Local Search Ranking: Strategies to Achieve the Top Position

Start ranking in local search so that people close to your business can easily discover your services.
Local search ranking is a strategy designed to help you rank for queries near where your business is physically located. Examples include searching for terms like “pizzeria near me” or “nail salon in New York.”

But getting into the search results for these queries isn’t just about adding your address to your website and ensuring you’re effectively registered with Google My Business – although, of course, both of these factors are very important. Find out how to get the most out of searches near you to open up new local business opportunities.

What is local search?

If you’ve already started your SEO journey, then you most likely know the basics of how SEO works. Local strategies still use the core principles of general SEO tactics, but add a few additional strategies to ensure you rank for more general search queries of people in your area.

For example, an attorney will likely use similar marketing tactics by using online search engine advertising for broad terms related to their practice, such as “business tax attorney.” This way, they can increase website traffic and find new business tax clients.

But if they only serve certain areas, like most law firms, they will add those goals and focus their advertising only on them to avoid paying for traffic that won’t lead to new business for their organization.
So, while the general strategy is the same for national SEO and local SEO, you’ll have to hone your tactics a bit to focus on specific geography and see results that will lead to new business.

Factors Affecting Local Search Ranking

Understand the ranking factors that affect your local search rankings. The following factors influence search in general.

  • Website speed
  • Content quality
  • Site structure
  • Ease of navigation
  • Site architecture
  • Quality of third-party links

But when it comes to local SEO, Google evaluates three additional factors.

  1. Relevance: Google looks at how relevant your website and services are to the searcher’s query. For example, if a user searches for “appliance repair near me,” then technicians listing appliance repair as a service will be more relevant than local stores that sell appliances.
  2. Distance: Search engines know how far a business is from a user’s physical location based on IP address and location data. The goal is to return results with the most relevant local businesses that satisfy the user’s query so that the user returns to the search engine for subsequent queries.
  3. Fame: A brand’s reputation and overall online presence is also a factor. Google considers reviews, recent content updates, responsiveness, backlinks, and more to determine how reputable a brand is.

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Local Search Strategies That Boost Your Rankings

Armed with a better understanding of how local search works and what Google rewards companies for, here are some strategies you can use to improve your local search results.


This stage includes many small steps. Follow these steps to help local search engines find your business.

  • Start with a mobile-friendly site: 57 percent of all local searches come from mobile devices. To make money from this business, you need a mobile-friendly website. While most CMSs adapt to the size of the client’s device, you may find some odd aspects of your site when running a mobile-friendliness test. Fixing these issues will help improve your local search rankings.
  • Make your site design user-centered: User-centered site design starts with thinking about the customer experience. Create a site architecture that is simple and easy to navigate so users can find what they came for.
  • Target local keywords: List your city, state, or region on your site to help search engines understand your geographic presence. This way, search engines can show up your business in search results for the right people who are close to your business.
  • Run a page speed test: For your site to be considered in local searches, it must load quickly. Use Google PageSpeed ​​Insights to find areas for improvement to avoid losing traffic due to slow loading speeds.
  • Make your website accessible: Website accessibility ensures that people of all abilities can view your website and learn more about your business. This includes using alt tags in photos, and video captions, and ensuring effective color contrast throughout the site. This is useful both for people with disabilities and for showing search engines how much you care about your customers.


It’s no surprise that Google rewards companies that use their services. Listing your business on Google My Business helps the search engine locate your business and learn more about what it has to offer.

Opening a listing also ensures that users can check out your services, leave reviews, or see photos and videos from your business.


Local search rankings will be shuffled and ordered based on customers’ previous experiences with your business. The more positive reviews you leave, the more likely you are to rank well in local searches.

However, be aware that Google has ways of identifying false or fabricated reviews. Don’t pay for services that promise hundreds of positive reviews in a short period of time.

You need to create a system for asking for feedback after services are provided. This could be email, text messaging, or even point-of-sale transactions. This way, your reviews will be genuine and related to experiences that Google can verify.


Look for local business directories or places that list organizations located in your area. This will further strengthen your service area and let search engines know what you offer. Plus, getting on these lists provides an opportunity to gain high-quality backlinks to show Google that you are trustworthy.

Some SEO tools offer local search assistance to help you create and manage these ads to ensure continued accuracy. Monitoring them is just as important as creating them, as you may discover inconsistencies or misinformation that need to be addressed to avoid long-term problems.


Google offers local ads to help service businesses find customers in a specific geographic area. This will allow your business to appear at the top of results for local customers. Make sure you learn the ins and outs of these types of ads before paying for them.


Social media is another way to tell search engines more about your business’s location and the areas you serve. Instagram is highly geotargetable, as is Facebook with its registration feature. Encouraging users to participate in these services will help strengthen your local SEO presence.

Social signals help Google identify the best businesses to show up in local search. So be proactive and encourage customer interaction.


Backlinks are proof that your site is trustworthy from another reputable site. But you don’t need backlinks from any site. Make sure they have high authority so you don’t end up with spammy links that will do more harm than good to your ranking.

Creating the Most Effective Local Search Presence

SEO is a difficult task, but when you factor in local search rankings, finding a strategy that will drive quality traffic to your website and local business becomes even more challenging.

Eye Advertising offers local SEO services to help businesses rank for search queries within their geography. Schedule a free consultation today to start ranking in local search in your area.