The search marketing industry expected recent Google releases like the local results carousel display to impact search ranking performance, but brands say local SEO is business as usual. In fact, a recent Moz survey found marketers cite the same factors influencing their positions in SERPs.
Top local SEO factors
On average, marketers think Place Page Signals have a 19.6 percent influence on PageRank for local queries. Moz defined these as factors like optimized categories, proximity and keyword inclusion in business titles have the most significant influence on local search performance.
Marketers think Place Page Signals have a 19.6 percent influence on PageRank for local queries.
On-Page signals follow with an estimated 18.8 percent influence on SERP positions, including factors such as keywords in titles, domain authority and the presence of contact data (name, address and phone number). External Location signals such as citations from external domains and corroborating contact data are deemed the third most influential (16 percent), while link signals (inbound anchor text, quantity and quality of incoming links) have a 14 percent influence on rankings and review signals are assumed to have a weight of 10 percent.
Social signals, personalization and behavioral factors (clickthrough rates and check-ins) are perceived to have minimal influence on local search results, the survey revealed.
Year-over-year: Minimal change?
Last year, Page Place Criteria was likewise considered the most important, followed by Off-Place Page and Off-Site Criteria, Website Criteria, Review Criteria and Social/Mobile Criteria. The fact that ranking signals have remain relatively unchanged between 2012 and 2013 is good new for local marketers with sophisticated SEO strategies.
However, brands can’t lose site of social media’s potential game-changing influence. In a recent video, Brafton explains that businesses’ Google+ Pages can support a local SEO strategy by building a brand’s footprint on the search-engine-owned network to increase ranking signals in search.