Local SEO ranking factors

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Are you a local business struggling to improve your search engine rankings? According to Moz and Whitespark, Google relies on different factors for local SEO than general SEO. This article provides deep insights into the most crucial Local SEO ranking factors and strategies to help elevate your online visibility.

Ready for a boost in your local digital profile? Let’s dive in!

The Top Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2023

In 2023, some of the top local SEO ranking factors include the proximity of address to centroid, quantity of inbound links to Google Business Profile (GBP) landing page URL from locally-relevant sources, Google My Business optimization, on-page signals, online reviews, and backlink profile.

Proximity of Address to Centroid

Being near the center of a search area is key in local SEO. This is called “Proximity of Address to Centroid“. When people look for places on their phones, Google gives them nearby results first.

So, if your business is close to where people are searching from, it will rank higher. But don’t worry if your shop isn’t in the middle of town! There are other ways to help you show up in local searches too.

Quantity of Inbound Links to Google Business Profile (GBP) Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Sources

Inbound links play a big role in local SEO. These are the links you get from other websites. More links from trustworthy, local sources boost your Google Business Profile (GBP) page ranking.

For example, if you own a shoe store in Dallas and a popular blog about Dallas fashion links to your GBP URL, it’s good for your Page score. Google sees this link as proof that your site is useful and valuable to people around you.

So it ranks you higher in results when people search ‘shoe stores in Dallas’. Work hard to get more of these locally-relevant inbound links!

Google My Business Optimization

Google My Business is a free tool that boosts your online visibility. Here are steps to optimize it:

  1. Sign up for Google My Business.
  2. Fill out every section of your profile.
  3. Pick the right business category.
  4. Add high – quality photos.
  5. Share your accurate and up-to-date contact information.
  6. Include your opening hours.
  7. Respond to customer reviews in a timely manner.
  8. Use popular keywords in your business description.
  9. Add posts and updates regularly.

On-Page Signals

On-page signals play a crucial role in local SEO rankings. Factors like website security, internal link structure, and the quality of content can all impact how well a business ranks in local search results.

It’s important for businesses to optimize these on-page elements to improve their online visibility. By ensuring that their websites are secure, have relevant and high-quality content, and utilize effective internal linking strategies, businesses can increase their chances of appearing higher in local search engine results pages (SERPs).

These on-page signals are key components of successful local SEO optimization efforts.

Online Reviews

Online reviews play a significant role in local SEO rankings. Google takes into account individual review signals like the recency, diversity, and sentiments of reviews when determining local search ranks.

Positive customer reviews can boost a business’s online visibility and improve its chances of appearing higher in search results. It is essential for local businesses to actively manage their online reputation by encouraging satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and addressing any negative feedback promptly.

By cultivating a strong base of favorable online reviews, businesses can enhance their credibility and attract more customers.

Backlink Profile

A strong backlink profile is an important factor for local SEO rankings. It refers to the quantity and quality of inbound links that point to a website or Google Business Profile landing page from locally-relevant sources.

Having more high-quality links from reputable websites can help boost a business’s online visibility and improve its position in search engine results pages (SERPs). These links act as ‘votes’ for the website, signaling to search engines that it is trustworthy and authoritative in its industry.

Building a diverse and natural backlink profile can greatly contribute to local SEO success.

Understanding Search Engine Optimization Services

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services are important for businesses that want to improve their online visibility and attract more customers. SEO is the process of optimizing a website so that it ranks higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

This helps businesses get more organic traffic from people searching for products or services related to their industry.

There are several components of SEO services that businesses should understand. First, there’s on-page optimization, which involves improving factors like website security, internal link structure, and content quality.

These elements help search engines understand what the website is about and how relevant it is to specific searches.

Another crucial aspect of SEO services is Google My Business optimization. Google My Business is a free tool provided by Google for local businesses. Optimizing this platform with accurate information, customer reviews, and images can greatly impact local search rankings.

In addition to on-page factors and Google My Business optimization, backlink profile plays a significant role in SEO success. Inbound links from reputable websites indicate that your business has authority and relevance in its field.

It’s important to note that different ranking factors come into play when it comes to local SEO compared to general SEO practices. Relevance, distance, and prominence are the main ranking factors for local searches.

Overall, understanding these various aspects of search engine optimization services can help businesses improve their online visibility, reach more customers organically through search engines like Google, and ultimately drive growth for their business.

Local Pack/Local Finder Ranking Factors Over Time

Local Pack and Local Finder ranking factors play a crucial role in local SEO and have evolved over time, reflecting changes in user behavior and search engine algorithms. Here is an overview of these ranking factors over time:

Year Top Ranking Factors
2018 Proximity of searcher, Google My Business signals, and online reviews
2019 Google My Business signals, online reviews, and on-page signals
2020 Google My Business signals, online reviews, and backlink profile
2021 Google My Business signals, backlink profile, and online reviews
2022 Google My Business signals, backlink profile, and on-page signals
2023 Google My Business signals, backlink profile, on-page signals, and review signals

This table demonstrates the consistency of Google My Business as a significant ranking factor. However, the importance of online reviews, backlink profile, and on-page signals has fluctuated over time. It’s essential for local businesses to stay updated on these changes to optimize their local SEO strategies.

Local Organic Ranking Factors Over Time

The local organic ranking factors have seen numerous changes over the years, and it’s essential to keep abreast with these changes to optimize your local SEO strategy.

Year Primary Ranking Factors Developments
2017 Domain authority, Link signals. Emphasis on the authority of a website and quality of inbound links.
2018 On-page signals, Reviews. Focus on on-page optimization like website security and internal link structure. Importance of reviews became notable.
2019 Google My Business, Proximity. Introduction of Google My Business as a key ranking factor. Proximity of businesses to searchers became important.
2020 Relevance, Distance, Prominence. Google confirmed these three factors as main ranking elements for local SEO success.
2021 Mobile optimization, User behavior signals. Growing importance of mobile-friendly websites. User behavior signals like click-through rates started influencing rankings.
2022 Core Web Vitals, E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) Google’s Core Web Vitals became a ranking signal. E-A-T also became a crucial factor.
2023 To be confirmed Continued evolution of local SEO ranking factors is anticipated.

This evolution signifies the dynamic nature of SEO, and businesses need to continually adapt their strategies to maintain and improve their local search rankings.

Personalization Signals and Behavioral Signals in Local SEO

Personalization signals and behavioral signals play a significant role in local SEO. These signals help search engines understand the preferences and behaviors of users, allowing them to deliver more relevant and personalized search results.

One important factor is user-to-business proximity, which considers how close a user is to a particular business location. The distance between the user’s current location and the business can impact their search results.

Another factor is search relevance, which looks at how well a business matches the user’s search query. If a business has optimized its website and content with relevant keywords, it increases the likelihood of appearing in local search results.

Additionally, online reviews from previous customers also influence rankings. Positive sentiments expressed in these reviews can improve a business’s visibility. By understanding and optimizing for personalization signals and behavioral signals, businesses can enhance their online presence in local searches.


In conclusion, optimizing your Google My Business profile and focusing on factors like proximity, inbound links, on-page signals, online reviews, and backlink profile can greatly impact your local SEO rankings.

It’s important to regularly monitor and adjust these factors to improve your online visibility for local searches. Stay up-to-date with the latest insights from Moz and Whitespark to ensure you’re maximizing your local SEO efforts in 2023.


1. What are local SEO ranking factors?

Local SEO ranking factors refer to the criteria search engines use to determine how high a business ranks in local search results, such as proximity to the searcher, online reviews, and website quality.

2. How important are online reviews for local SEO?

Online reviews play a crucial role in local SEO as they help build trust with potential customers and improve your business’s visibility and rankings in search engine results.

3. Does having accurate contact information on my website affect my local SEO?

Yes, having accurate contact information (name, address, phone number) on your website is essential for good local SEO because it helps search engines understand your location and improves your chances of appearing in relevant searches.

4. Are backlinks important for local SEO rankings?

Yes, backlinks from reputable websites can significantly impact your local SEO rankings by boosting the authority and credibility of your business in the eyes of search engines.

5. Do mobile-friendly websites have better chances of ranking higher locally?

Absolutely! Having a mobile-friendly website increases your chances of ranking higher locally since more people now use their smartphones or tablets to perform searches.

author avatar
Chris Davis Partner
Chris Davis leads Savvy Gents, Inc., a web development firm based in the Fayetteville Arkansas.His team excels in digital signage, e-commerce, hosting, SEO, and crafting unique brands and websites using WordPress and Joomla. With offices in Northwest Arkansas they serve various industries.



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