Local SEO 101: 10 Signals That Determine Your Local Google Ranks (And How To Get Them Right)


We often hear that local SEO is a whole lot different from general, non-local optimization campaigns. Or is it? Just a few weeks ago, Local SEO Guide released the results of their extensive study of Google’s local search ranking factors. The agency analyzed over 100 signals and 30,000 businesses to figure out which factors are most important for local rankings in Google. Some of those factors were… unexpected to say the least.

In this guide, I’ve put together the 10 most important signals Google uses in its local search algorithm (the ones that have the highest correlation to rankings), grouped into 4 categories, and threw in my tips for getting each factor right.


How to rank in Google’s local search results

Getting ranked in Google’s local search results is very important if your business offers products or services in a particular local area. For the local results, Google uses a different ranking algorithm than for the regular organic results.

local rankings

How can you make sure that your website gets listed in the local results in relevant areas? Google has published official information on how to get listed for relevant searches in your area:


10 Ways Content Can Improve Your Rankings


Image courtesy of (Jomphong)/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
 If you’re writing for your site you obviously want to write quality content to generate hits. After all, you’re putting it on the Internet, a place where all the world can see it.

But how does one offer quality content that will push your content up in the rankings?

Google has a series of algorithms that dictate where a website will show up in searches. It’s a lengthy system with somewhere around 200 variables. Although it’s nearly impossible for one person or business to hit on all of Google’s sweet spots, there are ways to ensure that your content is seen by the world.


10 Simple Edits That’ll Instantly Improve Any Piece of Writing

Written by Eddie Shleyner | @

Editing copy boils down to two key things: recognizing weaknesses and knowing how to fix them. It’s a critical part of the writing process and yet, one that’s all too often overlooked. After all, if you don’t know that there’s an issue to begin with, how can you fix it?

That’s why, if you struggle with editing, you’re going to love this article …

Because by the end of it, you’ll be armed with 10 powerful, uber-specific editing actions that’ll make your copy more addictive, engaging, and compelling than it was before you got to work revising it. Whether you’re writing a landing page, a blog article, an email, or a web page, making the following changes will have a profound impact on your readers.

Namely, these edits will make them more likely to do what you want them to do — and that’s what great copy is all about.


The New Rules of Local SEO

Local SEO Google Maps
As Smartphone technology continues to become omnipresent in modern society, local SEO is becoming more important than ever. According to Google, four out of every five searches that take place are aimed at finding local solutions. For this reason, distribution of yellow pages continue to diminish as mobile devices become the premier method of conducting searches.

Now the game becomes about optimizing your online presence and business listings to effectively capture the potential customers in your area. Without certain elements present, your competition will rule the roost for your niche and local market.


7 Common Lies About SEO

There are seven common untruths often pedaled by so-called SEO gurus who are more interested in making money off you than in truly helping your business excel.

They are:

1. Content is King

Sure your need to have good content but content is not king. Popularity is king. If your site has the most users in it’s niche regardless of the brilliance of your articles or content your site is going to rank No. 1. Actually if you want to find the most interesting articles on a topic go the pages 5-10 of Google search.


Learning From 2015’s SEO Successes, Failures



2015 was no different. This year was a whirlwind of SEO news; numerous updates to Google’s algorithms, new factors to weigh and consider, and old methods reaching their demise. The SEO scene is in some ways unrecognizable, and in others it’s reliably consistent. The paradox is part of what keeps us on our toes.

As we reach the end of 2015, it is time to look back and reflect on what worked for throughout the year, what failed miserably, and what to carry with you into 2016.


How TripAdvisor took over the travel information market


The combination of the best, freshest and most relevant travel information, coupled with the ability to book in real-time, is really rather attractive when researching travel plans.

Being able to stay on one site and do all of that is better. Step forward TripAdvisor, on a mission to complement its vast user-generated content (UGC) by buying the best of travel start-ups.

It has taken 15 years to build up its UGC reviews – not only hotels, but restaurants, attractions, bars, tours and all other aspects of travel. Some 280m people now use the site to research travel.


17 of the Best Free Stock Photo Sites

Written by Carly Stec | @

We’ve all heard the mantra, “Don’t settle for anything less than you deserve.”

Yet for some strange reason, many people continue to push out cheap (and usually cheesy) stock photography to serve as a representation of their brand. 

But the truth is, high-quality stock photos don’t have to come hand-in-hand with a hassle or high price tag. To prove it, we’ve compiled a list of 17 awesome resources for free, non-cheesy stock images. 


15 Google Doc Features You Didn’t Know Existed (But Totally Should)

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

A few years ago, as I was scrolling mindlessly through my Facebook News Feed, I came across an article that would change the way I ate ketchup forever.

It was a super short article by FoodBeast that showed how most people have been using those small paper ketchup cups completely wrong their whole lives. Turns out you’re not supposed to use the cups as is, but rather, you’re supposed to fan out the sides of the cup to increase capacity, like this. (You think you know a ketchup cup, man.)

As a marketer, this got me thinking about what other tools we might be underutilizing. Sure, you may have been using Google Docs for years and years, but it’s likely that there are useful features that you have yet to uncover. For example, did you know you can look at a document’sentire revision history to figure out what was changed and when? 

There are a lot of sweet features Google Docs has to offer that aren’t on many people’s radar. Let’s uncover some of those features. Here are 15 of the most useful ones you’ll wish you knew about all along.


12 Excel Formulas, Features & Keyboard Shortcuts Everyone Should Know

Written by Carly Stec | @

Ever find yourself elbows deep in an Excel worksheet with seemingly no end in sight? You’re manually replicating columns and scribbling down long-form math on a scrap of paper, all while thinking to yourself, “There has to be a better way to do this.”

Truth be told, there probably is … you just don’t know it yet. Excel can be tricky that way. On one hand, it’s an exceptionally powerful tool for reporting and analyzing marketing data. On the other hand, without the proper training, it’s easy to feel like it’s working against you. 

To help you use Excel more effectively (and save a ton of time), we’ve compiled a list of essential functions, keyboard shortcuts, and other small tricks you should know.


Local SEO More Important Than Ever Now

Local SEO Google Maps
 If you’ve been keeping an eye on Google’s algorithm updates over the past several years, you know that it’s beginning to look like a veritable petting zoo out there. In addition to the many Panda updates that Google has rolled out, we also have the Penguin, Pigeon and Hummingbird.

While it may seem like these numerous updates are just the ramblings of a company obsessed with making things difficult for SEOs, it’s a bit more than that (or at least they would have us believe it is).


Minimalist SEO: How Less Can Equal More in Rankings


SEO Targeting

For anyone that operates a business site, SEO can make or break you. That may not be pleasant to hear, but the facts show us search engine traffic is often the lion’s share of acquisition. Ranking on the first page of Google essentially boils down to tons of traffic with the potential for gobs of conversions. If you are not on the first page, it often means just the opposite.

In the digital world, SEO is something that must be learned and applied effectively in order to survive. The problem that most folks encounter, however, is where to begin in the vast sea of SEO tactics and strategies. Backlinks, speed, keyword density, optimization techniques; there is a lot to learn. For newcomers, it can be a bit overwhelming. Even SEO veterans can get frustrated every now and again due to its constantly changing nature.


How & Why Good SEO is All About Good Content


Photo Credit: Adikos via flickr (CC BY 2.0)
 For many novices who are trying to make a name for themselves in online markets, the SEO universe appears to be dark, scary and unwelcoming.

For some, understanding and applying effective search engine optimization tactics that could return the desirable results is a questionable project almost as farfetched and complicated as a human mission to Mars.

Why is the SEO world so annoyingly complex? The answer is simple: when it comes to successful optimization, search engines have all the right answers, but they aren’t willing to reveal the rules of the game.


8 Reasons Why You Should Use WordPress for Your Content


Finding a great site to host your content doesn’t have to be a daunting, overwhelming journey. There are several hosting sites out there, but there is one that stands out from the rest – WordPress. It is one of the top sites to use for your content, and I want to show you why you should only use it when it comes to sharing content. Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why you need to make the switch to WordPress and have an impactful content marketing campaign. 


SEO Best Practices: The Big 5 in SEO



Every couple of years, SEO evolves into a mysteriously new discipline. As traditional push marketing continues to die off and industries continue to measure the impact that organic search has on overall growth, inbound marketing strategies (like SEO) continue to grow increasingly more sophisticated and challenging.

In fact, according to a study conducted by the National Retail Federation, in 2014 85% of online retailers found search marketing (including SEO) to be the most effective form of customer acquisition. But certainly not the easiest. This relatively new and powerfully effective form of marketing is only poised to grow and become even more important in the coming years.

In order for SEO practitioners to either build or continue the momentum, here are 5 of the most critical aspects of SEO to focus on in the coming months and years.


Best WordPress Plugins for Photographers


WordPress is without a doubt one of the best options to consider when you are creating your very own photography or photo blogging website. One of the perks of having a WordPress site is the fact that you can “plug in” just about any plug-in to tweak your website and make it do anything you want. With the countless options WordPress offers, it’s easy to get carried away. However, doing so can lead to a slower website and possible security issues. We know you get excited, but don’t get carried away.


Content Marketing Tools for Unique Content Generation


Content marketing is not going away anytime soon, so for those who have yet to adopt this strategy, now is the time.


How guests choose hotels during online booking

By Samantha Worgull
Associate Editor, Reader Engagement
REPORT FROM THE U.S.—Just how do guests dwindle down their hotel selections during the online booking process?
Two hospitality professors aimed to find out, looking beyond clickstream analysis by using eye tracking to discover why consumers choose a specific hotel.
Eye tracking is capturing eye movements and converting this information into some form of analyzable data, explained Stephani K.A. Robson, senior lecturer at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. Robson was one half of the duo who presented research during a webinar titled “Consumer eye-tracking and revenue management,” which was presented jointly by Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International, Hotel News Now and HNN’s parent company, STR



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