Most Important Factors in Search Engine Optimization

This is the technical stuff we look at when designing your search engine optimization strategy. If you don’t understand this, don’t worry. That’s what you hire us for. :)

Google’s Overall Ranking Factors

Google My Business Signals (14.7%)
(Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity, etc.)

External Loc. Signals (15.5%)
(IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume, etc.)

On-page Signals (21.0%)
(Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority, etc.)

Link Signals (18.3%)
(Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity, etc.)

Review Signals (9.8%)
(Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity, etc.)

Social Signals (5.8%)
(Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers, etc.)

Behavioral/Mob. Signals (6.9%)
(Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers, etc.)

Personalization (8.4%)

Top 50 Localized Organic Factors

1 City, State in Landing Page Title
  2 Domain Authority of Website
  3 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
  4 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  5 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  6 Physical Address in City of Search
  7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  8 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
  9 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  10 City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
  11 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
  12 Consistency of Structured Citations
  13 City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags
  14 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
  15 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
  16 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
  17 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  18 Diversity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  19 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  20 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  21 Proper Category Associations
  22 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  23 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL from Locally-Relevant Domains
  24 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
  25 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  26 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
  27 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
  28 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
  29 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
  30 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains
  31 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
  32 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
  33 Loadtime of Landing Page URL
  34 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  35 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Domain
  36 Proximity of Address to Centroid
  37 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
  38 City, State in Most/All H1/H2 Tags
  39 Quantity of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  40 Velocity of New Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  41 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
  42 Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
  43 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
  44 Business Title in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  45 Velocity of New Inbound Links to Domain
  46 Authority of Shares on Google+
  47 Volume of Testimonials in hReview / Schema.org
  48 Bulk Owner-verified My Business Page
  49 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
  50 Diversity of third-party sites on which reviews are present

Top 50 Pack/Carousel Factors

1 Physical Address in City of Search
  2 Proper Category Associations
  3 Consistency of Structured Citations
  4 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  5 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
  6 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
  7 Domain Authority of Website
  8 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  9 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
  10 Proximity of Address to Centroid
  11 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  12 City, State in Landing Page Title
  13 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
  14 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  15 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
  16 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  17 Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry
  18 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  19 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  20 Local Area Code on My Business Page
  21 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
  22 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
  23 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
  24 Age of My Business Page
  25 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
  26 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
  27 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
  28 Primary category matches a broader category of the search category (e.g. primary category=restaurant & search=pizza)
  29 City, State in Most/All Website Title Tags
  30 Product/Service Keywords in Reviews
  31 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
  32 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
  33 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
  34 High Numerical Ratings of Business by Google Users (e.g. 4-5)
  35 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain from Locally-Relevant Domains
  36 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain
  37 Product/Service Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  38 Association of Photos with My Business Page
  39 Authority of third-party sites on which reviews are present
  40 Matching Google Account Domain to Landing Page Domain
  41 City, State in Landing Page H1/H2 Tags
  42 Numerical Percentage of My Business Page Completeness
  43 Clicks to Call Business
  44 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  45 Product / Service Keyword in My Business Page Description
  46 Velocity of Native Google Maps Reviews
  47 Quantity of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  48 Diversity of third-party sites on which reviews are present
  49 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
  50 Driving Directions to Business Clicks

Negative Ranking Factors

1 Listing detected at false business location
  2 Incorrect business category
  3 Mis-match NAP / Tracking Phone Numbers Across Data Ecosystem
  4 Mis-match NAP / Tracking Phone Number on My Business Landing Page
  5 Mis-match Address on My Business Landing Page
  6 Presence of malware on site
  7 Keyword stuffing in business name
  8 Reports of Violations on your My Business page
  9 Presence of Multiple My Business Pages with Same Phone Number
  10 Absence of Crawlable NAP on Location Landing Page
  11 Absence of Crawlable NAP on Website
  12 Association of Google My Business account with other suppressed listings
  13 Presence of Multiple My Business Pages with Same/Similar Business Title and Address
  14 Incorrectly placing your map marker
  15 Address includes suite number similar to UPS Mail Store addresses
  16 Listing 800 Number as Only Phone Number on My Business Page
  17 Keyword/city stuffed My Business page descriptions
  18 Keyword-Stuffing in Title Tag of My Business Landing Page
  19 Choosing to Hide My Business Page Address
  20 Including Location Keyword in Categories *
  21 Presence of Multiple Categories in Same Input Field *
  22 Choosing Service Area on My Business Page (as opposed to in-location visits)
  23 Non-Compliant Categories (those that do not fit “My Business Is a _____”) *
  24 Presence of Multiple Crawlable NAP on My Business Landing Page
  25 Low Numerical Ratings of Place by Google Users (e.g. 1-2)
  26 Low Numerical Ratings of Place by Third-Party Users (e.g. 1-2)
  27 50+ MyMaps referring to your location
  28 Negative Sentiment in Place Reviews
  29 Mis-Matched or Private WHOIS Information
  30 Multi-lingual listing for the same place

Top 30 Difference-Making Factors in Competitive Markets

1 Domain Authority of Website
  2 Consistency of Structured Citations
  3 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  4 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  5 Proper Category Associations
  6 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  7 City, State in Landing Page Title
  8 Physical Address in City of Search
  9 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
  10 Quality/Authority of Unstructured Citations (Newspaper Articles, Blog Posts)
  11 Quantity of Citations from Locally-Relevant Domains
  12 HTML NAP Matching My Business Page NAP
  13 Page Authority of Landing Page URL
  14 Product / Service Keyword in Business Title
  15 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
  16 Quantity of Citations from Industry-Relevant Domains
  17 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  18 Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews
  19 Overall Velocity of Reviews (Native + Third-Party)
  20 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
  21 NAP in hCard / Schema.org
  22 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
  23 Product/Service Keywords in Reviews
  24 Diversity of Inbound Links to Domain
  25 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
  26 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  27 Local Area Code on My Business Page
  28 Location Keywords in Anchor Text of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  29 Product / Service Keyword in Website URL
  30 Quantity of Inbound Links to Domain

10 Factors That Have Increased in Importance Since Pigeon

1 Domain Authority of Website
  2 Proximity of Address to the Point of Search (Searcher-Business Distance)
  3 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  4 Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Landing Page URL
  5 Physical Address in City of Search
  6 Quantity of Reviews by Authority Reviewers (e.g.Yelp Elite, Multiple Maps Reviewers, etc)
  7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
  8 City, State in Landing Page Title
  9 Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  10 Page Authority of Landing Page URL

10 Factors That Have Decreased in Importance Since Pigeon

1 Proximity of Address to Centroid
2 Physical Address in City of Search
3 Individually Owner-verified My Business Page
4 Quantity of Structured Citations (IYPs, Data Aggregators)
5 Proximity of Address to Centroid of Other Businesses in Industry
6 Location Keyword in Business Title or Title Modifier
7 Quality/Authority of Structured Citations
8 Quantity of Native Google Maps Reviews (w/text)
9 Geographic Keyword in Website URL
10 Proper Category Associations

Thank to our friends at MOZ for this awesome information.