24 Local SEO Factors that Impact Your Google Map Pack Rankings
Key Findings of our Google My Business (GMB) Locksmith Study
- GMB NAP
- GMB Photos
- GMB Reviews
- GMB Posts
- Site Technical
- Site On-Page
- Site Schema
- Site Authority
- GMB Hours
- GMB Description
- GMB Business.Site
- Site Content
- Site E-A-T
- Site Speed
- Site UX
- GMB Keywords
- GMB Categories
- GMB Service Area
- GMB URL
- GMB Q&A
- Site Internal Links
- Site Maps
Why this Study of Locksmiths on the Map Pack?
First, a brief introduction to our company.
DigitalBull GO is a professional local SEO agency that offers Local SEO audit and optimization services to local service businesses in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. We also offer white-label services.
So, why did we perform this study?
The answer is twofold:
1. Validation of some map pack ranking assumptions
We wanted to validate some of these assumptions (or common sense) on various ranking factors:
- Assumption a – Ranking on the map is about smartly and diligently maximizing the optimization possibilities allowed (expected?) by Google.
- Assumption b – The sooner you optimize your Google My Business and website, the better the chances of ranking high on the map.
- Assumption c – If low-hanging optimization tasks are complete, you can spend more time on time-consuming tasks like backlink outreach, SEO experiments, brand building, etc.
2. Test our newly released Local SEO Audit Tool (aka DigitalBull GO)
More about DigitalBull GO – The Audit Tool Used in this Study
In our quest to improve our understanding of the GMB and Local SEO algorithms, we built the first Local SEO Audit tool that mirrors the Google Algo in April 2019 and have been offering it as a DFY service and using it to audit our clients.
In recent months, we have received several inquiries to convert the DigitalBull GO Local SEO Audit Tool from a DIY service into a DIY tool.
In April 2020, our audit and development team was able to successfully transform the tool as requested besides adding more value.
- Now it is SaaS (Software as a Service)
- Free for a limited time!
- More map rank insights
- Local SEO Audit Score
Since we work with several Locksmiths (and Garage Door companies), we decided to test our tool by auditing some of the top locksmiths in the US.
This would help us come up with insights that would help us improve our map pack results for clients.
So, why not share the details of this study with other locksmiths and agencies who may also find some nuggets of wisdom to improve their/client’s GMB rankings?
Click on ‘Get Your Audit Score!’ to get started on your own local SEO audit… after you go through this study, of course!
Locksmith Study Parameters
The DigitalBull GO Audit Team manually analyzed a total of 24 factors (and 125+ subfactors) relating to the top 5 locksmiths’ GMB Listing, Website, and Off-Page that impact the Map Pack ranking using the DigitalBull GO tool.
A comparison of the top 5 locksmiths for each of the factors and subfactors was made and we then tabulated their performance against one another before finally arriving at insights and benchmarks.
Our team is constantly evaluating the results and tweaking the DigitalBull GO child and parent algorithms accordingly to be in sync with Google’s algorithm changes.
When COVID-19 hit, Google announced changes to Q&A and Reviews and we modified our audit algorithm accordingly.
Any new features added by Google or other major algorithmic updates, including the recent May Broad Core update, are monitored and updated in the child and parent algo within weeks.
These algorithms which were painstakingly developed by our team based on data and inferences from hundreds of local SEO audits over the last 16 months are the engine behind the ranking factors.
Here is a view of the lastest standings aka power rankings (as of 7th May 2020) of our ranking factors embedded in the DigitalBull GO tool. This list is updated between the 3rd and 4th weeks of every month and changes can also be checked on our product upgrades page.
GMB Audit Parameters – Total 12 Factors in the DigitalBull GO Audit Tool
The results of the NAP Factor are shown below.
Website Audit Parameters – Total 10 Factors in the DigitalBull GO Audit Tool
The results of the On-Page Factor are shown below.
Off-Page Audit Parameters – Total 2 Factors in the DigitalBull GO Audit Tool.
The results of the Citations Factor are shown below.
How were the 5 Locksmiths Chosen?
All 5 cities had 150+ locksmiths with GMBs wanting to rank on one of the 3 spots available on the Map Pack.
We selected the cities that still had some activity going on during the study in spite of COVID-19 (Late March and early April 2020).
The locksmiths had been ranking in the Google Map Pack consistently for the “locksmith + city” keyword.
Do note that there are massive fluctuations in the Map Pack rankings due to Google’s Broad Core update in May 2020. This study was conducted before the update rolled out.
Some of the locksmiths are in the multi-million dollar bracket and others are single-digit employee firms making $250,000 – $500,000 annually.
A preliminary review of their website and the GMB was done before finalizing them for the study.
Here are the 5 locksmiths that were analyzed in this study:
- 911 Locksmith and Security, Dallas TX
- Howard Safe & Lock, Houston TX
- Mile High Locksmith, Denver CO
- Quickly Locksmith, Miami FL
- Johnny Locksmith, Phoenix AZ
Note: The chosen locksmiths have never been a past client of ours, nor have we partnered with them for any digital marketing service or referrals.
Is this Study only for Locksmiths?
No! Our analysis is based on a thorough manual review of 125+ key local search and local ranking factors. Even if you’re not a locksmith, you can still take advantage of the analysis from our expert SEO team and use these results and insights to improve your own GMB.
Our experience has shown that Google values certain factors across the board based on:
The results of the DigitalBull GO local SEO audit can help you in identifying the strengths and weaknesses in local search against competitors in the same city. You can also understand the factors that aided them in solidifying their place on the map pack.
Remember that our Local SEO Audit gathers and delivers extremely useful data. It is up to you to decide how to use it. If not, allow our team to do the hard work and get your GMB and website ranking high!
About the 5 Locksmiths
Let’s briefly look at the authority and backlinks of the 5 locksmiths before we get deeper into the study.
Data as of 11th May 2020
- Domain Age – WHOis
- Authority – Moz
- Domain Rating – Ahrefs
- Trust Flow & Citation Flow – Majestic
- Indexed URLs – Google
- Backlinks – Ahrefs
- % Quality Backlinks – DigitalBull GO
- Off-Page SEO Score – Website SEO Checker
Marketing Overview of the 5 Locksmiths
- Website View – Homepage
- Locksmith Details
- GMB Knowledge Panel
- GMB Description’s Google Sentiment Analysis
Locksmith #1 - 911 Locksmith & Security
Locksmith #2 - Howard Safe & Lock
Locksmith #3 - Mile High Locksmith
Locksmith #4 - Quickly Locksmith
Locksmith #5 - Johnny Phoenix Locksmith
Schedule a Free 30-Minute Local SEO Ranking Call!
Details of Study
100% Optimized – All 5 locksmiths have optimized for this subfactor
80% Optimized – 4 locksmiths have optimized for this subfactor
60% Optimized – 3 locksmiths have optimized for this subfactor
60% Unoptimized – Only 2 locksmiths have optimized for this subfactor
80% Unoptimized – Only one locksmith has optimized for this subfactor
100% Unoptimized – None of the locksmiths have optimized for this subfactor
GMB NAP (Name, Address, Phone number)
Insights & Conclusion
Optimization Insights for GMB & Website
GMB Insights – Comparison of how the 5 locksmiths’ GMBs fared against one another.
Do note that the Q&A section was disabled along with new reviews due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Website Insights – Comparison of how the 5 locksmiths’ websites fared against one another.
Well-Optimized & Under-Optimized Ranking Factors
8 Ranking Factors That Are Well-Optimized
Lessons from the Well-Optimized Factors
Be smart, frontload your optimization, and get the low-hanging fruit optimized quickly.
- Good site structure – Sitemap, HTTPS, etc.
- GMB NAP should match website NAP
- 5-star reviews with keywords & replies
- Regular posts with events and offers
- A good set of genuine quality photos
- On-page should be done well – Headings, tags, etc.
- Start building authority from day one
- Have org and local business schema in place
8 Ranking Factors That Are Under-Optimized
Lessons from the Under-Optimized Factors
If you want to dislodge the leaders, you may want to catch up on these after the must-dos.
- Operate 24/7 if possible
- Load website in <4 seconds
- Publish and embed Business.Site on website
- Increase local and niche citations
- Maximize your GMB description
- Improve your About Us page
- Localized content – Keywords & service areas
- Focus on responsive design, banner & CTA
DigitalBull GO Niche Benchmark for Locksmiths
After crunching the numbers with the help of our Google algo-mirroring audit tool, we arrived at the threshold where locksmiths need to reach to get on the Map Pack. This enabled us to develop a benchmark for the locksmith niche.
Here is the DigitalBull GO Locksmith Benchmark for Q2 2020. The optimization percentage is shown on the y-axis and the Ranking Factors are shown on the x-axis.
If you are a locksmith or an agency performing locksmith SEO, we recommend optimizing your GMB, website, and off-page to meet or surpass this benchmark to improve your chances of getting on the Google Map Pack.
We Also Provide GMB & Local SEO Services!
We only work with one locksmith in each town!
You can get a free local SEO audit done for you by our team of professionals when you order any of our three optimization plans (Bulletproof, Bullseye, or Bulldoze).
Thanks. You Can Download the Complete Audit Here
Top 5 Locksmiths Audit
Send download link to:
If you are unable to download the free local SEO audit, please send us an email at getleads(at)digitalbullleads.com and we will share it with you.
If you liked this study, check out another Local Locksmith Study!
You can perform a free DIY audit of your GMB, website, and off-page with the same local SEO audit tool used in this study!