local search engine rankings_finalAcross all platforms, it appears that local search is a work in progress. Google’s local search, in particular Carousel, has undergone several updates which can attest to this statement. Still, there are things that can be done to improve local search engine rankings as this unique search continues to evolve.

Carousel Search Engine Ranking Factors

The local carousel results with images, reviews, and a map provide a richer experience than the previous local-listings pack. In early October, BrightEdge research showed that a carousel appeared on results for 14% of keywords across all industries. It appeared on 33% of searches in Travel and Hospitality, and 27% of searches in the restaurant category. Research has also shown that Google reviews have an impact on placement in the carousel. via SEO Changed Forever In 2013. How To Adjust And Thrive In 2014 – Search Engine Land

So far, Google’s Carousel appears to only display searches from certain industries. Using knowledge graph, places like restaurants, museums and hotels are prominently displayed in a scrolling, banner-like fashion at the top of the search page. Currently, Carousel can display up to nine frames at a time without scrolling (although sometimes only eight are shown) and will show as many as 20 with scrolling.

Carousel Offers Unique Local Search Engine Rankings

The very way that Carousel is designed and displayed on the page offers a unique opportunity for those targeting local search engine rankings. For one, ranking on Carousel is not just about first or second position on a page, but becomes more about landing in one of the first eight positions displayed on Carousel. Also, with so many local results appearing in Carousel, more space is available on the page beneath it for other results.

Title Tags and Local Search Engine Ranking

Placing your city & state in your website’s title tags contributes to your site achieving a local search engine ranking.

“…even a simple website with no incoming links of note can rank on the first page (#7) just by including “Burlington, VT” in its homepage Title Tag. With just a little TLC—maybe a link to a contact page that says “contact our Burlington electricians”—sites like this one might be able to displace those national directories in positions 1-2-3.” via Hummingbird’s Unsung Impact on Local Search

Google carousel

Spotlight Your Locale For Better Ranking

Publishing a physical address for your company is necessary for local search ranking. Always be certain that the address information offered on your site corresponds with that of your title tags, as well as on other listings elsewhere on the web. For example, if your company’s address is 1234 Main Street, Los Angeles, California, but your previous address was 4321 Broad Street, Van Nuys, California and your former information is still used in your title tags and in certain directory listings, the knowledge graph will encounter confusion about your actual location, which will negatively impact your local search engine ranking.

Reviews, Ratings and Rankings

Ratings are also very important when it comes to local search rankings on Carousel. Some may not have noticed that where Carousel was once only arranged in order from results with the highest number of reviews to the lowest, it is now also arranged according to the ratings given by the public. In addition to reviews, marketers should now be more assertive in also asking customers for ratings as such is a strong local search engine ranking factor.

Local Search Engine Ranking and Google Plus

Create a Google Plus page and be sure that it links to your website. Even if you allow someone else to create this page for you, it is an important local search engine ranking factor that it is created from the Google account used for your business. Note also that a Google Plus page is different from your profile and must, therefore, be created as a separate page.

Anvil Media President, Kent Lewis, makes a grim prediction for sites that don’t include Google Plus in their social media strategy.

Any Website That Isn’t Posting Content on Google+ Will Die a Slow Death – Google+ has been growing in SEO importance since day one and to many digital marketers dismay, some brands still haven’t jumped on board. For a year we’ve been saying “Get ahead, use Google+.” In 2014 we’ll be saying “No Google+? Sayonara.” via 2014 Marketing Predictions – iMedia Connection (blog)

Google Properties Really Matter In Local Search Engine Ranking

In a blog post published on SearchEngineJournal.com, Sergiu Draganus offered the following suggestions with regard to Carousel’s local search engine ranking factors:

via The Top 13 Factors for Google Local Carousel | Search Engine Journal

Local Search Engine Ranking Factors

With a good understanding of how Carousel works and its role in local search engine ranking, businesses have greater opportunities for landing one of Google’s most coveted spaces. One of the strongest things that a marketer can do right now is to make certain that a physical address is up to date and apparent in every directory listing, review listing and advertising published online. And speaking of reviews, marketers should work to find ways to improve customer engagement while encouraging clients to rate and review services and products as these elements help steer local ranking success. Lastly, Google’s own sites, particularly Google Plus, should be counted as the top local search engine ranking factors, overall.


Image copyright The Daily Egg