The Top 5 Local SEO Ranking Factors

Posted by: Chris Marentis

The Top 5 Local SEO Ranking Factors


Searchmetrics recently released a white paper highlighting what the largest components in the world of US SEO ranking factors have been in 2012.  After reviewing the report, we were happy to see that Surefire Social’s local marketing experts have been ahead of the curve on the marketing research.   Many of our blog posts mirror the findings in the report; however there were a couple new points worth mentioning.

There were 5 main take-aways and all of them are equally important.

1.        Social media signals are becoming increasingly more important. To really dominate this category it is necessary to be utilizing Facebook, Twitter and Google+.  Any additional social media outlets will only help your SEO.

2.       Advertising can hurt your SEO.  This is the first time that it is being reported that advertising too much on your website can actually lower your search engine results.  This only applies to AdSense advertising.

3.       Don’t forget your backlinks!  These are still the key in achieving high SEO, but they need to be used correctly.  Quantity is no longer the only determiner.  You also will want to make sure that a large portion of your backlinks are no-follow links in addition to do-follow.  So, to use both to your advantage, use do-follow links when guest blogging to get good “link juice”, and use no-follow links when commenting on other blog posts to deliver high quantities of referral traffic to your site. Effectively using these links is even more important than backlinks with keywords or stopwords (which do still play a role).

4.       Large, successful name brands play by different rules.  Let’s say you check out your favorite company’s page and you notice few backlinks, no advertisements, and very few keyword sequences.  Yet they continue to dominate in search engine findings.  This is because these brands benefit from playing by different rules.  Your company still needs to play by the conventional rules in order to compete with these well-known brands.  Remember, local business marketing is different than global marketing.

5.       Keywords are…well…the key!  We’ve beaten you readers over the head in terms of making sure keywords are integrated throughout your media efforts.  Yet, this new report states that having keywords in the title of your blogs or articles don’t have as much of an effect as keywords in the actual domain name. So, when publishing your articles keep this in mind- still utilize your keywords in the body of your articles with backlinks to your site, but most importantly, put keywords in the domain name!

All of these findings can be extremely helpful in achieving high SEO and each can easily be applied to the efforts you’re already taking.  All five of these rules can be implemented within a day, and therefore there is no excuse for not making these tiny tweaks to achieve great results.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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