Can you believe another new year is already right around the corner? It seems like just yesterday we were talking about local SEO trends for 2022, and yet here we are, back at it again ushering in another wave of newness.
Every new year brings about new changes, new trends and new things to look forward to, and the local SEO landscape is no exception. Unlike other digital marketing strategies, local SEO is constantly changing and evolving – and we mean constantly. Google unleashes upwards of 500 algorithm updates each year, so what worked in 2022 could very well hurt your local ranking in 2023.
So how do you keep track of what’s to come for the local SEO landscape in the coming months? Fortunately, you’re in the right place – we’ve taken care of the heavy lifting for you and put together a list of local SEO trends we think will dominate the scene in 2023.
Featured snippets aren’t brand new to the world of local SEO, but they are definitely one of the biggest local SEO trends for 2023 to keep an eye on. Google has been testing and rolling out featured snippets for local searches since at least 2015, but they’ve only become more and more common in recent years. Featured snippets are the little boxes of text that show up at the top of SERPs (search engine results pages) when you type in a query, above even the first link. Needless to say, appearing in a featured snippet is a huge local SEO win.
So how do you earn a spot in this prime piece of local SEO real estate? There’s no guarantee, but there are a few things local businesses can do to increase their chances. If you haven’t claimed and optimized your Google Business Profile yet, this is a great place to start. From there, focus on creating local content that is informative and well-written, using the same keywords and phrases that you think your customers would use to search for your business.
If you want your business to show up in local search results in 2023 and beyond, you need to make sure you’re using local schema. Essentially, schema is a code that you can add to your website to help search engines understand your content better. Using local schema is a way to specifically tell Google that your business offers local services in a certain area. Think of it like the fine print Google needs to ensure they have all the local search information they need to index your business accordingly.
Adding local schema to your website is a great way to improve your local search rankings, and it’s surprisingly not as complex as it might sound. If you’re not sure where to start, or you’re just not comfortable managing coding yourself, we recommend reaching out to a digital marketing agency specializing in local SEO that can handle it for you.
Monitoring and responding to your online reviews isn’t a local SEO trend, it’s a local SEO necessity by 2023. Online reviews are one of the most important local SEO ranking factors, and they’re only going to become more important in the years to come. Not only do potential customers use reviews to decide whether or not to do business with you, but Google also uses them to help determine where your business should rank well in local search results.
To get started, claim and verify your business on popular review sites like Google, Yelp and Facebook. Once you’ve done that, make sure you’re monitoring your reviews regularly and responding to both positive and negative feedback. This shows potential customers that you’re active and engaged, and it helps build trust. After all, a local business that cares about its online reputation is likely to be a local business that cares about its customers.
While local SEO has always been about more than just text on a screen, the rise of visual search is changing the landscape even further as we head into 2023. With the help of tools like Google Lens, customers can now search for products and services using images instead of (or in addition to) keywords. This is great news from a consumer perspective, but what does it mean for your local business?
For starters, it means that the images on your website are more important than ever. Make sure they’re high quality, optimized and accurately reflect what you’re offering. In addition, consider creating supplemental images like infographics to educate local customers and establish your company as an expert in your field. Remember to add images to your Google Business Profile as well so local customers can see exactly what your business is all about before they visit your website or storefront.
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It wouldn’t be a true list of the top local SEO trends for 2023 if we didn’t mention voice search! Voice search has been on the rise for a few years now, and it’s only going to become more popular in the coming year. Thanks to digital assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Apple Siri, customers can now find local businesses without even having to type a keyword into a search engine. This functionality is especially beneficial for potential customers searching for businesses like yours on the go from their mobile devices and hands-free search features in some cars.
To make sure your local business is ready for voice search, start by optimizing your website for long-tail keywords. These are longer, more conversational keywords that people are likely to use when speaking into a digital assistant. Think about the way your customers speak when searching for businesses like yours, and use those keywords throughout your website content, titles and meta descriptions.
On that same note, local businesses need to have a mobile-first focus in 2023 if they want to stay ahead of the competition. Mobile searchers are motivated searchers. In fact, 88% of mobile searches for local businesses lead to a call or visit within 24 hours! Needless to say, if your local business doesn’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re missing out on a ton of potential customers.
To make sure your local SEO strategy is ready for mobile searchers in 2023 and beyond, start by doing a quick mobile-friendliness test. Pay close attention to your page speed, as mobile searchers are quick to abandon a website that takes too long to load. In addition, make sure your website is easy to navigate on a mobile device and that your contact information is readily available. Customers should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily without having to scroll through loads of content or click through multiple pages. By taking a mobile-first focus in 2023, you’ll be sure to impress local customers and improve your chances of ranking well in local searches.
Google Business Profile Optimization
Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business) is one of the most important local SEO tools at your disposal. It’s a free listing that allows you to control how your business appears in local search results, and it’s an essential part of any local SEO strategy. Not only does it help local customers find your business in searches and on Google Maps, but it also helps Google better understand what your business is all about so it can be ranked and indexed accordingly.
To get started, claim your Google Business Profile if you haven’t already. Once you’ve claimed it, take some time to fill out your information as thoroughly and completely possible. This includes your business name, address, phone number, hours of operation, website URL and more. The more information you can provide, the better! Then, be sure to add photos and videos to really bring your listing to life. Customers love seeing visual content just as much as search engines, and it can help them get a better feel for your local business before even visiting your website or your storefront.
Faster Load Times
Did you know 53% of users will leave a mobile website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? That’s a pretty significant number, and it just goes to show how important page speed is when it comes to local SEO. In today’s fast-paced world, customers simply don’t have the patience for a slow website. Not only will potential customers leave if your website is slow, but search engines will penalize you in the form of lower rankings.
To make sure your local business website is up to speed, start by doing a page speed test. This will help you identify any areas where your website needs improvement. Then, take measures to improve your page speed, such as compressing images, minifying code and using a faster web hosting service. By increasing your website’s page speed, you’ll improve local SEO, provide a better user experience and ultimately increase the chances of converting local leads into customers.
Google is getting smarter about interpreting and anticipating the needs of its searchers, and local businesses need to as well. In 2023, a huge local SEO ranking factor will be understanding and catering to the needs of your local audience. This means creating content that answers their questions, solves their problems and speaks to their specific needs.
To get a better understanding of your local audience’s needs, start by doing a deep dive into keyword research. Use tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to see what local searchers are searching for, and then create content that addresses those needs. For example, if you’re a local landscaper, you might create informative blog posts about which plants thrive in your area or how to start preparing your yard for spring based on your local climate. By understanding and catering to the needs of your local audience, you’ll be able to boost local search ranking, attract engaged leads and demonstrate your expertise to Google.
Link building is often overlooked, but it’s an increasingly important local SEO ranking factor that shouldn’t be ignored. In a nutshell, link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to your website. These links act as votes of confidence, telling search engines that your website is relevant, trustworthy and authoritative. The more high-quality links you have pointing back to your website, the better your chances off securing a top spot in local search results.
To start building links, begin by creating great content that local businesses and customers will want to link to. As you create new content, be sure to share it on social media and other online platforms to create an organic link-building opportunity. You may also want to consider reaching out to high-authority local websites and business directories to ask if they would consider featuring your business or linking to your website. Link building may be a time-consuming local SEO strategy, but it’s worth the effort if you want to improve local search visibility.
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Is 2023 the year you say lights, cameras, action! and start incorporating video content into your local search marketing strategy? It should be. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in how local businesses are using video content, and it’s only going to become more popular in the next year. In fact, it’s estimated that by 2023, 82% of all internet traffic will be video traffic.
Creating local video content is a great way to connect with potential customers and stand out from the competition. When it comes to local SEO, try creating videos that showcase your products or services in action, highlight customer testimonials or give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at your business. You can then optimize your local videos by including keywords, descriptions and captions, and promoting them across your social media channels and other online platforms.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is already changing the local SEO landscape, and it’s only going to become more prevalent in the next year. When we think of AI, many people imagine humanoid robots or advanced facial recognition technology. But AI is much more than that. In local SEO, AI can be used for tasks like identifying local search trends, understanding user intent and mapping out the local customer journey. This data can then be used to improve local search visibility and attract more qualified leads.
Fortunately, many of today’s leading digital marketing platforms and programs already have AI built into their software. For example, Google’s RankBrain is an AI system that helps the search engine interpret user queries and deliver more relevant results. To put it simply, if you’re not using AI in your local SEO strategy yet, 2023 is the perfect time to start.
Turn Local SEO Trends into Local SEO Success
The local SEO landscape is constantly changing, and what works well today could very well be obsolete by next year if not sooner. For this reason, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends and updates to ensure your business is always ahead of the curve and your local competition. The last thing you want is to create an outdated local SEO strategy ahead of the new year, causing your business to fall behind and lose valuable local search visibility.
So, what’s the best way to stay on top of local SEO? The answer is simple: partner with a local SEO marketing agency that always has their finger on the pulse of the latest local SEO trends.
That’s where we come in.
The team at Level Up Local doesn’t just understand local SEO – we specialize in it. We’re constantly monitoring local SEO best practices, trends and updates to ensure our clients are always one step ahead of their local competition. The best way to prepare for the next big local SEO trends for 2023 is to work with an agency like ours that is already ahead of the curve. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you take your local search strategy to the next level in 2023 and beyond.
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