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Local Search Ranking Factors 2023

Local Search Ranking Factors: Understanding the Basics

When it comes to local search rankings, there are a lot of factors that come into play. Local businesses need to understand what these factors are and how they can use them to their advantage. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most important local search ranking factors that businesses need to consider if they want to outrank their competitors.

1. Google My Business

One of the most important local search ranking factors is having a Google Business Profile (GBP) listing. This is a free tool provided by Google that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps. By creating a GMB listing and optimizing it with accurate information, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in local search results.

2. NAP Consistency

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s important for businesses to ensure that their NAP information is consistent across all online directories and listings. Inconsistent information can lead to confusion for both search engines and potential customers. By ensuring that NAP information is accurate and consistent, businesses can improve their local search rankings.

3. Online Reviews

Online reviews are another important local search ranking factor. Reviews provide social proof and can help to build trust with potential customers. Businesses should encourage customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Positive reviews can improve local search rankings and attract new customers.

4. Local Citations

Local citations are mentions of a business’s NAP information on other websites, directories, and social media platforms. By building local citations, businesses can improve their local search rankings and establish credibility in their local community. It’s important to ensure that citations are accurate and consistent.

5. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization refers to optimizing the content on a business’s website for local search. This includes incorporating relevant keywords, optimizing title tags and meta descriptions, and including location-specific content. By optimizing their website for local search, businesses can improve their chances of appearing in local search results.

Local pack/finder ranking factors

Local organic ranking factors

Rank Factor Score
1 Primary GBP Category 193
2 Keywords in GBP Business Title 181
3 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance) 176
4 Physical Address in City of Search 170
5 Removal of spam listings through spam fighting 143
6 High Numerical Google Ratings (e.g. 4-5) 138
7 Additional GBP Categories 134
8 Quantity of Native Google Reviews (w/text) 128
9 Verified GBP 117
10 Proximity of Address to Centroid 114
11 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Title 114
12 Completeness of GBP 112
13 Sustained Influx of Reviews Over Time (rather than bursts) 105
14 Dedicated Page for Each Service 105
15 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Headings (H1, H2, etc) 102
16 Proper Placement of the Map Pin 101
17 Geographic (City/Neighborhood) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content 101
18 Internal Linking Across Entire Website 100
19 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains 100
20 Recency of Reviews 99
21 Quantity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains 98
22 Consistency of Citations on Primary Search Engines (Google Maps, Bing Maps, Apple Maps) 98
23 HTML NAP Matching GBP NAP 97
24 Internal Links TO GBP Landing Page from Other Pages of Website 97
25 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain 94
26 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 94
27 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL from Industry-Relevant Domains 92
28 Age of GBP 90
29 Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 89
30 Volume of Searches for Business Name 89
31 Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance Across Entire Website 88
32 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Industry-Relevant Domains 87
33 Volume of Quality Content on Service Pages 86
34 Keywords in Native Google Reviews 85
35 Reference to Location Specific Entities on GBP Landing Page 82
36 Website's Degree of Focus on a Specific Niche 82
37 Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain 81
38 Click-Through from Search Results for Relevant Search Terms / from Geographically Relevant Locations 79
39 Positive Sentiment in Review Text 78
40 Quantity of Native Google Ratings (no text) 78
41 Mobile-friendly/Responsive Website 78
42 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 78
43 Proper Category Associations on Aggregators and Tier 1 Citation Sources 78
44 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains 78
45 Internal Links FROM GBP Landing Page to Other Pages of Website 77
46 Authority of Third-Party Sites on Which Reviews are Present 76
47 Diversity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 76
48 Quantity of Engagement Signals on GBP (scrolling through listing, clicking photos, reading reviews, reading Q&A, clicking on Posts, etc) 76
49 Click-Through Rate from Search Results (General) 75
50 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain 74
51 Prominence on Key Industry-Relevant Domains 74
52 Keywords in Titles Across Entire Website 73
53 Loadtime of GBP Landing Page 73
54 Volume of Quality Content on Entire Website 73
55 Driving Directions to Business Clicks 73
56 Consistency of Citations on Key Sites (Yellowpages, Yelp, D&B, CityGrid) 72
57 Clicks to Call Business 72
58 Keywords in Headings (H1, H2, etc) Across Entire Website 71
59 Website Uses HTTPS by default 71
60 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain 71
61 Consistency of Citations on Data Aggregators (Infogroup, Localeze, Foursquare/Factual) 71
62 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain 70
63 Diversity of Anchor Text to GBP Landing Page URL 70
64 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains 70
65 Quantity of Positive Google Review Attributes 69
66 Quantity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 69
67 High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g. Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides, etc) 68
68 Diversity of Anchor Text to Domain 68
69 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts, Gov Sites, Industry Associations) 68
70 Keywords in GBP Landing Page URL 67
71 Volume of Content on GBP Landing Page 67
72 Domain Authority of Website 67
73 In-store visits tracked by Android or Google Maps Mobile app location detection 66
74 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations 65
75 Presence of "Website mentions" Justifications in Local Search Results 63
76 Keywords in Domain Name 63
77 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) 62
78 Quantity of Reviews on Industry-Specific Sites 61
79 Loadtime of Pages Across Entire Website 61
80 Page Authority of GBP Landing Page URL 61
81 Presence of GBP Services 60
82 Quality/Relevance of Photos 60
83 Enhancement/Completeness of Citations 60
84 Presence of "Identifies as" Attributes on GBP 59
85 Proper Hours Set on GBP 59
86 Diversity of Third-Party Sites on Which Reviews are Present 59
87 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yellowpages, etc) 59
88 Sustained Influx of Links Over Time (rather than bursts) 59
89 Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (e.g. blogs, newspapers, magazines) 57
90 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators) 56
91 Presence of Business on Expert Curated Best of and Similar Lists 55
92 Presence of Review Justifications in Local Search Results 54
93 Quantity of Photos with Google Vision-AI Labels Matching Keywords 54
94 High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) 54
95 Keywords in URLs Across Entire Website 54
96 Presence of "Provides" Justifications in Local Search Results 53
97 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g. Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides, etc) 52
98 NAP in Schema/JSON-LD on GBP Landing Page URL 52
99 Local Area Code on GBP 51
100 Keywords in Third-Party Reviews 49
101 Unlinked Brand Mentions 49
102 Keywords in Image ALT attributes on GBP Landing Page 48
103 Keywords in Text Surrounding Links to GBP Landing Page 47
104 Consistency of Citations on Other Citation Sources 47
105 Sustained Output of Content Over Time (rather than bursts) 46
106 Quantity of Photos in General on GBP 45
107 Presence of Crowd Sourced Attributes 44
108 Keywords in Text Surrounding Links to Domain 44
109 Length of Dwell Time on GBP 42
110 Keywords in GBP Services 41
111 Presence of Owner Responses to Most Reviews 40
112 Quantity of Services Performed in Google Reviews 40
113 Presence of Outbound Links to Authority Topically Relevant Sites 40
114 User Added Attributes in GBP 39
115 Embedded Google Map for Location on GBP Landing Page 39
116 Keywords in Image ALT attributes Across Entire Website 38
117 BBB Accredited 38
118 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Meta Description 37
119 Length of Dwell Time on GBP Landing Page 37
120 Keywords in GBP Products 36
121 In-store visits tracked by third-party beacon or location detection technology 36
122 Quantity of Bookings Through Google Booking Partners 36
123 Presence of XML Sitemap 34
124 Comprehensive Google Q&A Section with Owner-Seeded FAQs 32
125 Matching Google Account Domain to GBP Landing Page Domain 31
126 Keywords in Image Filenames on GBP Landing Page 30
127 Setting Service Areas in GBP 29
128 Quantity of Messages Through Google My Business Messaging 29
129 Presence of Google Posts Justifications in Local Search Results 27
130 Quantity of Products on GBP 27
131 Keywords in Meta Descriptions Across Entire Website 27
132 Frequency of Google Posts Posted 26
133 Number of Bookings Through GBP Booking Feature 26
134 Presence of Appointment URL 25
135 Keywords in Google Posts 24
136 Quantity of Videos on GBP 24
137 Keywords in Image Filenames Across Entire Website 24
138 Trusted Photographer / Google Business View Photography 23
139 Participation in Adwords, Adwords Express, Hotel Finder, or other paid Google products 23
140 Quantity of Google Posts Posted 22
141 GBP Booking Feature is Enabled 20
142 Quantity of Transactions Identified Through Credit Card Partners 20
143 Quantity of Questions Asked in Google Q&A 19
144 GBP Messaging Feature is Enabled 18
145 Keywords in Google Q&A 18
146 Sum of Transactions Identified Through Credit Card Partners 16
147 Keywords in Owner Responses to Reviews 12
148 Keywords in GBP Description 11
149 Geo-tagged Photos Uploaded to GBP 2
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Rank Factor Score
1 Dedicated Page for Each Service 163
2 Internal Linking Across Entire Website 149
3 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain 148
4 Geographic (City/Neighborhood) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content 146
5 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Title 140
6 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains 137
7 Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance Across Entire Website 135
8 Volume of Quality Content on Service Pages 134
9 Volume of Quality Content on Entire Website 132
10 Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain 128
11 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain 127
12 Mobile-friendly/Responsive Website 125
13 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Industry-Relevant Domains 124
14 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Headings (H1, H2, etc) 119
15 Website's Degree of Focus on a Specific Niche 119
16 Keywords in Titles Across Entire Website 117
17 Keywords in Headings (H1, H2, etc) Across Entire Website 110
19 Diversity of Anchor Text to Domain 106
20 Physical Address in City of Search 105
21 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 105
22 Loadtime of Pages Across Entire Website 103
23 Domain Authority of Website 102
24 Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 101
25 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain 101
26 Sustained Influx of Links Over Time (rather than bursts) 101
27 Internal Links TO GBP Landing Page from Other Pages of Website 98
28 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL from Industry-Relevant Domains 98
29 Diversity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 97
30 Keywords in Domain Name 95
31 Click-Through from Search Results for Relevant Search Terms / from Geographically Relevant Locations 95
32 Sustained Output of Content Over Time (rather than bursts) 94
33 Click-Through Rate from Search Results (General) 94
34 Loadtime of GBP Landing Page 92
35 Quantity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains 92
36 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain 91
37 Internal Links FROM GBP Landing Page to Other Pages of Website 91
38 Prominence on Key Industry-Relevant Domains 91
39 Reference to Location Specific Entities on GBP Landing Page 88
40 Volume of Searches for Business Name 88
41 Keywords in URLs Across Entire Website 86
42 Keywords in GBP Landing Page URL 85
43 Diversity of Anchor Text to GBP Landing Page URL 82
44 Authority of Third-Party Sites on Which Reviews are Present 80
45 Volume of Content on GBP Landing Page 80
46 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 80
47 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance) 77
48 HTML NAP Matching GBP NAP 75
49 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts, Gov Sites, Industry Associations) 74
50 Keywords in Text Surrounding Links to Domain 73
51 Presence of XML Sitemap 72
52 Quantity of Third-Party Unstructured Reviews (e.g. blogs, newspapers, magazines) 70
53 Presence of Outbound Links to Authority Topically Relevant Sites 69
54 Quantity of Inbound Links to GBP Landing Page URL 69
55 Presence of Business on Expert Curated Best of and Similar Lists 69
56 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains 68
57 Diversity of Third-Party Sites on Which Reviews are Present 65
58 Consistency of Citations on Primary Search Engines (Google Maps, Bing Maps, Apple Maps) 65
59 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains 65
60 Page Authority of GBP Landing Page URL 63
61 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts) 63
62 Keywords in Image ALT attributes Across Entire Website 58
63 Unlinked Brand Mentions 58
64 NAP in Schema/JSON-LD on GBP Landing Page URL 57
65 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations 57
66 Consistency of Citations on Key Sites (Yellowpages, Yelp, D&B, CityGrid) 55
67 High Numerical Google Ratings (e.g. 4-5) 54
68 Quantity of Reviews on Industry-Specific Sites 54
69 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews (e.g. Yelp, TripAdvisor, Yellowpages, etc) 52
70 Keywords in Image ALT attributes on GBP Landing Page 52
71 Consistency of Citations on Data Aggregators (Infogroup, Localeze, Foursquare/Factual) 52
72 Keywords in GBP Business Title 50
73 Keywords in Text Surrounding Links to GBP Landing Page 49
74 Primary GBP Category 48
75 Proper Category Associations on Aggregators and Tier 1 Citation Sources 47
76 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators) 46
77 High Numerical Third-Party Ratings (e.g. 4-5) 45
78 Keywords in Image Filenames Across Entire Website 45
79 Enhancement/Completeness of Citations 45
80 Keywords in Image Filenames on GBP Landing Page 44
81 Proximity of Address to Centroid 43
82 Keywords in Third-Party Reviews 42
83 Positive Sentiment in Review Text 41
84 Consistency of Citations on Other Citation Sources 41
85 Keywords in GBP Landing Page Meta Description 38
86 BBB Accredited 38
87 Sustained Influx of Reviews Over Time (rather than bursts) 37
88 Quantity of Native Google Reviews (w/text) 36
89 Keywords in Meta Descriptions Across Entire Website 36
90 Length of Dwell Time on GBP Landing Page 36
91 High Numerical Ratings by Authority Reviewers (e.g. Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides, etc) 35
92 Recency of Reviews 35
93 Embedded Google Map for Location on GBP Landing Page 35
94 Quality/Relevance of Photos 33
95 Keywords in Native Google Reviews 33
96 Verified GBP 32
97 Completeness of GBP 31
98 Presence of "Website mentions" Justifications in Local Search Results 31
99 Additional GBP Categories 30
100 Quantity of Photos with Google Vision-AI Labels Matching Keywords 29
101 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g. Yelp Elite, Google Local Guides, etc) 27
102 Age of GBP 24
103 Participation in Adwords, Adwords Express, Hotel Finder, or other paid Google products 22
104 Quantity of Engagement Signals on GBP (scrolling through listing, clicking photos, reading reviews, reading Q&A, clicking on Posts, etc) 22
105 Matching Google Account Domain to GBP Landing Page Domain 21
106 Clicks to Call Business 21
107 Length of Dwell Time on GBP 21
108 Presence of "Provides" Justifications in Local Search Results 20
109 Driving Directions to Business Clicks 20
110 Presence of Review Justifications in Local Search Results 19
111 Proper Placement of the Map Pin 19
112 Quantity of Positive Google Review Attributes 19
113 Local Area Code on GBP 16
114 Removal of spam listings through spam fighting 16
115 Quantity of Native Google Ratings (no text) 16
116 Quantity of Photos in General on GBP 15
117 Quantity of Products on GBP 15
118 Quantity of Services Performed in Google Reviews 15
119 In-store visits tracked by Android or Google Maps Mobile app location detection 15
120 Presence of Owner Responses to Most Reviews 13
121 Quantity of Bookings Through Google Booking Partners 13
122 Comprehensive Google Q&A Section with Owner-Seeded FAQs 12
123 Presence of Google Posts Justifications in Local Search Results 12
124 Proper Hours Set on GBP 12
125 Frequency of Google Posts Posted 11
126 Presence of Crowd Sourced Attributes 11
127 Presence of GBP Services 11