Local SEO is supposed to be easy, at least that's what I thought when I was first introduced to the concept. The fact that organic factors weren't too much at play was good news for small businesses who simply didn't have the resources to compete. All that has changed in 2014.The Changing Landscape
The recent Local Search Ranking Factors survey has shed some light on the changes that made a fairly simple process an entirely different beast. If there is one thing we notice from the seemingly complex ranking factors list, it's the shift of organic signals to local algorithms. Domain authority, link quality and your typical organic factors measured by user behavior are all playing a huge part in the new search results. Several experts have noted the growing significance of behavioral factors such as click-through rates, clicks on directions, pogo-sticking and so on.
Phil Rozek made a comment that reflected my personal opinion: “Google reviews do seem to help rankings, in my experience. I don’t know whether it’s a direct benefit or an indirect one (because reviews help click-throughs). Not that it matters. The benefits are ridiculous and many.”
Our own Darren Shaw is likely onto something when [...]