Top 10 Local SEO Ranking Factors to Drive Local Traffic

Top 10 Local SEO Ranking Factors to Drive Local Traffic

Nearly all consumers, 97% to be exact, go online to find local businesses, as reported by a WebFX study. For business owners and marketers, this highlights how important local SEO is for bringing in customers. But keeping up with SEO can be tricky because the rules keep changing. 


This article aims to make it easier for you. We'll go over the key local SEO factors that can help your business show up more often in search results. Whether you're new to SEO or just want to do better, this guide gives you useful tips to succeed in the local online market.


Why is Local SEO Important?


In 2023, local SEO continues to be a cornerstone for businesses aiming to attract both online and in-person customers. A recent Google study reveals that 76% of individuals who perform a local search on their smartphone visit a physical business within 24 hours. 


This compelling statistic underscores the immediate impact that local SEO, a part of Enterprise SEO, can have on customer acquisition and foot traffic. Beyond driving people to physical locations, local SEO also plays a pivotal role in enhancing a business's online presence, generating leads, and facilitating e-commerce sales


However, the benefits of local SEO don't stop there. It serves as a cost-effective marketing strategy that allows businesses to measure their return on investment through analytics.


Additionally, local SEO builds trust and credibility by helping businesses appear in prominent positions on search engine results, such as Google's 'Local Pack.' As consumer behaviour evolves with the rise of voice search and mobile browsing, local SEO offers the adaptability needed to meet these changing trends. It also provides a crucial competitive advantage, especially as the online world grows more competitive by the day. As we look ahead, it's clear that local SEO has evolved from an optional strategy to an essential component of business success.


Case Study: Marketix Digital and Graham and Sons Plumbing - Dominating Local Search in Sydney

After discussing the critical role that local SEO plays in today's competitive online environment, let's look at a real-world example that brings these principles to life.


This case study focuses on the successful partnership between Marketix Digital, a Sydney SEO agency, and Graham and Sons Plumbing, a local business in Sydney. Together, they implemented targeted local SEO and SEM strategies to dominate search rankings across various suburbs in Sydney and for specific plumbing-related keywords.


Challenges Faced:


Before teaming up with Marketix Digital, Graham and Sons Plumbing encountered several obstacles:


• Low Suburb-Specific Rankings: The company found it difficult to rank well in searches for specific Sydney suburbs, limiting their local reach.

• Limited Keyword Visibility: Despite aiming to rank for crucial plumbing-related terms like "kitchen plumbing Sydney," they struggled to secure top positions.

• Local Competition: The Sydney area is home to many plumbing companies, making it essential for Graham and Sons Plumbing to stand out.


Results Achieved:


• Top Rankings: The collaboration led to Graham and Sons Plumbing ranking in the top 3 for almost every suburb in Sydney.

• Keyword Success: They also secured over 176 keywords in the top 3 search results, with an additional 201 keywords ranking between positions 4-10 on the first page.

• Increased Visibility: The strategies significantly boosted the company's online presence, allowing them to reach a broader audience.

• Traffic and Conversions: The increased visibility translated into a substantial uptick in website traffic, which in turn led to a higher volume of leads and conversions for the business.


This case study serves as a testament to the transformative power of local SEO, reinforcing its importance as an indispensable tool for businesses aiming to succeed in their local markets.


10 Local SEO Ranking Factors for Business Success

Being the go-to business in your local area requires more than excellent products or services; it calls for a robust local SEO strategy. In this section, we outline the 10 most crucial factors that will help your business rank higher in local search results. From optimising your Google My Business profile to earning positive reviews, this guide serves as your step-by-step roadmap to local visibility and customer engagement.


Google My Business


Google My Business (GMB) is often likened to a "digital storefront," serving as a critical touchpoint between businesses and potential customers. While it's true that a well-optimised GMB profile provides essential information like location, hours, and customer reviews, its role in local SEO goes beyond mere information dissemination. 


On-Page Signals


On-page SEO elements like keywords, titles, and consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) information are vital for optimising a website for local search. Overlooking these factors can significantly reduce your visibility in local search results, limiting your ability to attract local customers. To improve your local SEO, it's crucial to incorporate location-specific keywords into your meta descriptions and titles. Additionally, maintaining NAP consistency across all platforms and listings is essential for both search engine rankings and customer trust.


Online Reviews


Online reviews serve a dual purpose: they are not only reflections of customer experiences but also crucial tools for building a brand's online reputation. Their impact extends to influencing consumer behaviour and affecting search engine rankings, especially in local searches. These reviews act as social proof, enhancing your credibility and improving your standings in local search results. To leverage the power of online reviews, businesses should proactively ask for feedback from satisfied customers and make it a practice to respond to all reviews, whether positive or negative, as a demonstration of valuing customer input.


Backlink Profile


The importance of backlinks in search engine optimisation (SEO) is well-established, but it's crucial to understand that not all backlinks carry the same weight. When it comes to local SEO, prioritising quality over quantity can significantly improve your website's performance in local search rankings. High-quality, locally relevant backlinks not only boost your site's authority but also enhance its standing in local search results. Strategies for acquiring such valuable backlinks include forming partnerships with local businesses and organisations for mutual promotion, as well as contributing guest posts to local blogs or magazines with a link back to your site.


Online Citations


Online citations, which are mentions of your business that typically feature your Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP), play a significant role in local SEO. These citations can appear across various platforms, including websites, social media, local business directories, and review sites. Consistency in your NAP information across the web is not just a best practice but a critical factor for the success of your local SEO efforts. Inconsistent NAP details can create confusion for both search engines and potential customers, resulting in missed opportunities and lower rankings in local search results.


Proximity to Searcher's Location


Proximity to the searcher's location is a key determinant in local SEO rankings. The closer your business is to the person conducting the search, the higher the likelihood of your business ranking well in local search results. This geographical distance between the searcher and your business significantly influences your visibility online. To capitalise on this, it's advisable to optimise for 'Near Me' searches by including phrases like 'near me' or 'close by' in your website content. Additionally, verifying that your business location is accurately represented on Google Maps can further enhance your local SEO efforts.


Behavioural Signals


Behavioural signals, such as Click-Through Rates (CTR) and mobile clicks to calls, provide valuable insights into how users interact with your website and listings in local search. These metrics are not just numbers; they are indicators of user engagement and satisfaction, which can indirectly affect your local SEO performance. A higher CTR or increased call rates often suggest that users find your business relevant, which can further improve your standing in local search rankings.


Local Landing Pages


For businesses operating in multiple locations, dedicated local landing pages are a game-changer in the realm of local SEO. These location-specific pages not only attract customers to each individual location but also contribute to improving your overall search engine rankings. To make the most of this strategy, it's essential to create landing pages tailored to each location, complete with unique content and optimised for local keywords.


Local Content Marketing


Local content marketing is a specialised form of content marketing that zeroes in on the specific interests and needs of a local audience. Unlike broader content strategies, this approach aims to boost your brand's visibility in local search results while fostering a strong connection with the community. Types of effective local content can range from blogs and infographics to videos, all tailored to local events or news. To excel in this area, it's crucial to create content that offers genuine value to your local community, which not only enhances your local SEO but also positions your business as a local authority.


Social Signals


While social signals—such as shares, likes, comments, and follows on social media platforms—are often sidelined in discussions about local SEO, their role is increasingly significant. Even though Google hasn't said exactly how much this activity affects your SEO, there's a clear link between being active on social media and showing up in local search results. Forms of engagement like shares, likes, and comments can serve as supportive elements in your local SEO strategy. To leverage this, it's important to be active on social media platforms frequented by your target audience, share local news, engage in local conversations, and encourage user interaction to bolster your local SEO efforts.


Your Easy-to-Follow Local SEO Checklist


To make your journey towards local SEO supremacy easier, we've put together a comprehensive Local SEO Checklist that dives deeper into each of these areas.

Comprehensive Local SEO Checklist

This checklist serves as a blueprint to ensure you’re hitting all the necessary points. Don't just read it—use it as an ongoing tool to guide your local SEO efforts for better visibility and higher conversions.


Google My Business (GMB)

☐ Claim your business listing

☐ Complete all sections, including NAP, business hours, and categories

☐ Add high-quality photos

☐ Update information regularly

Quality Backlinks

☐ Partner with local businesses for backlinks

☐ Guest post on reputable local blogs

☐ Use tools to analyse backlink quality


User Engagement

☐ Monitor and respond to customer reviews

☐ Analyse click-through rates (CTR) and call rates

☐ Regularly update content to keep it fresh and engaging

☐ Use social media to foster community and customer engagement


Bonus Points

☐ Ensure NAP consistency across all platforms

☐ Create local landing pages for multiple locations

☐ Utilise local keywords in meta descriptions and titles

☐ Keep an eye on behavioural signals like mobile clicks to calls

☐ Engage in local content marketing

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Local SEO


What is Local SEO?

Local SEO is a strategy for optimising your online presence to attract more business from relevant local searches on search engines like Google.


Why is Local SEO important?

Local SEO is important because it helps your business appear in local search results, making it easier for nearby customers to find and visit your physical location.


How does Google My Business (GMB) relate to Local SEO?

Google My Business is crucial for Local SEO because it serves as your digital storefront, enabling your business to appear in local search listings and Google Maps.


What are on-page signals in Local SEO?

On-page signals in Local SEO refer to elements like local keywords, meta descriptions, and the consistency of your name, address, and phone number (NAP) on your website.


Why are online reviews important for Local SEO?

Online reviews are important for Local SEO because they build credibility and can positively impact your rankings in local search results.


How can I improve my backlink profile for Local SEO?

To improve your backlink profile for Local SEO, focus on getting high-quality backlinks from local businesses and reputable websites rather than accumulating a large number of low-quality links.


What are online citations in the context of Local SEO?

Online citations in Local SEO are mentions of your business name, address, and phone number across the web, and it's important for these details to be consistent to improve local search rankings.


How does proximity to the searcher's location affect Local SEO?

Proximity to the searcher's location is a ranking factor in Local SEO, meaning the closer your business is to the person searching, the more likely it is to appear in local search results.


What role do behavioural signals play in Local SEO?

Behavioural signals like click-through rates (CTR) and mobile clicks to calls play a role in Local SEO by indicating how relevant and helpful your business is to searchers, which can influence your local rankings.


Are social signals relevant for Local SEO?

Yes, social signals like social media activity and customer engagement are relevant for Local SEO as they can boost your visibility in local search results.




Local SEO is crucial for businesses aiming to dominate their local markets. But it's not just about having an online presence; it's about optimising specific ranking factors to convert online visibility into actual customers. For instance, 88% of people who conduct a local search on their phone visit a store within a week. This statistic alone highlights the importance of optimising for local search.


Your competitors are also zeroing in on local SEO, making it a race against time. Every day you delay fine-tuning your local SEO is a day they could be capturing your potential customers. In other words, neglecting local SEO is not just a missed opportunity; it's a step backward.


So, what should you do? We're here to guide you. Whether you want a free SEO audit to identify areas for improvement or prefer a DIY approach with our comprehensive local SEO guide, we've got you covered.

Don't let your competitors dictate your local market presence. Your business's future could very well depend on the local SEO actions you take today.


In conclusion, local SEO is more than just a subset of general SEO; it's a targeted strategy that can make or break your success in the local market. By focusing on key local SEO ranking factors, you're not just staying in the game—you're aiming to win it.