"Local Search Puzzle" Pieced Together in One Simple Image

Having trouble understanding exactly what goes into your site’s local search rankings, no matter how many times your account manager attempts to demystify it? This should help.

Local Search Puzzle

Linda Buquet, a local search specialist and community leader of Local Search Forum, recently posted this illustration that simplifies the “puzzle” of local search. As the image shows, the four main components of local search are:

  • Google (reviews and Google+)
  • On-page SEO
  • Citations
  • Backlinks and social signals

Let’s break those down.

1. Google

This first component is fairly self-explanatory. The state of your business’s Google+ Local page, as well as your number of customer reviews, will contribute to your ranking. The more optimized your listing is, and the more (positive) customer reviews you have, the better your ranking will be. Prospect Genius optimizes your listings for you, but only you have control over how many reviews you get.

2. On-Page SEO

Your website’s pages must all be optimized to appeal to Google’s search algorithms. The content must be deemed “valuable,” i.e. targeted at specific search terms, fully relevant to those search terms, and generally informative. All of Prospect Genius’s LeadTrax™ sites are designed to fulfill this component.

3. Citations

“Citation” may not be a word you’re familiar with in the context of local SEO. It refers to all of the instances in which your business name appears alongside your contact information (e.g. address and phone number). Accuracy and consistency are crucial. Citations most often come from online directories and Internet yellow pages, but they may also occur in newspapers, magazines, local blogs, and social media posts. Several of Prospect Genius’s packages, including Directory Dominator, Core, and Premium, will add your business info to numerous directories, thus ensuring accuracy across the board and driving up your citation score.

4. Backlinks and Social Signals

Backlinks are also commonly called “inbound links.” They refer to links that exist on one website and link to your own website. A high number of backlinks will drive up your local search ranking. The same goes for social signals, which are data points that tell Google how appealing your website is on a human level. If lots of people are sharing links to your website on social media and your company’s social media account has lots of “Likes” or followers, then those valuable social signals will boost your local search ranking. A handful of our packages, including Core, SocialStart, and SocialStream, will set you up with Facebook and Twitter accounts, thus setting you on the right course to gain more social signals. Need further clarification? Don’t hesitate to give us a call or send us an e-mail!