What’s this about Local SEO Ranking Factors and Reviews?

Honestly, you wait ages for a major SEO Ranking Factors study and then two come along at once: this one is a good one on Local SEO Ranking Factors.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, it finds that Reviews (and websites!) are the most important local SEO Ranking Factors. It’s not quite as contentious as another recent study…

Read more in this extract from TWIS SEO News & Updates w/e 17th November 2017.

#SEO #SEONews #LocalSEO #Reviews #RankingFactors

Reviews Most Important Local SEO Ranking Factor

Key Issues Summary:

  • The team from Local SEO Guide have released a really good Local SEO Ranking Factors Study for 2017.
  • Reviews are clearly the most important factor in Local SEO – not just on Google, and not just the number, but those with keywords, location mentions, and importantly responses.
  • Traditional links are important, even though most local businesses have what might be termed poor link-profiles.
  • Having an optimised website is really super-important as well – don’t forget that, or think that you can live in other people’s houses (Google, Facebook, Yelp etc).
  • The study hasn’t had any Machine Learning applied, so misses a trick.

Reviews Most Important Local SEO Ranking Factors

How to Improve Your Local SEO Reviews:

  1. Time to focus on Local SEO & reviews, if you haven’t been already. Make sure you aren’t soliciting Yelp reviews, but for the rest, asking seems to be fine.
  2. Once you have reviews, respond to them, engage with them.
  3. Build your local link profile with local sites. They are highly relevant, even if not always the best quality.
  4. Make sure your website is optimised and the information matches. Things like category, locality,
  5. Add structured data to your website.
  6. Click here to contact me to discuss how to optimise your website and local listings to rank well in Local SEO.

Local SEO Ranking Factors Insights & Discussion:

This is a big week for Ranking Factors Studies. At least this one isn’t quite as contentious.

The team at Local SEO Guide are great, wise and sensible people and as a whole I pretty much agree with what they say, and have been advising clients similarly for the last little while.

Reviews are such a big thing because they are crowd-sourced, nominally independent and “real”. They’re like a link, but real people have (nominally) given them. I am quite surprised no one has yet started an auto-review generator. When you consider the amount of bot driven actions in online ads, it must be possible.

I think the big gap in the study is the impact, or otherwise of structured data. Even though it is not a direct ranking factor, using it enables information about your business, product, or service to be efficiently retrieved and stored, and as it is controlled by the business, it can be controlled at a wider a scale. Businesses which have the correct data aggregated across multiple data sets are likely to see increased power from that data and increased exposure as a result.

I’m also a bit surprised about the commentary about most local links being low-quality. They are only low quality when you take into account traditional, but pointless and arbitrary, authority metrics. If you approach them from a relevancy standpoint, they are often high-quality, being real, genuine, homespun ways to organise data in the local area. Remember links are at least two-factoral: relevance and quality with relevance outweighing quality significantly.

More Information:

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The State of SEO Mid-2017 Released

The State of SEO Mid 2017

We recently released the super-exciting The State of SEO in mid-2017. Read it now.

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Thanks for reading. If you would like to discuss what these changes mean for your web property, or would like to know how to implement them, please feel free to contact me.

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