Local SEO in 2023: Top 12 Local SEO Trends For Future Growth
In 2023, Local SEO will be driven by the need to optimize the customer experience. This includes focusing on voice search optimization, mobile-friendly website design, and understanding how these elements impact the overall customer journey. Additionally, businesses should also focus on building positive online reviews, ensuring accurate and consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) listings across directories, and staying up-to-date with the latest local search algorithm updates.
Search engine results are increasingly personalized. They are based on your previous searches, your geolocation and other information they have been able to collect about you in order to better target the results displayed. For the same search, you and someone at the other end of the USA would not have the same results displayed. For example, if you are looking for a restaurant, a pharmacy, the weather or other information, you will have local results (near you) in addition to global results or results based on your previous searches.
In today’s digital landscape, Local SEO is crucial for businesses looking to increase their online visibility and drive more customers to their physical locations. With the ever-evolving nature of technology, it’s important to stay on top of the latest trends and predictions for Local SEO in order to stay ahead of the competition. In this blog post, we will delve into what we can expect for the future of Local SEO in 2023. We will explore key trends such as the impact of emerging technologies and the growing importance of the customer experience. Additionally, we will also provide actionable strategies and tactics that businesses can implement to improve their Local SEO efforts. Whether you’re a small business owner or a digital marketer, this blog post will provide valuable insights on how to stay ahead of the game in the world of Local SEO.
Local SEO Statistics
Local searches make up 46% of all searches on Google. 1.17 billion local searches are performed each year. In the last two years, queries like “Where to buy” and “near me” have increased by 200%. Queries like “better” and “right now” increased by 125% This tendency to localize results is growing stronger and is going to be very important in the future. Faced with strong national or even global competition in most sectors, it is important to know how to stand out in local search.
In this article, we review the Top 12 SEO Trends for 2023 –
1. Book Directly from Google
Since March 2021, Google has allowed hotels to list their own sites in the booking options for free, to allow users to book directly on the hotel’s site, without an intermediary. Since April 2022, Google has allowed hotels to specify reservation prices directly on their Google profiles, with advanced reporting features to measure clicks to its site from the reservation screen.
The rollout of the “Local Post” feature allows hotel owners to notify guests of COVID-related changes, share descriptions of special features unique to their hotel, or add images and videos. All of these features are not limited to hotels alone. Google is gradually allowing reservations directly from Google Maps and Google Search results page for restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, and other services, and even for doctors and clinics in the United States. In reality, everything goes through a third-party supplier who manages the appointment booking and offers an integration with Google to add an appointment booking link. Google has continued to add new partners to expand functionality to all industries, including doctors and clinics since March 2022.
2. More and More Attributes for Google Business Profiles
Google is constantly creating new attributes to enrich Google Business Profile records. These attributes make it possible to provide information to Internet users on the specificities of the products or services offered by companies and represent real optimization levers for local SEO and inbound marketing.
For example, in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Google Business Profile is launching a new attribute that helps indicate whether your business accepts donations, employs refugees, or offers free products or services. This function highlights how your company is investing in responding to the Ukrainian crisis. Some attributes are dedicated to increasing trust in your business listing. For example, the Google Duplex service adds a label to a business premises details that read “confirmed by phone”, followed by the date of the last confirmation. Other attributes are also available to help users find the right services for them based on specific criteria. For example, some updates let you know if a healthcare provider accepts your insurance and speaks your language. Certain attributes may appear on Google Maps (for example, the display of restaurant price ranges based on user input) and help your business be more competitive because restaurant owners can use this information to gauge the opinion of customers on their prices.
3. Customer Reviews are Always More Important
Google customer reviews are probably one of the most important factors for improving your business ranking on Google Maps. On Google Search, the algorithm essentially values links from other sites to assess the legitimacy of a website. But in terms of local SEO, Google has an even more significant point with customer reviews, and they don’t refrain from exploiting it. As a bonus, customer reviews contain key words that allow you to position yourself on lower volume requests. The aggregation of all these requests, known as the “long tail Keywords,” allows you to increase your traffic.
4. Voice Search with Local SEO
The use of voice search continues to grow with smart speakers, and also on phones, computers and other devices. Voice assistants are important for optimizing your local SEO as they are often used to find local businesses. According to a 2018 survey by BrightLocal, 58% of people used voice search to find a local business in the past year, 74% of voice search users searched for a local business weekly, and 46% of users searched for a local business daily.
There are three types of voice search queries:
• Discovery (What is the best […]?),
• Direct (“Call […]”,
• Or knowledge (“Has the UFO been seen in northern US?”).
Discovery searches allow you to find new customers, direct searches give you the opportunity to interact with customers, and knowledge searches can lead customers to contact you for your expertise in a certain area. It is essential that your potential customers can find you using one of the four main search assistants (Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana) because the majority of users choose the first or second option recommended by their voice search. SEO agencies recommend optimizing all of your online profiles (Google Business Profile, Facebook, etc.) by adding all your essential business information (hours, reviews, address, etc.) to appear in local discovery and direct voice searches.
5. Google Messages
The quality of customer service is a differentiating element for your company from the competition. Customers today demand real-time communication with companies and companies can also benefit from contact with their potential customers when launching their merchant site. Google Messages is available with Google Business Profile or through third-party apps. For a local business, the chat features of Google Business profile business messages are limited but sufficient to meet the demands of potential customers. If you have a local business, a Google Business profile, and the resources to respond to messages quickly, enabling the chat feature is highly recommended.
6. Web to Store Takes on Even More Importance
Local SEO on search engines is the first web-to-store strategy to put in place to appear in the first results of search engines when Internet users type queries related to your products or services and bring them in-store afterward. The COVID crisis has contributed to developing new, very Web-to-Store oriented attributes, such as the availability of a product in store, the possibility of click & collect, etc. Increasingly, Google is pushing businesses to link stock (and availability) to GBP profiles, to help people find the nearest store that has a certain product.
7. The Local News
Google now adds local news content to the search results page which helps provide more visibility for publishers, both in regular search results and in the Google News storefront. This feature can help local news organizations that rely on organic search traffic. According to Google, queries such as “news near me” has tripled in the past five years, even as news businesses are in decline. In addition to local news, Google is adding a “Popular on Twitter” carousel for queries on local news topics. The feature also pulls in tweets from a range of sources considered to have local authority on those topics. These new features highlight the need for good SEO for local news organizations. Inclusion in Google News, rigorous topical content, and a fast website with good UX all help determine your local organization’s visibility. Google is also looking to improve its ranking systems to help people discover stories from trusted and relevant local news sources. It also allows local organizations to compete with national media. This change means local news posts should appear alongside national posts in places like Top Stories. Google News Showcase Panels can also be used by publishers who are part of the Showcase program to highlight what they consider to be the most important news stories of the day.
8. Use Microformats
Microformats allow you to add a lot of data to your code, including your company ‘s address and telephone number. They make your site stand out from others. On the image on the right, you have an example of microformats: the rating, the number of reviews, the preparation and cooking time combined as well as some links to other pizza recipes. Local referencing is increasingly practiced by Internet users, it is not difficult to set up (except for microformats) and is free. This makes it much easier to make your site stand out locally than nationally. This allows you to act as a springboard by making yourself known locally and then more widely.
9. Utilize Video to Your Advantage
Video is one of the most powerful forms of content. It can be used to explain your products, services or even yourself! When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), video is one of the best ways to get quality content that people want to share.
10. Zero Click Results
With zero clicks, rich snippets take on more importance. They are deemed to provide the best response to a user’s request. Without having to click, the Internet user takes advantage of your subtitles, paragraphs or lists to find what he is looking for. A correctly worked excerpt will make the user want to click on the link to get more details. So, be sure to create valuable content to get users to click, even if their question is answered in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page). In addition, remember to structure your page well. Featured articles typically contain bullet points, lists, and a question-like title.
11. Content that Fits the Google EAT Principle Will Rank Higher
Google has reaffirmed that quality content is critical to ranking success. But what does “quality” mean to Google? This is the EAT principle: expertise, authority and reliability. These factors help determine whether a web page contains quality and useful content. There are several ways to ensure quality content. First, create buyer personas, which allow you to understand what kind of content your customers value. Second, research what they are looking for, this is what helps you determine what your customers need.
12. Featured Snippets will Become More Prominent
Do not panic. You won’t have to generate long-form content exclusively if you want to climb Google’s rankings. Featured Snippets, which rolled out in 2017, are kind of a shortcut to gaining prominence in Google – and they’re very brief. Sometimes when you type something into Google, you may notice a small drop-down menu at the top, above the actual results. This is an excerpt. Getting a featured snippet is a great way to get to the coveted first page of results. Featured snippets present a body of information, often structured as questions and answers or a brief how-to guide. There are also rich snippets, which include images, ratings, product prices, and other similar information. To create snippets, focus on queries based on relevant questions and keywords. You can use the Google People Also Ask (PAA) “people also ask” search function for inspiration.
It should be clear by now that the future of local SEO is promising. By focusing on quality content, creating a mobile-friendly website, and developing strategies to attract links, you will likely see good results in the short term and the long term as well. Most importantly, remember that your site’s content should always be customer-centric, as Google wants to reward those sites that focus more on their visitors (and less on SEO tactics). At the end of the day, that’s where your business lies — putting an emphasis on serving your customers will ultimately get you more shares and loyal visitors in the years to come. Brandit is a top-rated branding and advertising agency in New Hampshire and Boston that provides local SEO services to help you achieve your business goals with customized local SEO strategies.
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