Google Local Ranking Factors to Watch

Local businesses can get found online in more ways today than ever before, but Google remains the go-to search engine for the vast majority of internet users with 85% market share. For your local business, this means both your organic website rank and position in the Google 3-Pack (also known as the map pack or local pack) are crucial to drive online visibility and traffic through your doors.

But how does Google determine local ranking? According to Google itself, local results are based primarily on relevance (i.e., how well your Business Profile matches a search query), distance (i.e., how far your business is from the location term used), and prominence (i.e., how well known your business is). And although you can’t change your distance from searchers, you can boost your relevance and prominence by recognizing the most impactful Google local ranking factors and knowing how to use them to gain a higher position in the Google 3-pack and organic search results.

In our previous blog post, we shared the top seven local SEO ranking factors for 2023 based on Whitespark’s annual Local Search Ranking Factors report. And while prioritizing those top seven is important, they are not the only Google local ranking factors that can improve your visibility for Google local search. Read on to discover four more highly impactful Google local ranking factors that need to be on your radar in 2023 according to the experts.

Want more tips on how to boost your local search ranking in 2023?

1. Google Business Profile (GBP) Attributes

Attributes refer broadly to details that make your business stand out. They're not the most important aspects of your business, but depending on the search intent and phrasing of a query, they can be one of the more consequential Google local ranking factors in demonstrating your relevance and giving you the edge needed to rise above the competition.

Examples of attributes are ownership status (e.g. woman-led, veteran-owned, or minority-owned business) and qualities like wheelchair accessibility, free Wi-Fi, on-site parking, and credit card acceptance.

When it comes to providing attributes about your business, more details are always better because you never know what aspect of your business may be important to a certain individual.

If a plumbing company turns on the attribute identifying itself as a women-led business, it won’t help them rank better for 'plumbers in Denver,' but it will help them rank better for 'women plumbers in Denver.' So if you add the attributes that actually can have that positive impact, then your rankings will go up.

Darren Shaw, FounderWhitespark

2. On-Page FAQs

On-page FAQs refer to the frequently-asked-questions section of your website, not your GBP. But it seems clear that incorporating common questions from your GBP to your website can have a positive impact on your site’s visibility. So if you want to boost impressions and gain a higher Google local ranking, then dedicating time to improving your on-page FAQs is a worthwhile investment.

Over the past year, I've seen an expansion of FAQ content paired with FAQ schema. And between those two, the former has been really helpful from a visibility standpoint. Impressions go through the roof and much more in terms of engagement and click throughs.

Matt Lacuesta, Director of SEOAsurion

3. Google Business Profile CTAs

Google now lets you add bookings, reservation and order CTA buttons directly from your GBP. And if you run a restaurant, you can integrate with third-party delivery services for food deliveries. These added CTAs are all believed to be weighed heavily both for the rich behavioral insights they provide and for how they enable Google to profit from orders and deliveries.

Leveraging booking, reservations, and order links in your GBP is going to become a lot more important over the next year. Pay attention to them, and if you see a third party you don’t want on your profile, contact Google Support.

Krystal Taing, Director of Pre-Sales SolutionsUberall

4. Predefined Services

Predefined services are a new rollout feature that nests on your GBP based on your business category. For example, if you run a hair salon, you might get to add predefined services like:

  • Perms

  • Men's cuts

  • Women's cuts

  • Children's cuts

  • Highlights

Taking advantage of your business's predefined services creates an opportunity to increase your Google local ranking for highly sought-after services that are relevant to your customers.

Predefined services is a really exciting Google local ranking factor to watch this year. Every single category you add to your profile, whether it’s primary or secondary, is going to have these predefined services and they're going to vary based on your industry.

Elizabeth Rule, SEO Analyst and Account ManagerSterling Sky

Take Control of Your Google Local Ranking to Grow Your Business

You clearly need a well-rounded SEO strategy to attain the highest Google local ranking possible for your business and to stand out in today’s increasingly crowded marketplace. Of course, the SEO landscape is constantly changing, and it’s hard to know whether you are dedicating your time and resources to the right areas. But by keeping focused on the Google local ranking factors that the experts agree are most likely to identify you as a prominent and highly relevant option for local searchers, you can rest assured that you are spending your time in the right areas to stay ahead of the competition.

Want more tips on how to boost your local search ranking?