Local SEO Ranking Factors 2020: What Affects Local Rankings?

Ranking for local searches requires focus on a combination of different local SEO ranking factors. With Google’s local algorithm relying on so many different signals, it can be hard to know where to spend your time to maximize your chances of ranking highly.

Getting a local business to rank highly on search engines is becoming much more difficult. Local SEO has become increasingly competitive as more and more businesses recognize that they need to optimize for local searches – both for the local pack, and for localized organic rankings.

At Whitespark’s Local Search Summit in September 2020, Darren Shaw announced the initial findings of his latest Local Search Ranking Factors survey. This near-annual survey was first created by David Mihm over a decade ago, and polls around 50 local SEO experts, asking for their opinions on which activities and factors impact local business rankings. The previous edition was published on Moz in 2018.


In this article, we’ll explore the most important ranking factors for local pack and localized organic rankings in 2020, based on the expert opinions collated in Whitespark’s report. We’ll explore how these have changed over time, looking at which tasks the experts think you should focus on over the coming year.

  1. Google My Business
  2. Reviews
  3. On-Page
  4. Links
  5. Behavior
  6. Citations
  7. Personalization

The Top Local Ranking Factors for 2020

Local Pack Local Organic
1. Google My Business (33%) 1. On-page (32%)
2. Reviews (16%)

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