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Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors

Local ranking has grown into its own over the past couple years. A combination of increased visibility and more shoppers using their smartphones to find local business on the go has made local SEO a significant part of online marketing and it can almost be treated entirely seperate from traditional SEO practices. By that I mean that while traditional SEO will still help your local optimization efforts, local SEO has its own list of unique ranking factors that local marketers have to keep in mind.

Starting in 2008, David Mihm began identifying and exploring these unique local SEO ranking factors. After 5 years, Local Search Ranking Factors 2013 has found 83 foundational ranking factors. Each factor helps decide your placement in online search results and how well you manage all of these individual factors help how you end up ranking. They can be the difference between a boost in business and a heightened profile in your market or a wasted investment and floundering online presence.

While you can find the full list of ranking factors on the Moz page for Local Search Ranking Factors 2013, the Moz team also took the time to create an illustrated guide to the 20 most important ranking factors for local businesses. While none of the factors they illustrate will come as a surprise to an experienced local marketer, they will help new website owners get their business out of the middle and in the top of the local market.

Keeping up with the local search ranking algorithm can often be at best confusing and at worst a complete mystery. It seems there are just as many, if not more factors involved, yet less coverage of exactly what search signals Google is using for local businesses. That can make it very difficult to know where to put your focus.

There are so many places you could put your energy too. Should you focus on the completeness of your Google Places profile? Or maybe citations and reviews are more important? Is your business hurt just because it isn’t near the center of the city? All of those are considered, and that is just skimming the surface.

While Google probably isn’t going to be delivering definitive answers about their search algorithms any time soon, David Mihm and Moz are working to find the answers with an annual survey focusing on local search ranking factors. They released their report of their findings for the year already, but Doublespark took their concise results and turned them into an infographic.

Local SEO Ranking Factors