SEOMoz has released its annual local search rankings survey, a look at what factors matter most according to search experts across the country. Since the world of SEO is constantly changing, it’s always interesting to take a look at this survey and see how it changes over the course of a year. Here are the five key takeaways we found after reading the report.

  1. On-page Signals and Link Signals Matter A Lot – If there are two things you’re going to focus on, these are what you want. Ensuring your name, address, and phone number are consistent across your website (and online presence) helps people find you more easily. And when you get links from high-value sites, make sure the keywords you’re wanting to be found under are in the anchor text (the text that actually links).
  2. Google+ Is Dying – David Mihm said it best, so we’ll quote him:”With the removal of links to Google+ pages from Maps and even from the primary SERP, the always-awkward integration between Plus and Local has now been completely severed.At this point, I view Google My Business essentially as a UI for structured data* and a conduit to AdWords. While Google’s original “business builder” vision may still come to fruition, it clearly won’t be under the social umbrella of Google+.

    *as well as photos–increasingly important for conversion in a Knowledge Card-heavy future.”

  3. Categorize Yourself – Incorrectly categorizing your business is the worst thing you can do to your SEO efforts, according to this survey. Make sure you’re choosing wisely
  4. Ratings Aren’t Important – Ensuring you have five stars on Yelp, Facebook, Google+, etc. is one of the least important factors for ranking well, according to the survey. That said, we believe they’re still important in the social realm since it’s a general consensus from the community on your business. A high rating may not help you rank, but it will help with consumer confidence in you.
  5. Behavioral Signals Are Becoming More Important – These are things like your clickthrough rate (CTR), mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc. Why are they becoming more important? When you look at these individually, it may not seem like they have a lot in common. Except for one thing. Trust in you. People click on what they trust most and like to tell people where they are. If they like and trust you.

The biggest takeaway from this year’s report is simple. Good SEO is straightforward, useful, and trustworthy content on your website and about you on other trustworthy websites. If that sounds like a daunting task, we can help you. Give us a call at 573-446-7777 or send us an email and we’ll help you get started.