long do users spend looking through your website? 
  • Contact clicks: How frequently do customers click on your phone number or address for more information?

7. Personalization

User personalization, or how a search engine modifies its rankings based on the characteristics of the user, only factors in location. Make sure you have specific web pages referencing the areas you serve.

Learn More About Local Search Engine Rankings With Peppermonkey Media

Now that you know all about local search engine rankings, you can rank higher in google maps and on search results. Peppermonkey Media can help scale your business through effective SEO and digital marketing. Call (888) 231-9764 to request a digital marketing consultation.

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