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Local search engine optimization: How do you optimize your website for regional search queries?

Lately, I've been getting more and more requests to take over the optimization for local search queries. I have written this article to explain the process behind regional search engine optimization.

Local search engine optimization: Who is it interesting for?

Local search engine optimization is interesting for local companies / entrepreneurs as well as for platforms that aggregate and present local providers. Local businesses can be, for example, doctors, lawyers, restaurants or local stores. One example of platforms that aggregate local information is the catering marketplace "Caterwings".

Local search queries not only include a local reference, but usually also have a monthly search volume in the two to three-digit range. The majority of local search queries are also made from mobile devices, meaning that the loading time and mobile orientation of the website are important factors for local search queries.

What factors influence the ranking for local search queries?

The ranking factors for local search queries differ from conventional searches. Every year, the SEO experts at Moz conducted an exclusive survey to determine the relevance of the various ranking factors. The relevance of the ranking factors for the position in the Google Maps view from the results to the Search results pages. For this reason, we look at the two individually, and first look at the analysis of the Ranking factors for the Google Maps results. 

Local SEO ranking factors

Ranking factors for placement in the Google Maps view

First things first: Without a Google My Business account, there will be no rankings in the Google Maps view come! Under no circumstances should the company category be forgotten here. Without the correct categorization of the company, there will be no desirable positions. It is also recommended that the search query for which you want to rank is included with the company name in the headline. One example: If you want to rank for the keyword "Möbel Düsseldorf", then the category "Möbelgeschäft" and the title "Möbel + Unternehmensname + Düsseldorf" should be used. The correct categorization and the use of the keyword in the title are the most important factors for ranking. Ranking factor for the ranking in the Google Maps view.

As second most important The second ranking factor was called link signals. The domain authority of the linking page - i.e. the use of anchor text - is of crucial importance.

As third most important The on-page factors are the most important ranking factor. The domain authority of your own website and the use of the keyword in the title play a decisive role here. Google also pays attention to the existing NAP data (name, address, phone) on the website. These should always match your other data.

The fourth most important Ranking factors are the so-called citation signals. Citation signals are mentions of the company that do not necessarily contain a link. In order to use the citation signals for local search engine optimization, it is suitable to place the company in local advertising directories.

The rating signals for the respective Google My Business account also have an influence on the position displayed. Not only the average rating is taken into account, but also the frequency of the ratings.

User signals, such as the Click rate and the number of calls made via the Google Maps placement are the sixth most important ranking factors.

Google pushes the Personalization of the search more and more. It is therefore not surprising that personalized search queries are also becoming an important Ranking factor are. When personalizing the search, the current distance of the person searching to the local company is used as a ranking factor.

Ranking factors for local search queries in the SERPS

Basically, there are no dramatic differences between the ranking factors for the Google Maps rankings and the rankings in the conventional search results pages. For the sake of completeness, the ranking factors for the SERPs are also briefly presented:

  1. Left signals are the most important ranking factor in the search results for local search queries.
  2. Onpage factors, such as the title and domain authority, are considered the second most important ranking factor.
  3. User signals are much more important in the display of conventional search results than in the Google Maps display.
  4. The personalization of the search is also much more relevant in organic search results.
  5. Citation signals on the other hand, are somewhat less important when it comes to being displayed in search results.
  6. Google My Business also has a meaning for the presentation in the organic results.
  7. Evaluation signals are considered the weakest ranking factor in the placement of local search results.

Conclusion Local SEO:

Local search engine optimization is not witchcraft, but rather a healthy craft. In addition to the correct installation of the Google My Business account, the focus should be on organic link building and the optimization of on-page factors.

Tobias Dziuba

My name is Tobias and I am the founder and managing director of the Amazon agency Adsmasters GmbH based in Düsseldorf.

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