How To Rank Well In Local Search: 3 Leading Experts Weigh In

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How To Rank Well In Local Search: 3 Leading Experts Weigh In

At Pubcon 2014 in Las Vegas the SEJ team was able to catch up with three experts on the subject of local search.

Below you will find videos of Brent Csutoras interviewing Brian Lafrance Authority Labs John Rampton interviewing Kris Jones of, and Kelsey Jones interviewing Mary Bowling of Ignitor Digital.

Each of these experts provide actionable tips that businesses can use to rank well in local search results.

Tools For Improving Local Search: An Interview with Brian LaFrance

Organic Local SEO & Understanding Google Pigeon: An Interview with Mary Bowling of Ignitor Digital

How Small Businesses Can Increase Their Google Rankings: An Interview With Kris Jones

Here are some highlights from each of these videos:

  • A search in one area can differ a lot from a search in another area, which is something people aren’t paying attention to as much as they should.
  • In a given search you could get 5-6 local results on the front page, and that’s not even including the Google local pack.
  • If you want to rank in a specific location where you’re not currently ranking very well, the best thing to do is create content specific to that location. Look to see if that location has its own online communities, like forums or subreddits, and engage in those communities. Become an authority within that location.
  • The more the name of your company gets mentioned alongside the location you’re trying to rank for, the better your chances of improving search visibility for that location.
  • Something holding small businesses back from achieving success in the local SEO space are the facts that they’re not used to outsourcing, and most agencies simply charge small businesses way too much.
  • For those small businesses that aren’t comfortable with outsourcing, there are a ton of great resources out there for them to self educate.
  • To small business owner, SEO can seem like an incomprehensible psuedo-science, but once you peel back what really goes into how Google ranks businesses you find it’s not so much theoretical but quite practical.
  • If the small business owner can take it upon themselves to identify those ranking factors and the steps that need to be taken, they can take better control of their online marketing.
  • With so much importance being placed on Google+ Local, businesses should be treating their Google+ business page with as much importance as their website.
  • Another thing small businesses should focus on is getting more online reviews as that’s one of the primary ranking factors for local SEO.
    Something small business owners should be aware of is Google’s new local search algorithm, nicknamed “Pigeon”, which aims to serve search results based on proximity of the searcher.
  • To please the Pigeon ranking signal, small businesses should be looking more towards organic SEO than paid search. They should be trying to get more local links pointing to their site.
  • If you really want to rank well in local search, another good piece of advice is to think about what you would do to promote your business in the local community if the Internet didn’t exist. Doing those kinds of things will indirectly lead to getting links to your website.
  • Directories are also more important than ever when it comes to local SEO. Find the directories that are ranking for the terms you want your business to rank for, and then make sure your business is listed in those directories.

Please visit SEJ’s YouTube page for more video interviews.

Matt Southern
Matt Southern has been the lead news writer at Search Engine Journal since 2013. His passion for helping people in all aspects of online marketing... Read Full Bio
Matt Southern
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  • Megan Garner

    Hey Matt!

    I enjoyed this article a lot. It is interesting to note that a dark horse like Google+ proves the most relevant of the social sharing sites. I noticed one typo that I thought I’d point out to you:

    “SEO can seem like an incomprehensible psuedo-science…” Just gotta change the psuedo to “pseudo” ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sandy@Workado

    Wouldnt’ you agree that if small businesses in small areas want to do well on the internet (and maybe grow their business) they would be wise to get SEO professional consultation? If they try to self educate in the area of online marketing, search engine know-hows and results, it’ll send them down the rabbit hole and lose sight of current or nearby customers and further developing their product or service.

  • Mustafa Gaziani

    Hey Matt,

    It’s always appreciating this kind of post that helps beginners like me ๐Ÿ˜€ You’ve shared amazing tutorials to get well rank in search engine. So far so good, many of us don’t concentrate on local search but who knows the local search results are also leaving a high value on our blog.


  • Anand

    I really don’t think ‘self education’ is a viable choice for small businesses. For one, most of the regular SMB owners are non-tech savvy and for them to learn all the tricks of the trade is going to be extremely overwhelming, especially the onsite part of SEO.

    Even if you assume they are savvy enough with computers, it is fair to assume that they won’t be able to filter out white hat from black hat. In SEO, they all seem to intertwined that one gets to learn the right route only after they have burned their hands in one of the projects.

  • Ryan

    Loved Brian’s suggestion to create content “for that area,” if you’re trying to rank for local city keywords. It WORKS! Has worked for me greatly.

  • Mary Bowling

    Matt, thanks for including me in your round up! I enjoyed hearing what Brian and Kris have to say, too.