Local SEO Ranking Factors: What Affects Google Local Rankings?

Make it easier for clients and caregivers in your area to find and contact your home care agency by paying attention to these local SEO ranking factors.

Why work on local SEO ranking factors?

SEO makes it easier for people to find your business online. Local SEO makes it easier for people in your area to find your business online. As a home care agency, local SEO is key to growing your business.

Potential clients may search terms like: home health care near me or home health care worker. Job-searching caregivers may search terms like: caregiver agency near me or home health care jobs. A web presence optimized for local search makes it easier for them to find and contact you.

The 2 key types of local search results

1. Local pack results

The local pack is the group of three to five businesses that appear on the search engine results page (SERP). These are the local pack results for home care agencies in Richmond, VA.

The are the local pack results for home care agencies in Richmond, VA

2. Organic results

Organic search results are the long list of pages on the SERP. These appear below paid ads and, usually, below the local pack results.

These are the organic search results for home care agencies in Richmond.

Organic SERP results for home care agencies near Richmond.

4 SEO factors that affect local search rankings

Ideally, you want to optimize your business’s website and web presence so that you’re likely to rank in both local pack and organic search results. Here are the most important factors in making that happen.

1. Your Google Business Profile

One of the most important local SEO ranking factors is your Google Business Profile. This is a free tool that lets you manage your business’s presence on Google Search and Google Maps. It’s also the best way to tell Google where your business is located and where you provide caregiving services.

To boost your local rankings, build out your business profile as much as possible: the name and location of your agency, contact information, hours of operation, website URL, social media accounts, services provided, and answers to FAQs.

Learn more about building your Google Business Profile.

Bing Places for Business Profile

Google is the most used search engine. Bing is number two. Though we recommend optimizing your site for local search based on Google’s standards first, it’s a good idea to complete your Bing Places for Business Profile, which is their version of the Google Business Profile.

2. Reviews of your business

Reviews of your business are very important to local search engine rankings. Google reviews show up in local pack results and on your Google Business Profile, and reviews on other sites, like Yelp and Care.com, can show up in the organic results. The more positive customer reviews you have, the better your chances of being ranked highly on a local SERP.

Employee reviews from sites like Glassdoor and Indeed are also important and can show up in the organic search results.

3. Your website SEO

To appear in the organic results, you need to optimize your website for search engines. This happens both on the pages visitors see and behind the scenes.

Front-end SEO

Your website should feature, at a minimum:

  • Clear language that describes your business and its services in headlines and body copy
  • High-quality, but easy-to-load images
  • Menus that are easy to navigate
  • Contact information, hours, and location for your business
  • Short and clear URLs and URL slugs

Behind-the-scenes SEO

Some of the most powerful ways you can optimize your website for local SEO aren’t visible on the web page. They happen behind the scenes, in the website code.

To optimize your site on the back end:

  • Make sure site speed and load time are as fast as possible
  • Make sure your site map is accurate and updated regularly
  • Enable your robots.txt file
  • Make sure your site is mobile-responsive
  • Set up the relevant schema and structured data for each page
  • Add descriptive and optimized metadata to all pages
  • Set up your Google Search Console to monitor back-end SEO

Other off-page SEO

Google looks for other signals about your site to place you in the organic results and in the local pack. These include:

  • Links to your site from other reputable and relevant sites, called backlinks
  • Your social media presence
  • News articles about your business

4. How visitors interact with your site (or don’t)

Google also pays attention to how users interact with your website when they click through from a SERP. These are called engagement metrics.

These are some of the most important engagement metrics that affect how Google ranks your site in local results:

  • Clicks: The number of times users click on your business results
  • Click-through rate: The number of times a link to your site is clicked divided by the number of times is it displayed on a SERP
  • Bounce rate: The number of visitors who leave your site after viewing a single page divided by the total number of visits
  • Page views: How many pages on your site a given visitor looks at in a single visit

Need some help working on your local SEO ranking factors?

Improving your home care agency's local SEO can take a lot of research, learning, and ultimately, work. We can eliminate the hassle, get you the end result, and boost your business! Contact the experts at Home Care Marketing Pros today to get started!

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