We recently informed you about the most important SEO ranking factors and trends for the year 2015. For websites with local targeting such as stores, hotels and restaurants you also need to take into account the ranking factors for local search. To help you understand which factors are most important, Moz has now published a study about the local ranking factors 2015.
Local Ranking Factors 2015
The following graphic shows the importance of the different ranking factors based on categories.
According to the study, the following ranking factors are relevant:
- On-page signals, like for example the existence of NAP data (name, address, phone), the usage of keywords in the title tag and the domain authority.
- Link signals
- Google My Business signals
- External local signals, for example, citations on relevant portals like Yelp and the consistency of the NAP data across different platforms.
- Behavior signals and mobile signals, such as the click-through-rate and the clicks on the call button.
- Review signals
- Social signals
Compared to the 2014 study, it stands out that especially the link signals and the behavioral and mobile signals have gained importance.
Trends for the Local Ranking Factors
A detailed look at the individual factors shows that the following developments regarding local ranking factors need to be considered in particular:
- Quality and authority are gaining importance: Overall the Google algorithm is getting better and better at identifying content with low quality. Thus you should focus on quality for all the above-mentioned ranking factors like meta tags, links and Google My Business data as well as on authority of the domain and your social media profiles.
- Google+ looses relevance: While Google+ is still a relevant ranking factor in general, it is loosing impact in local search. Google My Business remains important for local search.
- Behavioral signals become more important: The most important factor regarding user signals is the click-through-rate. Additional relevant signals are the time on site after a click and the avoidance of pogo sticking (if the user clicks on a search result but immediately returns to the search engine results page because he did not find the required information).
- Quality of citations: The importance of the external local signals, which include the citations on other websites, has slightly decreased in general. But the quality of citations remains a very important ranking factor. This means that quantity is loosing to quality.
- Quality of links: Regarding links the trend from quantity to quality is increasing as well. Quality signals like the diversity of link domains, links with local relevance and the existence of the place and the product or service in the anchor text are increasingly important.
When optimizing your website for local search, you should take these factors into account. You can find all results from the study on the Moz website.
Do you have questions or do you need assistance for local SEO? Feel free to leave a comment or to send me an email.
Title image attribution: evxan