Home Care SEO and the 2017 Moz Local Search Ranking Factors Report

SEO Bundled Services PackageAlmost all elder care services providers are considered to be “local” businesses. Therefore, “local search ranking” matters for their SEO to be effective. The purpose of this page is to summarize what is now more important, less important, and still important, from the standpoint of local SEO. Moz recently came out with its analysis of local search ranking factors, where marketing experts rank the most important factors that influence Google’s local search algorithm. Let’s check out what’s most important for local SEO this year.

The survey features five main sections:

  • Thematic Ranking Signals
  • Specific Ranking Factors in Local Pack/Finder and Local Organic Results
  • Foundational vs. Competitive Ranking Factors
  • Impact of the Possum Update
  • Negative Ranking Factors
Overall, reviews and links are considered more important over citations, which seem to be losing ground in this latest survey when it comes to importance. There’s also been an increase in focus on quality rather than quantity, which is really no surprise because that’s where the trend has been heading for some time. When you view the Moz report, you’ll see that specific ranking factors are broken down by rankings in Google’s local pack vs. rankings in Google’s organic local search results.
While Moz ranked both sets of factors up to 50, we outlined only the top 10 below for your convenience. View the full 50 by visiting the survey link above.

Top 10 Local Pack Finder Factors

  1. Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  2. Physical Address in City of Search
  3. Proper GMB Category Associations
  4. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  5. Consistency of Citations on the Primary Data Sources
  6. Domain Authority of Website
  7. Product/Service Keyword in GMB Business Title
  8. Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  9. Consistency of Citations on Tier 1 Citation Sources
  10. Click-Through Rate from Search Results

Top 10 Local Organic Factors

  1. Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  2. Domain Authority of Website
  3. Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
  4. Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content
  5. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
  6. Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally Relevant Domains
  7. Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  8. Geographic (City/Neighborhood) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content
  9. Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
  10. Mobile-Friendly/Responsive Website

The 2017 survey also includes the opinions of local search experts in regards to after-effects of the Possum update and what the new focus is on, says Search Engine Journal. Individual SEOs also give insight into what is affecting rankings at this point in the year, foundational vs. competitive factors, and specific as well as general ranking factors.

Many changes were made to this year’s survey, after taking a year off due to a changing of the guard. To encourage commentary, one of the changes was to incorporate open-ended questions to inspire insightful comments in order to obtain a broader range of answers.

General Ranking Factors

In this section of the survey, participants were asked what they thought the percentage of each thematic cluster was in regards to how it affected rankings across result types for Google. Here are the eight thematic areas for both local pack/finder results and local organic results. You can view the percentages of each within the survey graph:

  • My Business signals (proximity, categories, keyword in business title)
  • Citation signals (IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, citation volume)
  • On-page signals (presence of NAP, keywords in titles, domain authority)
  • Link signals (inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity)
  • Review signals (review quantity, review velocity, review diversity)
  • Social signals (Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement)
  • Behavioral/mobile signals (click-through rate, mobile clicks-to-call, check-ins)
  • Personalization

Overall, My Business Signals garnered the most response for Local Pack (19%) while link signals (29%) ranked highest for localized organic. Link signals came in at #2 for local pack, but My Business Signals came in at #6 for localized organic (7%).

As we’ve discussed in a previous blog, the location in which a user is searching for your home care company at any given time can impact the results they receive. In fact, proximity to searcher is now the new #1 local search ranking factor. In a nutshell, in order for your SEO strategy to be effective, you need to place a big emphasis on local search ranking. Remember: competition in local search is fierce, says Marketing Land, and you need to find your place before someone else knocks you out of it.

Contact A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing

Looking to sharpen your SEO skills? Want to make better sense of the 2017 Moz survey? We can help you get it all straight when you call us at (760) 227-2720. Here at A Servant’s Heart Web Design and Marketing, our specialty is SEO, so we are trained to stay up to date on the latest applications, methods, strategies to deliver a more effective online marketing strategy for your local home care business.

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