Local SEO has many signals and ways that search engines categorize a website and decide on how best to rank content. Most of these signals can be categorized into three factors:
Search engines will crawl the content of your website and decide how relevant it is to a search query. This is the most basic of the three signals and is used beyond just local search by search engines.
Distance is how far the user is from the local business/location. It can also matter the location a user searches for. For example, if a user searched for pizza in New York City versus searching for pizza in Brooklyn; these queries would result in different overall results purely based on how specific each search is to the destination.
Prominence can be related to several Search Engine Optimization tactics. It is how users “view” your brand. Here are some examples of questions that this would answer:
- How many people are talking about your business?
- Have you been featured in any stories or newsworthy content?
- Do you have a good reputation?
- Do users talk about products/services that are relevant to your business and for terms you’d like to show up for?
- Do you have local listings enabled on other third party websites?
Most of these questions are based on content outside of your website and by potential customers you’ve dealt with. This can be very important for local business because prominence is what allows you to stand out over others that offer very similar services (or perceived similar services).