Home Business Local Ranking Factors That Can Help Bolster SEO for Small Businesses

Local Ranking Factors That Can Help Bolster SEO for Small Businesses

by Olufisayo
Local Ranking Factors

When it comes to improving your rankings on Google, whether for your local Map Pack listing or your broader focus keywords, knowing where to dedicate your efforts can be difficult. This is largely because Google’s search algorithm is influenced by so many different ‘ranking factors’.

In order to make this a little bit easier for you, we’re going to highlight the key local SEO ranking factors to be aware of so you can prioritise your efforts accordingly.

Read on and we’ll share some valuable insights for local SEO mastery in 2023…

The top ranking factors of priority for local SEO in 2023

The following data has been taken from a survey conducted by Whitespark where they polled 50 local SEO experts about their opinions on the most important ranking factors. They are as follows:

For Local Map Pack

  • GMB (Google My Business) profile: 32%
  • On-page SEO: 19%
  • Reviews: 16%
  • Links: 11%
  • Behavioural: 8%
  • Citations: 7%
  • Personalization: 6%

For Local Organic

  • On-page: 36%
  • Links: 26%
  • Behavioural: 9%
  • GMB (Google My Business) profile): 9%
  • Personalization: 7%
  • Citations: 7%
  • Reviews: 6%

Is there a major difference between local organic and map packs?

When you type a local search phrase into Google (e.g., Thai restaurant near me), and you are presented with a list of options with an accompanying map, images, star-reviews, and address, those are the map pack listings.

Local organic listings on the other hand are the traditional blue links from a regular SERP.

Both can bring excellent value to your business. It’s important to work on your local organic listings for sure. However, being present in the map pack at the top of a SERP should be a priority. If you wish to work on both at the same time (which is recommended), here’s how both percentages combined will look:

  • On-page optimization: 28%
  • GMB: 21%
  • Links: 19%
  • Reviews: 11%
  • Behavioural: 9%
  • Citations: 7%
  • Personalization: 7%

On-page optimization

On-page optimization is the process of improving your website and making the necessary changes to attract traffic for your chosen local keywords. This means changing your title tags, meta descriptions, the body content, image alt text, URLs, and headings (to name a few).

As you can see, these optimizations are among the most important.

Google My Business

Next, you should claim and completely optimise your Google My Business profile. If you wish to appear in the map pack, this is an essentiality.


Link-building is an on-going process and requires a solid link-building strategy. The more links you have pointing toward your website, the greater your authority in the eyes of Google. Just be mindful of how you go about it. There’s a right and a wrong way to build your backlink profile.


Naturally, the more positive reviews you have on your GMB profile, the better. Every review you get counts as ‘social proof’ which not only indicates to your customers that yours is a business worth investing in, but it also lets Google know that you deserve greater visibility as well.


Behavioural refers to actions that people take when interacting with your business online (e.g., time spent on your website). The more positive interaction you get through your website, the better. Fortunately, when you optimise your website well, understand search intent, and meet expectations, you’ll have far more success in this regard.


Citations refers to all of the NAP details on your online profiles (Name, Address, Phone Number). Whether it be your website, local directory listing, or social media accounts, all of your details should be in sync.


There are many factors that can influence your local SEO. Being active on social media and connecting with your local community are also very important.

If you can find a social media marketing company that can also help you master your local SEO, great. It’s worth making a lot of noise with your local community if you wish to outshine the competition and snatch up as much business as possible.

We hope you’ve found this article helpful and wish you the best of luck with your local SEO efforts!

Photo by ZBRA Marketing on Unsplash

Related Articles