Local Ranking Factors for 2016

Over the course of the past few years, SEO has been evolving. Gone are the days of ranking a new website within a few days by using a tool like GSA, and quite frankly, we are glad Google has tightened up their algorithm. SEO agencies and experts were sick and tired of doing proper optimization only to be outdone by someone with a tool to spam thousands of backlinks overnight. So for that, a special “thank you” to Google for stopping that.

local ranking factor

For 2016, you will need a solid action plan to have a successful search engine optimization campaign. Your marketing plan should be shaped around your industry and business. Here are a few things that should help kick-start your local SEO campaign:

1) Start Being More Social

If you are shy and an introvert, don’t worry, we aren’t telling you to go out there and become a social butterfly. What we’re suggesting is to be more active on social media. Websites like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are a great way to get your brand out there to the public.

Brand recognition is going to be key for years to come as Google improves their ranking signals. It has already been noted multiple times that a higher click-through rate (CTR) for your brand name has a direct correlation with your ranking. The more people are searching your company name, the better your chances to rank higher for the particular keyword or service.

2) Local Citations

There is a fine line between a proper citation and a poor citation. Many people go out there and build hundreds of citations on any site they can see, and we don’t recommend this. Instead, email me and I will provide for you a list of the top 50 citations every local business should have. You should only consider high quality or relevant citation websites. The given ones are Facebook, Yelp, Twitter, and Foursquare. However, there are a quite a few “not so obvious” ones that I can list out for you. Again, if you’re interested, please use the contact form and use “Citation List” as the subject line, I’ll be happy to send you my top 50 list.

Another thing to note about citations is that they should all be consistent. Meaning, make sure to have the same name, address, and phone number across all of them. If you make a mistake, make sure to go back and fix them. It’s never a good sign having inconsistency in your citations.

3) Google My Business Page + Reviews

If you don’t have a Google My Business page created, then you need to do this as soon as possible. In fact, it should be the very first thing you do before you even bother with any other SEO tactics.

Make sure to create your page and get your listing verified. You can get your listing verified by only requesting a pin-code to be delivered to your address. Once you receive the pin-code, just plug it into the verification section of your page, and voila, you’re all set.

After you have your page, work on getting reviews! Anytime you finish a service ask your client or customer to write a quick review for you. Reviews are positive ranking signals that will also help searchers choose you over your competitors.

If you start your campaign by doing the three things listed in this post, then you are setting yourself up for success! The majority of agencies and “SEO Experts” are still doing what we like to call “2004 SEO.” Meaning, they are still using low quality ranking signals and by just doing these things, you can easily beat them to that highly coveted #1 spot. And when you do, be sure to send me your results, I would love to hear back!…