With smartphones by our side and quick online searches becoming our go-to for finding information, local SEO is at an all-time high.

As a local business in Houston, attracting customers from your area is the key to success. Location-based SEO strategy can make all the difference to beat your competition and quickly rise to popularity.

With Google and other search engines changing the ranking factors to prioritize location-based results, it’s time to jump on the local SEO bandwagon!

At YellowFin Digital, we have helped many small and medium-scale businesses with our Houston SEO services. Our customized SEO Houston strategy has helped new companies to get a strong foothold in the market and existing businesses to rise above the competition. In this blog, our experts will explain some of the top factors that affect your local SEO and your search rankings.

5 Local SEO Factors That Affect Your Rankings (And What They Mean)

As a Houston SEO company, we have experimented with several local SEO strategies and methods and zeroed-in on a few. Let’s take a look at some of the top factors that influence your local SEO directly. 

  • 1. Keywords – Where Discoverability Lies

Of course, we know that SEO is all about the keywords. 

If you’re trying to rank for a keyword without any specific location, it will all be in vain. As a location-specific business, aim for those localized keywords that your usual audience may use to find what they’re looking for.

For example, as a plumbing company in Houston, you can aim for keywords like ‘hire plumbers in Houston,’ ‘Houston plumbing company,’ etc. If you want to be more specific, you can even optimize for ‘plumbers in Lakewood, Houston.’

You’ll have a sure-shot of getting more prospects when you make your keywords location-specific instead of the generic ‘plumbers.’

  • 2. Google My Business – Where the Limelight Lies

Do you dedicate enough time to maintaining your accounts properly?

Similarly, you should give importance to your Google My Business listing and keep optimizing it often. If you’re just creating the listing on Google My Business, then here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Choose the relevant categories
  • Include your correct address
  • Provide a number on which your business is available throughout business hours on all days (Not your personal number or your manager’s number, which may not be available on all days at all times)
  • Include high-resolution images of your store and your products or services 
  • Provide a complete description of your services and sprinkle it with the keywords
  • Include your website URL and the right directions

But that’s not all you should do.

Once you have set up your business listing, you need to regularly visit it and answer any questions and respond to the reviews. You can add more images periodically as posts to show your online presence. 

If there are any changes in the contact information, location or timings, you should update it immediately in the listing. Remember that the ‘call’ option is the way your prospects can reach you.

Google My Business - Where the Limelight Lies

A study by Google found that 60% of smartphone users contact a business directly through the call option. Now you know how important it is to have this number available and pick the call throughout the working hours.

  • 3. Localized Content – Where the Usefulness Lies

Having an updated Google My Business listing for your local business is just the start. If you want to further explore local SEO and make most of it, you can create content that revolves around your business and location.

How can you write localized SEO content?

Research widely. Understand your customers and predict their problems for which you have the solution. 

You can write about the local services you provide, the kind of services, your customer grievances and solutions, local events, etc. Anything about your area and your business will help to increase the relevancy of your website.

If you need assistance to develop relevant content for your customers, our Houston SEO company can help you out. We create value-rich, localized content for SMBs in Houston that the customers love.

  • 4. Positive Reviews – Where Credibility Lies

Speaking of credibility, reviews have a significant impact on the way people perceive your business. A Google listing with lots of positive reviews and ratings will have an advantage over a business with very few positive reviews or, even worse, lots of negative reviews.

Positive Reviews - Where Credibility Lies

According to a survey by BrightLocal in 2019, 82% of people say that negative reviews will make them less likely to use a business and 91% say that they are more likely to use a business with positive reviews.

Reviews can become the deciding factor on which your business balances. So, make sure to recommend you’re happy customers to leave positive reviews and try your best to resolve the negative reviews. Respond to all the reviews regularly.

  • 5. Inbound Links – Where Authority Lies

Inbound links to your website can boost your SEO and increase your authority too. The inbound links denote that many refer to your website, meaning you are a legitimate company with authority.

Inbound Links - Where Authority Lies

According to Moz’s research, the link signals are the second most crucial ranking factors next to Google My Business signals.

However, not all links are useful. The link back from relevant, high-authority websites would increase your SEO value.

How can you get the high-authority links back to your website?

Publish relevant, useful content that’s of immense value. It can be case studies, customer studies, or surveys. You can approach guest bloggers, news websites, and other business sites to use the information in their content when relevant.

When good authority websites link back to yours, your authority increases and so will your ranking.

Wrapping Up

Local SEO gives you a heads-up in your competition no matter what your business niche is. Make the best use of these five local SEO factors in your strategy to get discovered by your prospects online.