Local search has become a crucial aspect of marketing for small businesses in 2023. In fact, “near me,” mobile searches have increased by a whopping 136% in just one year. That’s huge! It’s clear that local SEO is becoming more competitive, and businesses quickly realise the potential of a comprehensive local SEO campaign to attract local customers and increase search visibility.
However, with increased competition comes the challenge of keeping up with Google’s ever-changing search algorithm system for local SEO. Google and other search engines are always looking for ways to provide searchers with the most helpful and valuable information based on their location. So, it’s essential to use effective local SEO methods and strategies to ensure your business ranks high and grows its brand name.
While the exact ranking formula for local SEO is still a mystery, there are key components that you can use to help your business get to the top of local search results.
Here, we will look at some of the essential ranking factors for local SEO and what it takes for professional SEO services to succeed in local search.
Ranking Factors for Local SEO Success in 2023
Link Signals: 29% Ranking Factor
Backlinks are one of the most critical elements in any successful local SEO strategy. A backlink is a link that directs users from another website to your own, and search engines use these links to signal your website’s authority and relevance. In other words, the more high-quality backlinks your website has, the more credible and trustworthy it appears to search engines, which can result in a higher ranking in search results.
Building a strong backlink profile is no easy feat, but it’s crucial to improving your local search visibility. There are several strategies you can use to acquire high-quality backlinks, including:
- Look for local publications that cover topics related to your business.
- Getting listed on popular directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, and TripAdvisor.
- Creating content that other local businesses will want to share
- Reaching out to local journalists who may be interested in featuring your business in an article.
- Establishing relationships with industry influencers in your local area who can link back to your website from their sites or social media profiles.
- Guest blogging on other local websites to broaden your reach and gain more backlinks.
However, it’s important to remember that the quality of the backlinks is more important than the quantity. Backlinks from authoritative sites relevant to your business can greatly impact your local search visibility more than many low-quality backlinks.
Not sure how to build a successful link profile? Don’t worry!
Alpha BPO NL, a professional SEO agency, can help you create a comprehensive backlink plan and acquire high-quality links to boost your rankings.
On-page Signals: 24% Ranking Factor
While Google Business and Google Maps are important tools for local optimisation, it’s equally important to focus on on-site optimisation that targets your local audience. This is especially true for service area businesses and online service providers that operate across multiple locations.
One of the most crucial factors for local SEO success is ensuring that on-page signals point to the right areas. This is done by strategically placing highly relevant keywords on your website, which helps search engines determine where your site belongs and rank it accordingly. This is especially important for local SEO, as the right keywords can help your website rank in specific areas for your industry.
In addition to keywords, having vital details such as your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) prominently displayed on your website’s pages can also impact your local SEO ranking. Google uses this information to determine proximity details and ensure your website is relevant to users in a specific area.
Another significant local SEO on-page ranking factor is the mobile-friendliness of your website. In 2023, it’s estimated that 30% of all Google mobile searches will relate to location. This means that having a mobile-friendly website that loads quickly and is easy to navigate on mobile devices is essential for both local search engine rankings and user experience. With more and more people searching for products and services nearby, optimising your website for local search can help make it easier for them to find you.
Behavioural Signals: 11% Ranking Factor
Google’s algorithm uses various signals to determine the ranking order for local search results. One of the most important factors is user behaviour, which includes how they interact and engage with local business listings and websites.
These signals include things like:
- Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR refers to the percentage of people who click on a search result after seeing it on the search engine results page (SERP). A higher CTR indicates that the search result is more relevant and attractive to the user.
- Mobile Clicks to Calls: This signal is particularly relevant for businesses relying heavily on phone calls to generate leads and sales. Mobile clicks to calls refer to the number of times a user clicks on a mobile device’s “call” button to connect with the business directly. A higher number of clicks to calls indicates that the business listing is meeting the needs of mobile users.
- Social Media Check-ins: Social media check-ins indicate how engaged a business’s audience is with its online presence. When users check in to a business on social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram, they tell their friends and followers they are physically present at that business location. This can help to build social proof and credibility for the business.
Search engines analyse all of these factors to help determine which businesses are most relevant and receive the most valuable attention from searchers. Our local SEO services in the Netherlands build effective SEO campaigns that closely track these behavioural signals and make adjustments as needed to ensure your business stays at the top of local search results!
Google Business Profile (GMB): 9% Ranking Factor
One of the most crucial components of local SEO is Google My Business. This free tool, set up by Google, helps users find lo
cal businesses through Google Maps. By setting up and optimising your GMB listing, you can significantly improve your chances of being found by potential customers in your area.
Google’s search algorithms use various signals from your GMB listing to determine how and where to display your business to users in your area. These signals include proximity to the searcher, contact information, categories, and updated content. That’s why ensuring that your GMB listing is complete, accurate, and up-to-date is crucial.
Claiming and verifying your GMB listing is the first step toward enhancing local search visibility. This involves providing basic information about your business, such as your address, phone number, website, and hours of operation. You’ll also need to choose relevant categories that describe your business and add photos and videos to make your listing more visually appealing.
However, simply claiming and verifying your listing isn’t enough. To truly optimise your GMB listing for local SEO, you need to regularly update it with fresh content, respond to customer reviews, and post updates about your business. This can include adding new photos and videos, creating posts about promotions or events, and updating your business description to reflect changes in your offerings or services.
It’s important to remember that your competitors are likely using GMB to improve their local search visibility as well. That means you need to be proactive about optimising your GMB listing to stay ahead of the competition.
Need help with optimising your GMB listing for local SEO?
Alpha BPO NL, a reliable SEO company, can help.
Personalisation Signals: 9% Ranking Factor
Personalisation involves tailoring your website, content, and business to a specific audience. This can be achieved in two ways:
- Creating local landing pages
- Local content marketing
Local landing pages are designed to target users in a particular geographical location. For businesses that provide services or sell products in different regions, local landing pages are an important way to reach users in their desired locations.
For example, if you run a boutique hotel chain with locations across Italy, you can create landing pages for each hotel optimised for local search terms. This way, when potential customers search for “boutique hotels in Florence,” your Florence location will appear in their search results.
Local content marketing involves producing and publishing relevant content for your local community. By connecting with your audience on relatable and community-based topics, you can significantly improve your local search rankings. Search engines aim to provide users with exceptional value, so local content can be a powerful tool for improving local visibility for your business.
For instance, a local farmer’s market can publish regular blog posts about seasonal produce and share videos showcasing their vendors and unique offerings. This content can help the farmer’s market attract more local customers and improve their visibility in local search results, ultimately driving more traffic to their business.
Online Citation: 8% Ranking Factor
In the internet age, online directories and citations are the modern-day equivalents of the old Yellow Pages. They serve as an invaluable resource for customers seeking to connect with businesses that provide the products or services they need. From a local SEO perspective, they are crucial in establishing your business’s online presence and helping it rank higher in search results.
Online citations are digital mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) on other websites. These citations can come in various forms, such as business directories, local listings, and review websites. When these citations are consistent and accurate across all platforms, they signal to search engines that your business is legitimate and trustworthy.
NAP consistency is one of the most critical local SEO ranking factors for 2023. Ensuring that your business information is the same across all directory and citation listings is crucial. This consistency helps validate your business’s details to search engines and potential customers, which is vital for establishing your business’s credibility and visibility online.
By leveraging online directories and citations, your business can acquire valuable backlinks from legitimate and authoritative websites, further boosting your local SEO efforts.
Online Review Signals 7% Ranking Factor
As a business owner, you already know the power of positive word-of-mouth. But with the advent of online reviews, this has taken on a whole new dimension. Nowadays, customers will almost always turn to online reviews to get a sense of your business before purchasing. Positive reviews can make all the difference between a potential customer choosing your business over a competitor.
However, online reviews do more than just attract customers – they also play a crucial role in local search rankings. In fact, Google considers reviews’ quantity, quality, and diversity when determining where to rank your business in local search results. Businesses with many positive reviews and ratings are more likely to appear at the top of search results.
So, how can you encourage customers to leave positive reviews? One way is to make it easy for them to do so by setting up profiles on popular review sites like Google Maps, Yelp, Glassdoor, and TripAdvisor. You can also include links to these profiles on your website and in email signatures.
Another strategy is to ask for reviews directly. After a customer has purchased, send them a follow-up email thanking them for their business and kindly ask them to leave a review. Ensure that their feedback is important to you and that you value their opinion.
Remember, though, that not all reviews will be positive. Negative reviews can happen to even the best businesses. But don’t panic – responding to negative reviews professionally and courteously can improve your business’s reputation. By addressing the customer’s concerns and offering solutions, you can demonstrate to other potential customers that you are committed to providing excellent service.
This will directly impact your local search ranking, as search engines consider how you handle customer complaints when determining your position in the results.
Social Signals: 4% Ranking Factor
Social signals are becoming increasingly important for businesses that want to rank well on search engine results pages. These signals indicate a business’s popularity and authority on social media platforms. The more likes, comments, shares, and overall engagement a business has on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, the more likely it is to rank well in organic search results.
For example, a cosmetic brand that regularly shares engaging and informative posts on Instagram may see an increase in organic search rankings due to the engagement it receives from its followers. Additionally, if the brand’s posts are shared or commented on by popular influencers in the beauty industry, this can further boost its authority and popularity.
Social signals are important for SEO; they can also help businesses build brand awareness and establish themselves as thought leaders in their respective industries. By creating engaging content and fostering meaningful interactions on social media, businesses can improve their online presence and attract new customers.
Improve Your Ranking with Our Local SEO Services in the Netherlands
If you want to boost your business’s online visibility, you know the importance of local SEO ranking factors. But understanding Google’s algorithm and implementing effective strategies can be a challenge. That’s where Alpha BPO NL comes in. Our local SEO services in the Netherlands are tailored to help your business stand out in a crowded market.
Our team of experts can help you optimise your website for local search by conducting local keyword research, creating localised content, and optimising meta tags and titles with location keywords. We can also help you build links from local websites, set up a Google My Business page, and submit your business to local directories.
In addition, we offer regular website audits and competitor analysis to ensure your business stays ahead of the game. By taking advantage of our local SEO company, you can increase your business’s visibility and attract more local customers.
At Alpha BPO NL, we understand that every business is unique, so we offer customised solutions to fit your specific needs. Contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help your business grow!