Google ranking factors for local marketers

For digital agencies, identifying where to invest your resources into local SEO is a common challenge. At Advice Local, our Enhanced Google Business Profile Tool helps agency partners make the most of their time with streamlined solutions. However, doing more with less is not restricted to tools and services – you also need to understand the ranking factors that underpin the search results.

What Are Google Ranking Factors?

A ranking factor is a page or website element that increases visibility in Google’s search results. In theory, optimizing for these 200 or more factors should increase your clients’ search presence. However, in practice, the complexities of the search algorithm mean that interpretation of the critical factors is what will drive results for your clients.

7 Things Agencies Should Know About Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Backlinko recently compiled a list of Google’s 200 ranking factors for 2023. Here at Advice Local, we want to give our agency partners some recommendations for the factors that will likely matter to local clients.

1. Think Beyond the Business’ Website

While many ranking factors are specific to a business’ website, they will also impact its placement in the local pack, organic search and Google Maps. Look to apply concepts like user interaction and brand signals to your client’s entire network of directory sites, blogs, social platforms and more.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Rankbrain – Machine learning interprets true user intent using location, personalization and word choice.
  • Local Searches – Local business listings usually take priority in a search with local intent.

2. User Interaction Matters

How users interact with a website or business listing will influence search results. If a searcher clicks on a listing and immediately leaves, this implies the result was low quality or irrelevant. To counter this, prioritize the user experience in design, content quality and usability.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Content Depth – Pages covering a topic in-depth outperform less informative content.
  • Dwell Time – Google tends to reward pages that keep visitors engaged longer.

3. Pay Attention to On-Page Factors

On-page factors are a quick and easy opportunity to improve your clients’ search performance. You may remember that on-page optimization was one of our local search ranking factors that matter in 2023. Thankfully, meta descriptions and titles are within your control, and can be optimized around a target keyword and the user experience.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Page Loading Speed – Google and Bing expect fast-loading pages for an optimal experience.
  • LSI Keywords – Related keywords on a website, Google Business Profile (GBP) and listing sites can help with ranking.

4. Freshness and Recency

Across many keywords, Google wants to deliver fresh results to searchers. For your local clients this means developing new, updated content on the business blog, GBP Posts, social platforms and more. In addition, make sure to audit old content and update information to add freshness and recency.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Historical Page Updates – The number of updates to a page contributes to freshness.
  • Page Age – Google often prefers older pages with fresh updates.

5. Consider E-A-T in Content Development

Google E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness) are key factors in everything you publish online. From blog content to listing posts, Google wants to deliver accurate, insightful and reliable results. Across your client’s entire web footprint, think about how you are projecting expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • E-A-T – Google assesses E-A-T metrics across a range of industries.
  • Link Authority – Think carefully about the authority of linking pages and domains when distributing business data.

6. Backlinks Are Still Essential

While there is still much debate about the importance of backlinks in 2023, they remain crucial ranking factors for Google. Prioritize high-quality, relevant backlinks and your clients can secure multiple search positions via the local pack and organic results.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • “Expected” Websites – Google uses data to assess websites they expect to link to a page.
  • Co-Occurrences – Think about the words surrounding the anchor text to give it relevancy.

7. Take Directory Links Seriously

Directory links are an essential part of SEO, especially for local businesses. In 2023, low-quality directory links are considered webspam and could result in a penalty. If you need assistance with high-quality directory placement, our listing management services can help.

Ranking Factors to Consider:

  • Low-Quality Links – Links from inferior websites may lead to a ranking penalty.
  • Diversity of Link Sources – Don’t rely on a single backlink source for your clients’ platforms.

What Agencies Should Know About #Google’s 200 Ranking Factors by @BernieColeman #SEO
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Advice Local provides agencies and digital marketers with best choice local marketing tools and services. From our Enhanced GBP Tool to our Data Amplifier Network, we help our partners increase their clients’ local presence. Would you like to try our comprehensive dashboard solution? Then request a demo today, or call (214) 310-1356.

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