We are talking about SEO, but specifically about Local SEO and therefore optimization for search engines at “local” level.
To analyze the elements that today Google takes into account about local search marketing, we start from an interesting study of Moz.com, in which we find a series of interesting ideas and especially a list of ranking factors that affect precisely the organic results (SERP) local.
The study, updated to 2017, defines this group of organic results as “Local Pack”. Let’s see what techniques and conditions on and off pages are crucial for the positioning of an activity that has a localized target in a specific geographical area.
Google My Business
According to Moz’s survey, the information extracted from the Google My Business card of the activity is fundamental: in the classification of importance it represents 19%. But how to optimize the Google My Business tab? First, it must have a suitable category, keywords in the title of the activity on GMB, quality photos (also by users/clients) and, fundamental (but questionable point), must be in the vicinity of the user who performs the search.
In second place (17%) are the links that lead to the activity, although it has lost importance, is still one of the main factors for an effective local seo strategist.
The quality / authority of the links is increasingly a factor of pre-eminence: links to our site with consistent anchor text, links from authoritative local sites but also the number of links themselves. In other words, it is important to back up links from local authoritative sites belonging (also) to the category of our activity.
Factors on page
In third place (14%) there are all those activities on page, aimed at optimization, of which Google values in particular:
- The Nit (Name, Address and Phone)
- Keywords within title tags
- The Domain Authority (domain authority) then inbound links from sites with a high authority, internal links
- Mobile Site Optimization
Quotes from authoritative sources
A predominant factor in this ranking of Moz (13%) is represented by the quality and quantity of quotations from authoritative sources. Therefore, it is important to ensure the presence on other sites and local directories authoritative (an example among many may be the presence of a restaurant or hotel on Trip Advisor). In this case we must consider: the consistency of the NIT, down to the last detail, always in the same way as the website and the number of citations, which must still be of quality and from authoritative sites.
The value of reviews / testimonials is set to increase (from 8 to 15% in relation to 2015); it is a ranking factor considered among the main ones, especially in terms of: quantity of reviews, speed and authenticity of response, authority of the reviewer, value of the platform.
Behaviour and involvement of users
Google is very interested in users and their real experience, in order to provide results and experiences increasingly responsive to needs and therefore “customized” even at the local level. Therefore, in addition to the reviews (as we have seen) also takes into account the actions and behaviors of users on the website (10%). We are talking about the percentage of clicks (CTR) with respect to the views on the snakes, rate of stay, metrics click-to-call (call button), request for directions, checks in (registration of users in the room) and the like.
Along the lines of what has just been said, Google also considers important the experience of customizing the user (10%) when visiting the website, including ease of navigation, use of the menu, etc..
Here Google takes into account the engagement we can generate on the main social networks Google+, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. From an SEO point of view, they earn “only” 4%, but in a local marketing strategy they represent a fundamental communication channel to promote their activity / event / promotion and the like.