Everything you need to know about Local SEO in 2023
The only guide you need to help ace your Local SEO game in 2023 and generate high footfall of your potential buying customers to your business.
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Without a doubt, the famous quote by Bill Gates: “If your business is not on the Internet then your business will be out of business”, holds true in every sense you may consider.
And here when we talk about Local SEO, this quote validates the fact that performing local SEO is important for your business.
It’s 2023! Customers are looking for businesses closest to them and it’s no surprise that almost 77% of users use Google 3+ times a day to search for things online.
Does your business pop on their screens? If not, you badly need to pay attention to enhancing your local SEO presence on the internet.
Hence, let’s begin to understand the what, how, and where of local search engine optimization, or SEO as we term it.
The ABC Of Local SEO
First things first. Before we dive deep into the world of understanding how SEO is performed on local levels, let’s get the basics right:
What exactly is Local SEO?
In simple words, local SEO is all about optimizing a business’ website to appear in search engine results.
It’s the practice of improving the online presence of a website to enable more business from local searches.
Why Local SEO is important?
For decades, there has been severe competition among big brands and companies.
However today, the intensity is the same between brick-and-mortar shops in our neighborhood. Here’s something you must know:
Almost 35% of US respondents stated that they used Google for searching local businesses around them multiple times a week.
The crux is: Your potential customers are looking out for similar businesses like yours.
And who knows, they are actually searching for you now?
How can businesses benefit from Local SEO?
After analyzing billions of data from Google searches, the tech giant figured out that people want immediate results, and best, if the results are in close proximity to them.
This led to SEO professionals jumping in and trying to leverage the power of Local SEO for their clients.
Talking about the benefits, optimizing your local presence will help you generate new leads, increase footfalls, improve conversions, and reduce advertising costs.
What are the important Local SEO Factors to be kept in mind?
While it may seem a bit easy compared to performing general SEO for a website, local SEO is equally crucial if you want your business to show up.
Here are the important factors you must know:
NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) Consistency
This has to be one of the most crucial reasons behind the success of any local business or organization.
If you want to win the battle on the local level and snatch your competitor’s existing customers, make sure that your business’s NAP information stays consistent across all digital platforms on the internet in the form of forums, directories, business listings, social handles, etc.
Google’s search algorithms crawl and scan data from every source that is available to them. Hence, your local rankings may witness either a positive or a negative impact based on your NAP information.
Google My Business Listing
This is a free business listing provided by Google to help businesses establish and manage their online presence on their search engine and local maps.
In the Google My Business or as well call it GMB listing, businesses can upload and showcase their products, operational hours, contact details, and other relevant information related to their business.
An optimized GMB profile helps businesses boost visibility and attract new customers while also retaining current customers.
As far as GMB listing is concerned, making sure that your website is well-optimized from the On-page SEO point of view is necessary to assist your performance in Local SEO.
It primarily includes adding keywords in concern with the areas that you are willing to serve from your business location, optimizing the entire website’s content, and structuring it in an SEO-friendly manner to help your business pop on the search of local keywords in your area.
Reviews and Ratings
A lot of businesses tend to ignore this factor considering it a waste of time. In reality, they are leaving money and a free credibility-building opportunity on the table.
For years now, user reviews and ratings have had a significant impact on local search rankings. Such reviews work like unofficial ambassadors of a business and encourage more visitors in reaching out to you.
Social Media Presence
Well, no justification is required as to why this is an important factor affecting Local SEO.
In the age of social media, having a strong presence on mainstream as well as other social platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, etc, Is extremely necessary.
It’s important to build the visibility of your business on platforms on which your target customers spend most of their time on.
Using local keywords in your website’s content and meta descriptions can boost your business’s chances of showing up on the local search results page and help search engines understand the agenda of your business.
Also, by leveraging long-tail keywords, you can make yourself stronger in terms of dominating the search results because such keywords have low to moderate competition, hence better chances.
You already know what role high-quality backlinks from high domain & page authority websites play in the success of any website.
Similarly, here when we consider Local SEO, acquiring quality links from great authority websites in your local area can largely improve your rankings locally.
Such links can be gained from local business listings, citations, press releases, local journals, etc.
Google My Business: Best tips for optimization in 2023
Indeed, GMB is a mighty tool for local businesses to improve their visibility on Searches and Maps.
Also, businesses can increase their chances of appearing in search results and drive more traffic to the website.
Below are a few tips you must consider:
This is one of the firsts. If there’s a business listing by your business name present on Google, the first thing you should do is just claim it immediately. Doing so will send a signal to Google that this listing is of a verified business.
In case you don’t have one, it’s super beneficial to create a GMB listing that contains all relevant information about your business.
After you finish creating your GMB listing, add relevant information such as business name, operational hours, complete address with pin code, active contact number, website [if present], etc.
Just marking your presence on Google won’t do any good. As a business, you must upload clean and clear images of if not all, important products. For services, you can create or get done with a few quality graphic banners.
Apart from sharing photos of your products, uploading shots from different angles of your shop/office and its interiors will help potential buyers understand your business in a refined manner.
Customer testimonials are magical wands as their reviews can attract more buyers to your business. Also, responding to ratings/reviews immediately is equally important.
This also translates to setting up excellent customer support and feedback system for customers and politely asking them to leave a review about your product or service on Google.
Develop a habit of regularly sharing updates about the latest happenings in and around your business. It will make your customers stay updated about your business.
This may include new product launches, upgradation/addition in services, industry updates, team pictures, annual events, festivals, etc.
How To Research Keywords For Local SEO
A ton of local business owners expect a sudden inflow of customers, a boost in sales, and business awareness immediately after creating and optimizing their Google My Business presence.
Unfortunately, they never succeed because they haven’t planned their targeting using prominent and most searched keywords by their target audience.
As per reports, every 3 in 4 independent businesses in the United States struggle to gain online visibility on Google Searches.
Let’s understand how you can search correct keywords and improve your search presence:
Before you jump on keyword research tools, focus your attention on your potential buyers. Understand the demographics carefully and try to get an idea about their buying behavior.
For this, you can talk to your customers about their problems and what products they require. Through these insights, you will be able to generate a ton of natural cum exact keywords that they use in their daily lives.
We talked about getting a brief overview of your users’ buying behavior. Now focus on what they actually want from you and your business.
Local keywords are nothing but those ‘terms’ that they would use to search online. Finding these terms will help you speak directly to them in their lingo.
Keyword tools such as Keyword Planner by Google, SemRush, Ahrefs, Surfer SEO, and many more provide quick and comprehensive.
Using such tools will save you tons of time in terms of keyword research, figuring out volumes of different terms, the performance graph over a while, etc.
We live in an age where search engines are focusing on improving the user experience of searchers. Many reports suggest that searchers usually use long-term terms to find stuff on Google.
This directly hints at the increased usage of long-tail keywords and the opportunities that can be leveraged by businesses to appear online.
While using the keyword-researching tools mentioned above, try finding such keywords and establishing the context in which they can be used for your benefit.
Your competitor is probably keeping an eye on your business’s graph and so must you. Analyzing what they are up to will help you come up with new ideas and areas where you can outperform them.
Look out for keywords and services they are targeting to attract potential customers to their website. Also, understanding their pattern of keyword variations will largely help you formulate better strategies as compared to theirs.
The best Local SEO Tools in 2023 you need for generating revenues
There are a ton of tools available in the market to help you figure out your Local SEO queries and help you achieve business growth.
However, here’s the list of the most known and used ones:
SemRush is one of the most widely used tools by small and large businesses for their SEO needs. Its comprehensive dashboard allows businesses to view and monitor their local rankings, customer reviews, search performance, etc.
The SEO giant also offers a Local Listing Management tool to manage business listings within and outside of the United States.
The Moz tool offers businesses the facility to manage their business listing, and keep an eye on their directory mentions and citations across various platforms.
Moz is another one of the most trusted and easy-to-use SEO tools available in the market for performing Local SEO.
Apart from offering SEO optimization-related data and tips, Ahrefs also provides a complete analysis of best-performing local keywords and the quality of links on the website.
Ahrefs offers an array of tools such as Site Explorer, Content Explorer, Keywords Explorer, Rank Tracker, Site Audit, etc., for optimizing the website and growing search traffic.
Google My Business
This tool needs no introduction. What’s great about GMB is that it is free forever.
With Google My Business, you can create your verified business identity on Google and interact with your target and existing customers.
Screaming Frog is another tool that will help you solidify your Local SEO strategies.
This tool provides you with comprehensive results by crawling your entire website about missing meta descriptions, broken links, SEO errors, etc.
In the free version, you can run its SEO Spider and crawl 500 URLs for free, post which you will be asked to purchase a paid plan.
Analytics is yet another addition to the list of free tools offered by Google. One of the best features it provides is about how your audience is behaving on your website and their entire pattern of usage.
Also, analytics report concrete data on various factors like which local pages drive the highest number of page visitors.
5 Highly Effective Local SEO Link-Building Strategies
To dominate search results and boost revenues, businesses need to acquire high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites.
To help you understand the importance of link-building, here are five strategies you should consider while you invest in SEOs:
1. Guest posting
A common fact that a lot of marketers believe is that there’s no need for local businesses to acquire links from guest posts on other high traffic websites.
And that’s not true. Local service providers can acquire quality links from local business listings, marketplaces, regional-level journals, citations, etc., via writing an industry-relevant business guest post for their websites.
2. Mentions in local directories
This strategy is quite useful if businesses want to establish their presence completely over the areas they wish to serve.
As mentioned above, remember to maintain consistency in the basic business information such as name, address, contact details, etc., across all channels.
4. Exchange resources
This has to be one of the most underrated techniques for acquiring backlinks.
Nowadays, a lot of product sellers and service providers are shifting their attention to exchanging images, infographics, PDFs, etc., in return for a backlink. And it is bringing positive results to website owners.
3. Claim local business listings
Just like how you claimed your business on Google My Business portal, make sure to repeat the same activity for local citations.
It will help your business build uniformity and credibility in the eyes of existing and future customers.
5. Customer reviews
Unlike GMB, this refers to asking your customers for genuine reviews for your listings on business directories.
When customers leave ratings on external business websites and marketplaces, it boosts the brand value of a business and increases traffic to their website.
Latest Local SEO Trends in 2023
1. The emerging role of Voice Search
Since the smooth rollout of Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri, a ton of users have resorted to searching for answers to their queries via these assistants.
When searching online via voice, users tend to ask their queries in a slightly different manner compared to what they would normally type in the search bar.
And as per Google’s latest report, 27% of the global population uses voice search on their mobile phones.
Hence, if you want to show up in local search results, make sure your website is the first thing they come across.
2. Increased use of videos in Local SEO
There’s absolutely no one who hates watching visuals.
The impact of videos can be realized from the fact that almost 83% of business owners believe that videos help them retain visitors to their website for a longer duration.
By using videos in local marketing campaigns, businesses can attract potential customers to their outlets or shops.
Also, these videos can be posted on the Google My Business profile of a business for more visibility.
3. Rapid website mobile loading experience
With the increase in the number of mobile users every year, it has become mandatory for businesses to extend their users a website that loads quickly.
In its recent updates, Google has been hinting at paying extreme attention to the experience of searchers on its platform.
On top of that, the search engine giant is also now indexing new websites with its mobile-first indexing rollout.
To summarize, it’s all about how neat and navigation-friendly your website is on mobile devices. Remember to confirm whether important links and service pages are easy to locate or not.
4. Text Content will still rule
Despite the decreasing levels of human attention span, visitors are still interested in knowing about the products and services that a business offers.
Their search intent takes them to blogs published by a business on their website or links shared on the GMB profile.
Creating content around your business will always benefit you in the long run. You can create an average-length blog post about the problems your product solves or the benefits which customers can extract from using your service.
The impact of Local SEO on your business can be unmeasurable if strategized and executed perfectly.
With the number of local searches taking place on Google daily, having an SEO strategy in your marketing arsenal that focuses on inviting the attention of your prospective customers is a must.
However, performing Local SEO can be a nightmare sometimes considering the diverse range of factors involved.
Fortunately, we can help you sort out your SEO needs by devising a strategy that aligns with your marketing goals, sales projections, and localized needs.
Get in touch today and let us help you dominate your presence in the local market.