Local Ranking Factors | Lesson 2/10 | SEMrush Academy

Greg teaches you how to rank well for Google local SEO by using Google’s local algorithm and its main signals to your advantage.
Watch the full course for free:

0:51 Business vertical
1:04 Business location
1:47 Local Search Ranking Factor or LSRF survey
2:31 Local Pack/Finder and Localized Organic ranking factors
2:42 Proximity
2:55 Link signals
3:00 Review signals
3:10 On-page signals
3:14 Citation signals
3:19 Behavioral signals
3:27 Personalization factors
3:32 Social signals

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No one knows exactly what’s in Google’s algorithm except Google engineers, so how are you supposed to know how to optimize your site?

Every year, several agencies and tool providers release their lists of important ranking factors, but you should never take anything you read or watch as gospel. Sure, it’s likely that most of what you’ll read or hear will be helpful, but some of it might not make a bit of difference to you.

Local SEO can be incredibly complicated – tactics that work for businesses in one vertical won’t necessarily work for businesses in another. The things that you’d do for a personal injury attorney are totally different from the things you’d do for a plumber.

Also, the tactics that work in one city or metro area won’t necessarily work in another city or metro area. The things you’d do to optimize a car dealer in a crowded market like Dallas are totally different from the things you’d do for a car dealer in the middle of nowhere in Wyoming.

The SEMrush Academy has several different video training courses; if only they had one for Local SEO… with an incredibly witty and handsome person to teach everyone…

It’s important to test everything for yourself, so you’re sure that the tactics and strategies that you’re using will result in more visibility for the site you’re optimizing. See what works – pay attention to what you’re doing and what changes you see in search results.

You should also pay attention to the annual Local Search Ranking Factors survey – basically, the Local SEO bible. Each year, the top 35-40 worldwide experts in Local SEO are given an in-depth survey about the various factors that influence local search results. Between client work and experimentation, these experts know that tweaking this signal over here or turning up this dial over here will result in more visibility in local searches.

The survey results are aggregated into two pie charts that outline the signals that are agreed to be the most influential in increasing local search rankings. One pie chart shows the signals that matter most for showing up in the map pack and in searches in Google Maps, and the other pie chart shows the signals that matter most for showing up in localized organic results.

The same signals matter for both areas, but the weights are different. Let’s look at the map pack and map search factors first. Proximity (how far the search result is from the searcher) is a major factor in map pack results, and since that factor falls under the Google My Business area, it’s the largest piece of the pie at 25.12%.

Links signals comes in second with 16.53%, followed by review signals at 15.44%. Notice that for showing up in the map pack, your Google My Business profile, your inbound links, and your reviews matter more than the content on your site, which comes in at number 4 with 13.82%.

Citation signals are the next piece, accounting for 10.82% of the total signal weight. Behavioral signals such as click-through rate, clicks to call on mobile, and clicks for directions account for 9.56%, followed by personalization factors at 5.88%. The final small piece of the pie covers social signals, at a pretty ineffective 2.82% of the total weight.

The localized organic signals show a very different breakdown for the top 4 weighted signals. Inbound links are the most important here, with almost 28% of the overall signal weight. On page signals follow close behind at a hair over 26%.

Behavioral signals come next with 11.5% of the weight, followed by Google My Business signals, which only count for 8.85% here. Citations are next with 8.41%, then personalization at 7.32% and reviews at 6.47%. And like we saw on the map pack pie chart, the smallest signal weight is social signals, with only 3.47% of the total weight.

#LocalSEO #SEOcourse #RankingFactors #SEMrushAcademy

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