Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2024

George Rossoshansky
SEO Expert, Team Leader, Rush Academy Speaker George Rossoshansky

Local SEO Ranking Factors in 2024: Boost Your Business in Local Search Results

As a marketer or business owner, you probably already know the importance of having a strong online presence in today’s digital world. But when it comes to local searches, optimizing your website for search engines like Google is crucial to attract nearby customers. In this article, we’ll explore the key local SEO ranking factors that matter most in 2024, helping you understand how to improve your local search rankings and grow your business.

Which Local SEO Ranking Factors Does Google Care About?

Google constantly updates its algorithm to provide the most relevant and useful results to its users. In 2024, several factors influence your local search rankings, including:

  • Google Business Profile signals
  • Proximity to searcher’s location
  • On-page signals
  • Review signals
  • Behavioral signals
  • Citation signals
  • Local Services Ads factors

What’s the Difference Between the Local Pack and Local Organic Results?

When users perform local searches on Google, they often see two types of results: the local pack and local organic results. The local pack appears as a group of three businesses with their contact details and a map. Local organic results are regular search results with local relevance. In the context of local search, Google offers two distinct types of results that you need to know about, and understanding the difference can play a significant role in your local SEO ranking factors.

Picture this – when you conduct a search on Google, let’s say for the “best coffee shop near me,” a few specific results stand out. Firstly, you’ll notice a group of three businesses displayed prominently at the top, complete with their contact details and pinpointed locations on a mini Google Maps window. This is what we call the ‘Local Pack.’ It’s like a fast track pass for local businesses to get noticed instantly by users who are searching for services or products in their vicinity.

Following the Local Pack, you’ll find a list of results. This isn’t just any list; these are ‘Local Organic Results.’ They may appear to be your regular search results but look closer. These results are uniquely local in relevance. They’re not just general results from around the world; these are targeted suggestions of coffee shops from your local area. Each local business website listed here has earned its place through effective local SEO strategies. Understanding and capitalizing on these nuances of local search can give you the edge in a competitive marketplace.

Google Business Profile Signals

A key component to optimize your local SEO rankings is effectively leveraging your Google Business Profile. It’s not just a listing of your business; this profile is the cornerstone of your online presence and plays a pivotal role in how Google perceives your business relevance.

Your Google Business Profile should serve as a comprehensive showcase of your enterprise. The NAP, or Name, Address, and Phone number, are of paramount importance. They need to be accurate, current, and consistent across all online platforms. The primary category you assign to your business can directly impact your local SEO ranking factors, too. This category should reflect the main focus of your business, offering a quick, clear snapshot to both the search engine and potential customers.

In addition to the NAP and primary category, the description of your business in the profile plays a vital role in boosting local search rankings. It’s here that you can, and should, weave relevant keywords naturally. This can significantly help Google understand your business better and match it to relevant local searches.

A well-managed Google Business Profile, therefore, is a powerful tool to enhance your local SEO rankings. It’s about setting the stage for your business to be found and favored in the local digital landscape. Remember, a well-maintained profile is key to harnessing the full potential of Google Business Profiles and accelerating your visibility in local searches.

Proximity to Searcher’s Location

Google considers the distance between the searcher and your business when determining local search rankings. While you can’t change your physical location, you can focus on targeting keywords that include your city or neighborhood to improve local rankings.

On-Page Signals

A significant aspect of the local search ranking factors that Google considers is the proximity of your business to the searcher’s location. Google’s advanced algorithms always aim to provide the most relevant and accessible results for every search. So, your business’s physical distance from the user’s location does matter. This is where the ‘local’ in local SEO comes to the fore.

Unfortunately, while you can optimize many aspects of your online presence, changing your business’s physical location isn’t exactly feasible. However, this doesn’t mean that you’re helpless against the algorithms. There are still ways you can optimize for proximity and give your local SEO a healthy boost.

An effective method is to focus your efforts on targeting keywords that highlight your geographical area. Whether it’s your city, neighborhood, or even landmarks near your location, using these as part of your keyword strategy can make a significant impact on how you appear in the local search results.

Incorporating localized keywords can help Google understand where your business is located, thereby improving your visibility for users in the same geographical area. Remember, while you may not have control over one of the most important ranking factors, i.e., physical proximity, you do have the tools to make your local business prominent in local searches.

In essence, while distance is a factor, your strategic planning can ensure that you still stay in sight and in mind for your local audience. It’s all about playing to the strengths of your location and aligning your local SEO strategy with Google’s local search ranking factors.

Review Signals

Online reviews play a significant role in local SEO. Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google, as well as other relevant third-party review sites. Positive reviews can boost your local search engine ranking score, improving your chances of appearing in the local pack.

To harness the power of reviews, local business owners should make it a priority to encourage their customers to share their experiences and feedback. This can be on Google itself or on other relevant third-party review sites. It’s about creating multiple platforms where your customers can vouch for the quality of your services or products.

Positive reviews not only paint your business in a favorable light but also provide a meaningful boost to your local search engine ranking score. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of your business featuring prominently in the local pack, improving its visibility for those using search location functions.


What’s important to note is that reviews aren’t just a strategy for large corporations. They’re equally, if not more, beneficial for small businesses that are striving to make a mark in their localities. This aspect of local organic ranking factors has seen a lot of evolution over the years, and the impact of positive reviews is only set to grow in importance.

Behavioral Signals

Behavioral signals are indicators of how users interact with your website and Google Business Profile. Factors like click-through rates, time spent on your site, and driving directions requests impact your local search rankings.


The click-through rate (CTR) represents the percentage of users who click on your site after it appears in their search results. A high CTR indicates that your website listing is attractive and relevant to users. Time spent on your site, or ‘dwell time,’ is another key signal. A longer dwell time suggests that users find your content valuable and engaging, which is a positive sign to search engines.

Additionally, Google considers actions like requests for driving directions to your business. More requests for directions could signify a stronger interest from potential customers and positively impact your local results.

Providing valuable information and an engaging website can positively influence these signals.

Citation Signals

Think of citations as your business’s footprint on the web. They are essentially mentions of your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) across different platforms like websites, directories, and local business listings.

The key to capitalizing on citation signals lies in their consistency and accuracy. It’s not just about the quantity of citations but also the quality. Inconsistent or incorrect information can create confusion and potentially harm your local search engine rankings. On the other hand, a uniform and accurate NAP across various platforms can significantly boost your local relevance and credibility.


Consistency in your business’s NAP information across the web is a ranking factor that signals trustworthiness to search engines. In essence, these citations help to verify your business’s existence and location, making it more likely for you to show up in relevant search results.

Moreover, citations can also play a role in how local searchers perceive your business. A consistent presence across various platforms can enhance your business’s visibility and reputation, thereby making it easier for customers to find and trust your business.

Therefore, to optimize your impact on search engine rankings, it’s essential to proactively manage your citations. Regularly check and update your NAP information across all platforms to ensure accuracy and consistency. It’s about leaving no stone unturned to make your local business easily discoverable and trustworthy.

Local Services Ads Factors

Google Local Services Ads are designed to appear at the very top of relevant search results. They’re one of the first things a user sees after entering a search query related to local services, providing an immediate visibility boost. Not only do these ads help in improving your local rankings, but they also directly connect you with your potential customers, placing you right where you need to be when customers need your services.

While SEO strategies focus on long-term growth and improvement of organic search rankings, Google Local Services Ads can provide a more immediate impact. For most local businesses, this is an opportunity that should not be missed.

In essence, running Local Services Ads is about taking a proactive step towards improving your local rankings. It’s an investment that can reap significant benefits, not only in terms of visibility but also in attracting and securing potential customers. Remember, in the world of local SEO ranking factors, leveraging every opportunity can make a substantial difference.

How Accurate Are Your Local Business Listings?

Ensuring the accuracy of your local business listings is a crucial aspect of local SEO. This accuracy is not just a ranking factor, but one of the most critical local search ranking factors. The reason for this is simple: search engines, like Google, value reliable and consistent information. They use this information to help users find what they’re looking for.


Your goal should be to have your local listings serve as reliable signposts that point search engines and potential customers to your business. In a world where online presence is crucial, having accurate and consistent listings is an important step towards enhancing your visibility and boosting your local ranking factors.

So, make managing your local listings an integral part of your local SEO strategy. It’s about ensuring that your digital footprint accurately mirrors your real-world business operations. Regularly check and update these details to ensure their accuracy.

Track Your Local SEO Efforts

How to Track Map Pack Rankings

Keeping tabs on your local SEO ranking factors and your progress is integral to understanding the effectiveness of your local SEO strategies. Specifically, tracking your rankings in the local pack for targeted keywords can provide valuable insights into your local search engine rankings.

Google Search Console is one reliable tool that can assist you in this task. It’s a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. It’s not just about tracking your position but also understanding how Google and its users view your site.

How to Monitor Local Keyword Rankings

Using a local rank tracker can significantly simplify the process of monitoring your local keyword rankings. Rush Analytics’ Local Rank Tracker offers a suite of features designed to make tracking your local SEO performance a breeze.

To use Local Rank Tracker effectively, first, you’ll need to set up your project. This involves specifying the keywords you wish to track and the geographical areas you’re interested in. The beauty of a local rank tracker is its ability to focus on specific cities and regions, giving you a granular view of your performance in different areas.

Once your project is set up, the Local Rank Tracker gets to work. It starts by checking your local keyword rankings in your chosen areas. The tool scours search engine result pages for your specified keywords, providing you with a snapshot of where your business stands in the local digital landscape.


The Local Rank Tracker doesn’t just give you a one-time snapshot; it monitors your keyword ranking over time. This ongoing monitoring allows you to see trends and changes in your local rankings, offering insights that can be invaluable for adjusting your local SEO strategy.

But the Local Rank Tracker doesn’t stop there. It also provides competitor analysis, which can help you understand how your local search performance stacks up against your business rivals. Knowing where you stand can help you refine your strategies to outshine your competitors.

Overall, using a tool like Local Rank Tracker is a powerful way to keep tabs on your local keyword rankings. It’s all about making informed decisions that can help your business thrive in the local digital arena.

Google Business Profile Factors That Don’t Impact Rankings

While there are many Google Business Profile attributes that play a crucial role in local SEO ranking, there are also several factors that, contrary to some misconceptions, don’t have a direct impact on your local search ranking. It’s important to understand these elements to effectively allocate your resources and strategies.

While there are many Google Business Profile attributes that play a crucial role in local SEO ranking, there are also several factors that, contrary to some misconceptions, don’t have a direct impact on your local search ranking. It’s important to understand these elements to effectively allocate your resources and strategies.

1. Business Description: While it’s essential to provide a detailed and accurate business description for your audience’s benefit, Google has clarified that this does not directly affect your local search ranking. It’s primarily a means to convey your brand message and offer information about your business to potential customers.

2. Keyword Stuffing in Business Name: Google does not favor business names overloaded with keywords. In fact, this could lead to penalties. Your business name should reflect your business’s actual, legal name.

3. Use of Posts: Posts allow you to share updates, offers, and events directly on Google Search and Maps. However, these do not directly influence your local search ranking, but they can increase engagement and provide valuable information to your customers.

4. Quantity of Google Reviews: While reviews are critical for building trust with potential customers, the number of Google reviews does not directly impact search engine rankings. The content of the reviews and the regularity of new reviews can, however, influence your local SEO ranking.

5. Star Ratings: Similarly, your business’s average star rating on Google doesn’t directly impact your local search ranking. However, it plays a crucial role in user decision-making and overall reputation management.

6. Social Media Links: Adding social media links to your Google Business Profile can help users connect with your brand on different platforms, but they do not directly impact your local ranking factors.

7. Photos and Videos: While visually appealing content can attract and engage users, their presence does not directly affect your local SEO ranking.

Remember, while these factors might not directly impact search engine rankings, they are crucial for enhancing your online presence, improving user experience, and building trust with your audience. Each contributes to the broader picture of your local SEO efforts.

Remember, while these factors might not directly impact search engine rankings, they are crucial for enhancing your online presence, improving user experience, and building trust with your audience. Each contributes to the broader picture of your local SEO efforts.

How to Perform Local SEO?

To get started with local SEO, follow these steps:

Local SEO Keyword Research

Identify relevant keywords that include your location and incorporate them into your website’s content and Google Business Profile. You can use Local Rank Tracker tool for this purpose.

A local rank tracker tool is a specialized software designed to monitor and analyze the search engine rankings of local keywords for local businesses. It works by allowing businesses to input their targeted local keywords, which are phrases or terms that include location-specific information relevant to their products or services. Once the local keywords are entered into the tool, it continuously tracks the search engine rankings of the business’s website for those keywords in Google.

By monitoring these local search ranking factors, the tool helps businesses understand their strengths and weaknesses in local SEO and identify areas for improvement.

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Use Your Location-Focused Keyword Above The Fold

Place your primary keyword near the top of your web page to catch users’ attention. The “above the fold” area of a website should prominently display the essential business information, making it easily accessible to users without the need for scrolling. Including the NAP details above the fold helps visitors quickly identify and contact the business, which is crucial for local SEO and user experience. Here’s what the “above the fold” area should include according to the NAP principle, along with examples:

1. Business Name: The business name should be displayed prominently at the top of the webpage, making it immediately clear to users what business they are interacting with.

Example: “Smith’s Plumbing Services”

2. Address: The physical address of the business should be visible above the fold. This is especially important for local businesses as it helps potential customers know where the business is located.

Example: “123 Main Street, Anytown, USA”

3. Phone Number: A visible and clickable phone number is essential for users who want to contact the business directly. Having a “click-to-call” feature on mobile devices can significantly improve user experience.

Example: “+1 (555) 123-4567”

4. CTA or Directional Prompts: Encourage users to take action by incorporating call-to-action buttons or directional prompts. For example, using text like “Call Now,” “Get Directions,” or “Visit Us Today” can guide users to engage with the business.

Example: “Call Now: +1 (555) 123-4567” or “Visit Us Today at 123 Main Street”

5. Map or Location Widget: Including a map or location widget above the fold provides a visual representation of the business’s address and can be particularly helpful for businesses with physical storefronts.

Example: An embedded Google Maps widget showing the business’s location.

By including the NAP details above the fold, businesses ensure that visitors can quickly identify key information about their establishment. This not only improves user experience and trust but also aligns with local SEO best practices, as search engines can easily recognize and verify the business’s location information. Remember to keep this information consistent across your website and other online listings to build trust and credibility with both users and search engines.

Get More Online Reviews (and Reply to Any That Come In)

Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google and respond to them promptly. By actively encouraging customers to leave reviews, you can enhance your chances of earning a spot in the local pack and standing out among competitors.

Moreover, responding to customer reviews demonstrates your attentiveness to customer feedback and shows potential customers that you value their opinions. When you promptly respond to both positive and negative reviews, you display a level of care and engagement that can positively influence a potential customer’s decision to choose your business over others in the local pack rankings.

Keep Crucial Business Data Updated

Regularly check and update your business name, address, phone number, and other essential information on your website and business listings.


Search engines like Google prioritize accurate and consistent information, making it essential to regularly review and update your business name, address, phone number (NAP), and other vital details on your website and across various business listings. Search engines consider NAP consistency and accuracy as a significant local SEO ranking factor, as it validates the legitimacy and trustworthiness of a local business.

Additionally, users rely on accurate information to locate and contact your business, so ensuring that your NAP data is correct across all online platforms and directories boosts your credibility and fosters a positive user experience.

NAPs are HUGE: Ensure consistent and accurate NAPs across the web for better local search rankings.

On-Site SEO For Local Businesses: Optimize your website’s content, meta titles, and descriptions with local keywords for better search engine visibility.

Use Title Tag Cliffhangers: Craft engaging title tags that entice users to click and explore your content.

Local Link Building: Seek inbound links from other local businesses or relevant directories to improve your domain authority and local relevance.

By implementing these local SEO strategies and focusing on the key ranking factors, you can improve your local search rankings, attract more customers, and boost your business’s online visibility in 2024. Remember, local SEO is an ongoing process, so keep monitoring and optimizing to stay ahead of your competition in search results.

Local SEO Link Building

Link building is indeed an essential component of local SEO. It not only helps search engines understand the relevance and authority of your website but also plays a vital role in improving your visibility in local search results. Here’s a list of strategies that can help you build strong local links:

1. Local Business Directories: Start by listing your business in trusted local directories. This not only helps in building local links but also improves the visibility of your business to potential customers.

2. Partnerships with Local Businesses: Partner with other local businesses to exchange links. This could involve writing guest posts for each other’s blogs, providing testimonials, or promoting each other’s services.

3. Sponsor Local Events or Charities: This can provide an opportunity to earn high-quality backlinks from event pages, local news outlets, or charity websites.

4. Local PR: Engage with local media, bloggers, and influencers. They can write about your business and provide a link back to your website.

5. Create Quality Local Content: Creating content that resonates with your local audience, such as local guides or news, can attract natural backlinks from other local websites.

6. Engage with Local Communities: Actively participate in local forums and communities. Provide helpful advice and consider including a link to your website when relevant and allowed.

7. Use Social Media: Though the SEO value of social media links is debatable, they do help in driving traffic to your website, increasing visibility, and potentially attracting more natural backlinks.

8. Competitor Analysis: Use SEO tools to analyze where your competitors are getting their backlinks. You might discover new platforms or strategies that you can use as well.Remember, link building for local SEO is about quality, not linking domain quantity. Prioritize acquiring links from authoritative and relevant local websites, avoid spam listings and always remember that your primary goal is to provide value to your local audience. By the way, we have a guide on how to build links for ecommerce – check it out.

To Sum Up: What Works Today for Local SEO?

In 2024, a combination of traditional and innovative strategies remains crucial for succeeding in local SEO. Unquestionably, the well-established local search ranking factors continue to be of utmost importance. Accurate and consistent Google Business Profile information, proximity to the searcher’s location, quality and quantity of online reviews, and a well-optimized website are all elements that can’t be overlooked. Furthermore, link signals, including inbound links from high domain authority websites, have a considerable influence on local organic rankings. They help build your website’s credibility and improve its visibility on local search results.

However, let’s not forget about the rising stars of local SEO. Behavioral signals, indicating how users interact with your website and Google Business Profile, have a growing impact on your local finder ranking. Furthermore, we’re seeing more emphasis on engaging and valuable content, internal links, and consistency in business information across the web. A well-rounded strategy in 2024 doesn’t just focus on garnering more reviews; it also centers around creating a seamless and engaging user experience that boosts the perception of your brand. All in all, understanding and leveraging these key ranking factors can help businesses reach the top of local search results, drive more traffic, and ultimately, enhance their growth.