When someone runs a Google search, they’re actually searching an index that Google has compiled. Google gets this index by crawling the web, link by link. When Google arrives on a website, it crawls all the links on that site, and then follows those links to other sites where it continues to repeat this process. The position of your site in Google’s search results is determined based on hundreds of variables all derived from the content in Google’s index. Now, some of these factors are specific to a keyword, say, how many times it appears on your site, if it appears in the title, if your site includes synonyms of that keyword.
Beyond the keyword, Google is going to look at the quality of your site, how many people link to it, how you’re using your titles, and any similar pages. Another important factor is how easily Google can crawl the site.
Is it clear what is most important?
Can Google find all the content by following every link on your page?
They may even take into consideration the browsing habits of the users conducting the search. In general, you can improve the rank of your site by making it something that users will want to use and share.
So, I’ve boiled it down to what I see as the five most influential components to good rank in local SEO. If all you could do is work on these five areas, you’d likely be in pretty good shape.
5 Most Influential Components To Ranking on Google
The first is having a high-quality Google My Business profile. When you verify your listing on Google My Business, you’ll gain authenticity and authority on the category you’ve selected. You’ve given Google a very strong signal as to who you are and what you’re about.
The second is having really relevant on-page content. Your Google category is fairly broad, so if you’ve categorized yourself as a bakery, you need to confirm on your website that you are indeed a bakery, but also introduce the fact you’re a cupcake bakery. This is where on-page keyword optimization is crucial.
Third is listing your business name, address and phone number around the web. Authoritative local sites such as the Yellow Pages and Yelp are all beneficial in reaffirming to Google that you are who you say you are. The most important part is to make sure the address matches exactly on each and every website.
Fourth is collecting quality links. Google wants to know that people are interested in your site. If you’ve got quality sites linking back to yours, Google is going to take note. The more inbound links that you have, the more popular you probably are. Quality is more important than quantity.
And the fifth component is reviews. Now, I’d argue that Google reviews are of significant value, but reviews on Yelp and other sites are going to be helpful as well. The reviews should be authentic or they could potentially be blocked.
These 5 ranking factors are tied together with the theme of consistency. They’re better together than they are in silos, so make sure that you’ve got consistent information across all of your efforts to maximize the impact.