search marketing

New Study Reveals Top 2 Local Search Ranking Factors

Written by Paul Steinbrueck

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Want to know how to get your church, school, or local business better local search rankings?

Local SEO Guide teamed up with UC Irvine to analyze 200+ ranking factors for more than 100,000 local organizations, to do determine which factors have the biggest impact on Google Maps/local search rankings.

Their research found two search ranking factors stood out above all the rest.

Top 2 Local Search Ranking Factors

1) Google Reviews

“Reviews are obviously a driving factor of ranking in Google My Business pack results. The prominence of reviews isn’t particularly shocking, as it’s a way for Google to crowdsource ranking factors, it’s hard to spam, and the most problematic type of abuse is illegal”

If you want better local search rankings, get more Google reviews.  Keep in mind that Google prohibits rewarding people for posting reviews, however, it is perfectly OK to ask for reviews – on your website, in emails, in verbal announcements at meetings/gatherings.

2) Organic SEO Practices

“To be successful in local SEO, you have to have a holistic SEO strategy, with a heavy emphasis on your website… [H]aving a site, ranking organically and links are features that HEAVILY correlate with positive pack performance.”

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 In other words, if you want your local listings to rank well, you need to get your website ranking well in the general search results by doing on-page optimization, getting links to your website, etc.

You can read the full report here.

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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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