Without effective search engine optimization (SEO), no one will be able to find your business online. The SEO experts at 101 Management Inc., are continually researching and monitoring the best ways to help you succeed in your marketing efforts. Therefore, we’d like to present a summary of the latest survey results on Local Search Ranking Factors (2018) as reported by Moz.com.

As you know, Google and the other search engines are constantly updating and refining their algorithms to decide SEO placement on searches. When customers look for local businesses, Google My Business (GMB) is critical if you want to show up on the first page and appear in maps, etc. You must know not only all the components that the search engines factor into producing their results, but which of these signals figure more prominently in their algorithms.

Changing emphasis

Reviews are increasingly replacing citations as one of the critical differentiators for SEO for GMB. In addition, GMB, now split from Google+, is boosting its revenue by focusing more and more on local business searches, as well as adding numerous new features, including:

  • Google Posts available to all GMB users
  • Google Q&A
  • website builder
  • services
  • messaging
  • videos
  • videos in Google Posts

Here are the categories that most impact SEO ranking:

  • GMB signals (proximity, categories, keyword in business title, etc.);
  • link signals (inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc.);
  • review signals (review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc.);
  • on-page signals (presence of name, address, and phone number [NAP], keywords in titles, domain authority, etc.);
  • citation signals (Internet yellow pages [IYP]/aggregator, NAP consistency, citation volume, etc.);
  • behavioral signals (click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.);
  • personalization; and,
  • social signals (Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, etc.).

GMB signals now make up 25 percent of the local pack/finder pie chart, according to Moz, with links at 16 percent, reviews at 15 percent, on-page at 14 percent, and citations at 11 percent. (Behavioral, personalization, and social make up the remaining amount.)

Beat the competition

Because these ranking factors represent the very latest data, if you act quickly you can put this information to use ahead of your competition. Here are the steps we recommend that you perform to take advantage of this insight:

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask every customer for a Google review, and encourage keywords in those reviews by asking customers to specifically mention your product or service in the review.
  2. Respond to every review, because Google now notifies the reviewer when the owner responds.
  3. Expand beyond Google and get reviews on the other important review sites for your industry, while at the same time continuing to send customers to Google. Need a review strategy? CONTACT US!
  4. Make sure your profile is 100 percent filled out. GMB has added many new data points that you can add to your listing.
  5. Seed the Google Q&A with your own questions and answers.
  6. Regularly upload photos and videos to GMB.
  7. Ensure your business is listed, accurate, complete, and duplicate-free on the top 10-15 most important sites in your industry.
  8. Start using Google Posts at least once a week. Edit the posts you’re pushing out on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter slightly for Google Posts. And use calls to action in your posts whenever possible to drive direct conversions.

The purpose of all this activity is to increase engagement, which shows Google that you’re an active and engaged business owner. It also offers fresh content, which helps attract users, which in turn tells Google that users are engaged with your business.

Achieving a high SEO ranking has become much more science than art these days, which is why you need a leading SEO firm like 101 Management Inc., to help keep your business at the top of the page. Contact our SEO experts to help you achieve this ranking.