JANUARY 6, 2015

Local Search Ranking – what are the main issues?

The importance of ranking well in local search is now an established fact and yet it remains elusive to many companies and often causes frustration for the SEO agencies who manage online presence for businesses.

It seems from a range of authoritative research by BrightLocal.com in 2014 that a key issue remains the consistency of the NAP (name, address and phone number). This basic requirement is vital to good local search ranking and those businesses who focus on NAP consistency and quality, reap the rewards – getting this right makes a big difference!

So what’s important to Google when considering the ranking position?

A business’ local search rankings are very much influenced by whether Google can find information of the business, from across the internet and their data suppliers, and that this information is consistent where it appears and correlates to the details on the business’ website and Google+.

When determining how you rank in local results, Google scans the web for mentions of your business name, address, phone number plus website URL and several other data points. It then compares that information to other data sources – this is where the consistency element becomes so vital. If the information Google trawls isn’t consistent then Google mistrusts it and this will be reflected in the ranking. Even putting Google aside, information that is incorrect or contains errors does not present well to customers – so an incorrect phone number for example will not show a business in the best light and may result in lost business.

In recent times there has been a shift in focus by the more savvy SEO professionals and those businesses with a keen eye on the value of local search. They recognise the importance of paying more attention to NAP and the management of numerous citations across vast numbers of directories – and also the value of accuracy and consistency. The only way to do this effectively is to automate the process, not only does this save on the huge amount of man-hours should any information change, but also reduces the likelihood of errors. Get Me Everywhere addresses this need – allowing clients to upload their business details (NAP) and to make changes when required, all from a single source rather than requiring multiple inputs.

Local Search is becoming increasingly important in the scramble to rank highly. Paying attention to citations and consistency of the NAP, whether you are a business or an agency working on behalf of a business, is a ‘no brainer’.

For more detail on Issues Affecting Local Ranking take a look at the article by Myles Anderson, BrightLocal.com, published in Search Engine Land.