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With more layers of complexity to search engines than the rainbow gelatin dessert that Grandma brings to every family function, it can be hard to know where to start with getting your business ranked locally. As search engines put more emphasis on local results, it’s essential to know where to focus your energy in your online business pursuits. To help you out, here are five key local ranking factors that you should take action on to ensure that you’re landing in the top spots:

Make sure your NAP is consistent.
It’s very important to have consistency among your name, address and phone number (NAP) so that it matches what you have listed on your website, the yellow pages and in other print and online forms. When you have a NAP that’s off by just a bit, it the complex search engine algorithms won’t take into account that it’s actually your business. Some of the places that you should check include:

  • Your websites
  • Your social media pages
  • Online directories
  • Directories related to your industry or niche

Reformat your homepage’s title.
Possibly the most important content, for SEO purposes, on your website, the title of your homepage gives the search engines a glimpse of what your site’s all about. For your local business, the title should include both your city’s name and your product or service. You can also add in your brand’s name and your keywords. Be sure to keep the title under 70 characters.

Seek out honest reviews.
The more authentic reviews that point to your site, the better for taking over the search engine rankings. Aim for quality reviews over quantity, but ask that customers and clients leave feedback. Do monitor it and take action with any negative feedback by correcting the problem or having it removed if it’s spam .

Register at Google +Local
Formerly called Google Places, Google +Local is an important place to register to help boost your rankings in the local listings. First, you should check to see whether or not a listing for your business already exists. If you’re showing up already, then you can edit the information by opting to "Manage this Page" when you click on the listing. You’ll need to complete the setup process and then verify that you are the owner of the business, via postcard or phone. Personalize the content to reflect your brand and be sure to add your business to the correct categories in which it fits.
Get more citations from local websites.
Citations are like a vote of approval for your business, so it should be your goal to get as many as you can. They lend credibility to your site and serve as positive word-of-mouth, with or without a link. Work with local organizations to get citations on their sites by doing things like writing an article for the newspaper or asking to be added to your chamber of commerce’s website.

Now that you know what’s most important, take action and give these tasks priority. Set aside time to implement these strategies so that you don’t lose out on being seen at the top of the search engine.


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