Google can analyze over 100 factors to determine where a company should rank in the local search engine pecking order.

Naturally, these factors have two distinctions:

  • Positive: these are influences that help the company achieve a higher ranking.
  • Negative: these are factors that will challenge your local SEO rankings.

Positive Local Search Ranking Influences

Here is a look at some of the factors that can aid your business in achieving a higher ranking.

Google my business listing

  • The location of your business relative to the person searching.
  • The categories you mention as part of your listings. To illustrate, say you are a personal injury lawyer; you would want to include the type of cases you take on such as traffic accident, DUIs, this sort of thing, as this will help people looking for your services to find you.
  • Keywords in the business title.

External location signals

  • Is the information you present (name, address, phone number) the same across all your profiles? This is NAP information consistency and Google as a metric for placement for local businesses.
  • The number of citations your organization has.

Website features

  • NAP presence on each of your company’s website pages
  • Domain authority
  • The keywords used in Meta-titles

Review factors

  • How many reviews your company received
  • The quality of the reviews by your customers
  • How fast your company acquires new reviews
  • Diversity also shapes a role, as the more sites that have reviews of your company (in a positive light) the better.

Social media influence

  • Your organization has Google+ authority
  • The amount of likes your company’s Facebook page has
  • The followers your organization has on Twitter

Negative factors that affect local rankings

There are many items that could hinder your company’s ability to vault up in the local search rankings, here’s a look at them:

  • If Google determines your business is at a false location
  • You incorrectly categorize your business
  • On your business landing page and/or citations, there’s a mismatch NAP/tracking phone number
  • Wrong address listed on landing page
  • You employed keyword stuffing for the business name
  • Your website has the presence of malware
  • Your phone number shares the same phone number as others on My Business listing
  • Violations on your page
  • A lack of crawlable NAP on location on your company’s landing page