Here are the latest insights into what’s trending in local SEO right now, revealed in an extensive research paper by Darren Shaw and shared by prominent local SEO experts. Local Search Ranking Factors 2017 is a great read for every agent aspiring to rank high and consistently generate more online leads.
2016 has been quite a difficult year for local businesses. There were a lot of changes and agents might find it confusing to adjust quickly. Thanks to the new research, you now have more valuable intelligence and can plan your local SEO strategy for the upcoming year better.
The diagrams below sum up the most important ranking factors for both the local 3-pack and localized organic results:
Local search ranking factors 2017:
Reviews & backlinks
Reviews and backlinks have shown the biggest growth in significance for the past two years prior to the research. In 2017, agents who prioritize online reviews and backlinks are bound to see greater gains. Native Google reviews are getting more and more important, and while businesses with no reviews can still be seen on page 1, the situation is about to change.
Proximity to the point of search
Another significant shift in local ranking factors is the growing importance of proximity to the point of search. Overall, proximity has gone away from the #8 local ranking factor in 2014 to #1 factor in 2017.
Fortunately, prominent and established businesses can still rank high in localized organic results, if not in a local 3-pack. Proximity may be the most important but not the only ranking factor that is taken into account. More on this here: How Proximity Is Changing Local SEO and Why It’s Important.
For complete information on the local rankings survey, go to these resources: