How Much Does Business Proximity Matter in Local Search?

local optimization
Local search has become extremely important over the last few years. Whenever you search for a local business, the results you get are pulled from the profiles of businesses in your vicinity. The better these businesses are at local optimization, the more likely they are to show up first.
But how much does the proximity of the business matter when it comes to local search rankings?
According to Moz, for the local pack (the map that shows up for a local search), proximity is one of the most important factors, making up a substantial percentage (19%, combined with categories, keywords, and other things in the Google My Business listing).
For organic rankings, My Business signals – like proximity – only make up 7% of ranking factors.

The more important factors for organic search are the same for local and non-local businesses, namely:

  • Inbound links
  • On-page optimization
  • Behavioral stats (click-through rate, time on site, clicks to call on mobile, etc.)

Citation signals, though, is one ranking factor that is more important for local businesses. This is an index of all the places where your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) appear (in addition to other pieces of information).
Your citations indicate that you’re a real business in a certain location. As such, it’s really important that your citations are 1.) complete and 2.) accurate.
Proximity does matter when it comes to map results, and it can matter when it comes to organic local results. You can’t really change your location very easily, but you can do your best to optimize locally and make the most of where you’re located.