What are the factors of SEO positioning of a local business?

Data sources and positioning factors

We have already seen in previous articles what the "local pack" is and how Google uses it to show the best results for local searches.

Now it's time to explain what the Google search engine uses to position some pages above others and believe me, there are many of these factors, they are very similar to the classic seo positioning factors, but with many nuances that must be taken into account.

The job of local seo is to go to those sources on which Google is based, and optimise them to be able to position the local business we work for in the "local pack". It is also important to position in the "local finder" (translated for beginners, in the "see more businesses" that is under the "local pack".

Increase the visibility of your local business in search engines with our SEO assistance.

Google data sources

Google uses four data sources.

  1. Google my BusinessGoogle: is a listing that must be claimed to Google, to verify the ownership of our business in Google and to be able to edit all the data, and even to register it if we do not appear in the "local finder" of Google. But don't worry, we will publish a specific article on the steps to follow to claim it and optimise it.

  2. Your websiteIn the Google my Business listing we can tell Google which is the website of our business, and in the same web page we can tell Google by Schema that it is the website of a specific Google my Business listing. Relax, we will explain it better in other articles when we explain how to optimize our website to "like" more to Google.

  3. Users: What do users think of our business? When they click on our listing... do they go back to the Goole search engine to look for another business or do they stay there? Are they leaving many or few reviews on our listing? All of this is a very important positioning factor for Google.

  4. Other pagesWhat references are made from other websites to our business, do we appear in other search engines (milanuncios, yellow pages, tripadvisor, booking, facebook, etc).

Differentiation between onpage and offpage sources

Analysing the four positioning sources that Google has, we can deduce that only in two of them we can do direct work, or as we call it in the world of seo... (onpage work).

In this case they would be:

  1. The Google my Business listing. This can be optimised and we can also do some very important work directly on it.

  2. The website: On which we can include keywords, write articles... and do a good job to bring authority to our page.

    However, there are two other sources that we cannot work on directly (although we can work on them indirectly). "offpage work.

    In this case it would be paragraphs 3 and 4.

  3. User feedback.

  4. References from other sites.

What factors does Google take into account to rank a local business?

There are 3 factors and we will look at them below:

1- Proximity: It remains the most important of all. 

When we talk about proximity we have to take two factors into account:

a) The Postal Codefor businesses with low competitiveness. 

b) The coordinates(Sometimes, by simply changing the search location from one street to another, the "local pack" can change). This accuracy of coordinates is used by Google when the local business being offered has a high level of competition, such as industrial estates where there are 4 or 5 garages on the same street.

"How can local seos know the positioning of a token in the local pack if you are not physically on site?"

We use tools that simulate locations, for example, we highly recommend this Chrome extension that allows you to enter the exact street or coordinate where you would like to be and from there you can perform a search.

GS-LOCATION-CHANGER (click here to download).

2- Authority: How famous a place is.

Where does Google see this?

a) In the reviews.

- That it has a large amount of -

- They should be positive ratings (the best local SEOs say that the ideal is 4.7, as Google rarely gives a score of 5 and penalises it).

- Quality of the reviews. That they have photos, that the comments are long, that they interact with the company, that they include a video, that the reviews are made by prestigious "local guides" (people who have left many ratings in different places)...

- Speed of reviews. Google penalises if the ratings arrive in a very short time and then have a break of months. The algorithm is very clever in this respect and understands that the ratings are from acquaintances/family members. It is difficult to fool Google, and, in fact, it is not worth it, as a penalty from Google will make our listing disappear from the search engine, and that, after a lot of work on a listing, is really frustrating.

b) Authority of the websiteHow important is my website? The more incoming links, the more authority our website will have. This is why in previous articles we said that, although most businesses are positioned in the "local pack" without having a website... having a website helps you to rank.

c) NAPW Consistency. Your head almost explodes when you see this, I know, but don't worry because it is very simple to understand. The NAPW is the name of the business, its address, its telephone number that appears in the different search engines, websites, internet directories and its website. It is VERY IMPORTANT that it is EXACTLY the same everywhere. For example, if you have put C/ Trevélez instead of Calle Trevélez in the address of your business, it must appear the SAME on all the sites where you register, as this consistency will help your positioning, because Google will know that this review refers to your Google my Business listing and not to another one.

3- Relevance: How well we respond to user searches with information about our business.

 How does Google know?

a) With the categories that we assign in the Google My Business listing.

b) SEO onpage of our website (use keywords in the texts, adequate density, use words semantically related to searches...).

c) Key words in reviews and posts: Google My Business allows you to make publications, upload photos, make stories, posts, etc... we must position keywords in those posts (that customers in the reviews use the keywords also helps a lot).

d) Behaviour: If users enter our listing and do not return to Google, if they spend a long time on the listing, etc., these are all factors that Google takes into account when positioning businesses in the "local pack".


All this is what Google takes into account when positioning local businesses in its "local pack", they are the ones that we, the local seos, know, but they are not the only ones.

The algorithm is variable and impossible to decipher, what today positions well in a few months may be something that does not position or even penalise the positioning, so the work and training must be constant in a local seo (actually in any seo).


 Hopefully not, because these are the basics of local seo and from now on all posts will be based on this.

Best regards and... see you in the next article!

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