With the growing emphasis on local rankings in Google Maps, it’s easy for business owners to forget about the significance of traditional SEO and organic search rankings. Thankfully, a recent article by Christopher Ratcliff reminds business owners of the enduring importance of organic SEO—especially as it relates to local rankings. The article discusses how Google revealed the top factors in local ranking. And, as it turns out, organic search ranking is one of those factors. In addition to geographic proximity, topical relevance, and customer reviews, “prominence” is a factor that influences where a business ranks on Google Maps. According to Google’s own explanation (which is linked to in Ratcliff’s article), “prominence” has multiple meanings. In some circumstances, prominence is dictated by real-world popularity; thus, well known establishments like museums, departments stores, and places of worship will appear high in local search rankings. In other circumstances, prominence refers to the amount of information Google is able to collect about a local business. Therefore, lots of articles, links, and directory listings will lead to higher local search rankings. And then Google comes right out and says this:
Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.
That’s right: Your organic rankings directly impact your local rankings. This should clear up any misconception that Google Maps and mobile search have rendered traditional SEO obsolete. Moreover, online marketing companies like Prospect Genius and countless others specialize in making organic and local work together for optimal results.