Everyone wants to be there but no one really knows how to do it.
That's even true for SEOs.
As Tim Capper points out over at Online Ownership, Google is pretty tight-lipped about what does and does not factor into ranking locally. But we do know a few things. Lets recap them quickly.
1. Relevance - This seems like a no-brainer, right? How relevant are you to what users are searching for? You should probably do some keyword research in your area to see where the search volume is going and how you can capitalize on that.
2. Distance - Again, pretty standard. If I'm searching for a pizza joint in Mishawaka, I'm not going to get results from Goshen. Google will pull the most relevant data from where you are searching and populate those results. Can you optimize for bordering cities? Of course. But you're going to have the easiest time going after the audience that's right outside your front door.
3. Prominence - Basically, how important are you? Google will pull information from your website, such as how much traffic you bring in and social media, relating to how often you are interacted with. Backlinks are also a massive help here, which are links on other (hopefully authoritative) sites pointing back to your site. Gaining prominence is another blog post but basically, we're talking branding and creating a following.
It'll also help to optimize your GMB (Google My Business) listing correctly along with staying updated with it. Building a bank of authentic, real reviews will also push you along.
As always, consultations are free and you can contact us here.