You want to take your local business to the next level. And you know that local SEO can help get you there, but you don’t know where to begin. According to Stephen Covey, you should always “Put first things first.” That means starting with what’s most important.

When it comes to local SEO, your on-page signals are most important, because they impact your local search rank the most. Based on research published by Moz, on-page signals are the number one factor in local search ranking at 20.3%; link signals came close at 20%; followed by Google My Business signals at 14.7%.

To improve your local search rankings, focus on improving your on-page signals first. Once you master them, you can move on to other local ranking factors.

In this post, you’ll learn 5 ways to optimize your on-page signals for local search.

1. Add Accurate NAP to Your Website

NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number. Google takes into account whether or not your business’ name and info are properly listed on your website. Double check to ensure that the name of your business is correct. Do not add any extra keywords or adjectives if they’re not included in your actual business name.

For instance, let’s say your business name is “Bob’s Cleaners,” but your website lists it as “Bob’s Cleaners – Cleaning Services.” This could be a problem because the search engines could see those as two separate businesses because the names don’t match. This could negatively impact your ranking. The same goes for your address and phone number. Make sure your website lists your physical address and phone accurately. The NAP on your website should match the NAP on your Google My Business page and in all other listings of your business online.

In the screenshot below, look at how Freeport Bakery lists their NAP on their website. On the bottom of their home page, they’ve set aside a section for their contact info. It includes their physical address as well as the phone numbers and email addresses for two different departments.

Local SEO

2. Optimize Meta Content and Title Tags with Relevant Local Keywords

When you’re striving for better local ranking, you need search engines to crawl your website and associate your business with the geographical location(s) you’re targeting. You also need searchers to immediately take note of your website’s relevance to their search query. This means you need to make the most of relevant keywords combined with geographic location names.

For example, you might offer pizza delivery in Sacramento. Your target keywords should contain “pizza delivery” and “Sacramento.” The target keywords need to be present in your meta content and title tags, too, so they’re visible in search results. Both the meta description and title tag should include the relevant location name. (Don’t keyword stuff, though. The search engines don’t like it and it looks “spammy” to the searcher.)

Look at the meta descriptions and title tags for the following search results for “computer repair services in El Paso TX.” The first result is of an online publication showing a list of repair services in El Paso. The second is a service company that has a title and description tag using relevant keywords — (“computer repair”) and the location name (“El Paso TX”).

Keywords on page