David Mihm has completed his rankings for the Local Search Ranking survey for 2017. This source has been helping businesses for years as they try to make sense of what people search for and how they should focus to increase their search engine rankings. David’s new company, Tidings, is helping businesses by connecting to local search industries. Here is a quick breakdown of these local SEO ranking factors mentioned.
The article starts with the shift in priorities from last year to this year. A first glance might suggest that there was a large shift, but the number isn’t the entire story. There is quite the decrease in emphasis on the citations when compared to the increase in emphasis on factors like links and reviews. Citations are still a large part of a local search foundation, but we are learning to be smarter about how far to go with these citations. This topic will be highlighted later.
Proximity is rather important in the local ranking factors. It’s difficult for a business to rank well in a place that they aren’t physically located. These rankings have proven that proximity to the point of search address is playing a high role in impacting rankings. The proximity factors have changed quite a bit since 2015, and businesses that have a wider radius around their business tend to take more from local searches.
Links in Local SEOs
Another interesting factor in these rankings is a number of links. Since 2015, links have increasingly significantly. Because of this, businesses are spending a great deal of time and money investing in Google links. They are doing this to ensure that clients receive a quality link to their business, which eventually raises their link rankings.
Citations in Shifting Priorities
Now we can go back to the discussion of citations within the shifting priorities. The survey shows, at first glance, that citations are declining in importance in local marketing strategy. This information simply isn’t the entire story. The situation runs a little deeper when you consider the number of “not applicable” cells in the survey table. There have been changes made in the factors for citations. Though there has been a little decline in citations emphasis, the importance of quality above quantity has begun to increase.
GMB has almost been completely removed from ranking factors for one particular reason; GMB fields are not typically used for rankings any longer. This fact is not even the half of it. GMB fields were often abused or poorly used, so the constant keyword stuffing only hinders businesses instead of helping their rankings.
This factor is having quite the increased impact on local SEO rankings nowadays. Not only does this factor have increased impact, but it is also difficult to truly get an idea of behavioral factors because the access needed is difficult to obtain through SEOs. The only way to truly get behavioral factor ideas is by talking with real humans who often rank the business. For businesses, this can mean becoming a great business that people will want to rank highly in the behavioral aspect.
There are a lot of results from 2017’s local SEO ranking factors. The survey has given businesses a nice look at their stats and information that clients want you to know. The full survey results can be found on the website, and there are several different pieces of wisdom that can help you boost your rankings for next year. It’s worth your time to sit and dig into the information. Taking notes and reading further studies can help you both boost your rankings and your business at the same time.
Ronn Torossian is the Founder and CEO of the New York based public relations firm 5WPR: one of the 20 largest PR Firms in the United States.