Why Local SEO is Crucial Moving Into 2023
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is among the most important types of SEO for any business. In fact, almost 50% of searches that occur on Google are local ones. Consumers are searching for the types of services and products you offer online. However, if your business doesn’t show up in local searches, these customers might […]
Dec 26, 2022 | 9 min. read
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is among the most important types of SEO for any business. In fact, almost 50% of searches that occur on Google are local ones. Consumers are searching for the types of services and products you offer online. However, if your business doesn’t show up in local searches, these customers might never find out what your company offers.
Over the past few years, local SEO is gaining more importance than ever, which is evident by local searches making up 50% of the 8.5 billion Google searches that occur daily. When you optimize your content and ads for search engines, you should be able to improve the search engine rankings your website receives. Local SEO will allow you to reach customers that are nearby your business as well. This guide takes an in-depth look at local SEO and why it’s crucial as 2023 approaches.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO involves performing search engine optimization on local search results. With Google, this optimization should help your business listing rank higher with relevant queries. Let’s say that you’re searching for a new dress shirt at local retail stores. Google wants to deliver results to your query that provide you with the best clothing stores in the area where you live.
If Google algorithms detect that you’re searching locally, the Map Pack results they deliver will show up on the initial page of search results. These results also typically include organic results about other services and businesses in the vicinity. The types of information that are included with local search results extend to:
- Customer reviews and ratings
- Photos and videos
- Business name
- Phone number
Sticking to the Webmaster Guidelines that Google maintains while also creating a strong user experience should automatically enhance your SEO efforts, which is important if you want your site to rank highly in organic search results. These search results contain the local intent for queries.
Even if you don’t have a website at the moment, your business can show up in the Google Map Pack results. These results typically include information available in your Google Business Profile listing. A set of additional guidelines is also available for local SEO that’s titled “Guidelines for Representing Your Business on Google”.
If you want to improve the visibility of your business in the Map Pack, adhering to these guidelines is highly recommended. While you work on your local SEO, you should always make note of the differences between the Map Pack and local organic searches.
Why Local Search Is Important
To understand how important local SEO is to the long-term success of any business, the following details some of the latest stats about Google Search.
- Google states that more than 75% of individuals who perform local searches on their smartphone will visit the business within 24 hours. Around 28% of these searches lead to a purchase.
- Nearly one-third of searches on Google are related to the location of something.
- More than 60% of all consumers state that they perform local searches on a daily basis.
- Over 80% of consumers will read online reviews of companies when conducting a local search. These consumers spend an average of 14 minutes reading reviews before they make a final decision.
- Around 86% of people use Google Maps when looking for a company’s location.
- Yelp is displayed among the first five search results for businesses around 92% of the time.
- Over 50% of all internet users worldwide perform local searches from their smartphones.
- Upwards of 83% of users will perform a search to find out more about local businesses.
How Google Determines Local Ranking
The method that Google uses to determine ranking for businesses is somewhat unknown. However, search marketers have pinpointed some factors as authority boosters for local searches. Even though organic search ranking algorithms are difficult to decipher, there are three categories of factors for local search results, which include:
Relevance indicates how well a business profile matches the query that a user typed in and searched for. If you want Google to be able to match your business profile to relevant searches, it’s highly recommended that the business information in your listing is detailed and complete.
As for distance, Google defines it as how far a possible search result is from the local term that was used during the search. In the event that a user doesn’t specifically mention a location in the search query, Google can calculate distance based on the details they have about the user’s location.
Prominence refers to the popularity or reputation that Google believes a business has. While prominence isn’t necessarily more important than distance or relevance, it does play a factor. It’s also more complex than the other factors. Search algorithms will attempt to place the offline prominence that a business has into their equation. As for Local Pack ranking factors, SEO experts believe that the most important ones are:
- Keywords in listing title
- The primary GBP category
- A company’s physical address in the city mentioned in the search
- Proximity that the business address has to the searcher’s current location
- High star ratings on Google
- How complete the GBP listing is
- Keywords found in native Google reviews
- Authority and quality of all inbound links that lead to the relevant domain
Best Practices in Showing Up in Local Results
There are certain features that Google and other search engines allow you to use when you want to boost your local search rankings, which include everything from finding keywords with local intent to create local-optimized content.
4. Find Keywords with a Local Intent
First, you should find keywords with a local intent if you want your site or business to have high rankings on local searches. You can begin by creating a keyword map that identifies keywords that are most relevant to your brand.
For the keyword search, consider using tools like WordStream, Semrush, and SpyFu. From here, you can narrow your list by choosing the keywords that have local intent. Local keywords almost always consist of location-specific phrases. An example is “pizza restaurant near me”.
3. Optimize Your Google My Business Profile
If you don’t have a Google My Business profile, you don’t have much chance of obtaining high rankings on local search results. Creating one of these profiles is simple and straightforward. All that’s required is for you to navigate to the Google Business Profile website and click on the “Manage Now” button.
You’ll then have the opportunity to create an account and fill in all of the relevant information that will be displayed with your new profile. Once this profile has been completed, you can optimize it with the latest images, micro-blog posts, and local keywords. You should take the time to respond to the reviews your business receives with thanks or an offer to resolve any complaints that were made.
2. Check All Your NAP Citations
Accuracy is essential when you input your business name, address, and phone number (NAP). The citations you include must be consistent in all locations around the web. Any inconsistency could result in Google getting confused about where your business is located, which will lead to worse rankings for local keywords.
1. Create Local-optimized Content
Your website should clearly detail where any of your brick-and-mortar retail stores are located. Make sure that you include local-optimized content on your website. You could also use your blog to advertise and talk about local events that your customers might want to attend.
Another option at your disposal is to sponsor some of the events that are held in your city, which should result in your brand receiving local backlinks that bolster your credibility. Every page on your website should include the city and state where your company is located as well as nicknames that the locals might use for the city. Once you’ve completed these steps, you should be able to bring in more local customers.
Why Local SEO is Going to Be Crucial in 2023
Local SEO will likely be among the most important factors for establishing search engine authority moving into 2023. Along with helping your business rank higher on search engine results, higher rankings boost your company’s visibility, which will bring more traffic to your website.
Once your rankings are improved, you should be able to generate more sales, traffic, and brand awareness. Over the past few years, an increasingly high percentage of search results were local, which means that more and more consumers are performing local searches when looking for something to buy. If you want to increase the likelihood that your company doesn’t fall behind the competition, you should spend some time bolstering your local SEO efforts.
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