Image of a local SEO search result showing why it matters

What Is Local SEO and Why Does It Matter in 2023?

As an entrepreneur, there’s nothing more fulfilling than pouring your heart and soul into building a business that you’re passionate about. 

However, with the ever-increasing competition in today’s digital landscape, it can be a daunting task to make your mark and reach customers in your area. 

But fear not, because, in 2023, there’s a game-changer that can give your business the boost it needs – local SEO. 

In this article, we’ll dive deep into what local SEO is, why it matters more than ever in 2023, and how it can give your business the boost it needs to thrive in today’s digital landscape

What Makes Local SEO So Important?

Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization), refers to the process of optimizing a website or online presence for local search results. In 2023, local SEO has become more important than ever before due to changes in consumer behavior and the increasing importance of online presence for businesses of all sizes.

In today’s digital age, an increasing number of consumers turn to search engines to locate local businesses.

According to BrightLocal’s 2023 Customer Review Survey, 98% of consumers used the internet to find information about local businesses in 2022, up from 90% in 2019.

This trend underscores the importance of having a robust online presence that can be easily discovered by potential customers.

In addition to the increasing use of search engines, the COVID-19 pandemic also accelerated the trend of consumers relying on online sources to find local businesses. With lockdowns and social distancing measures in place, more people started to turn to the internet to find products and services in their local area. And today this trend continues to evolve.

Local SEO can be a cost-effective marketing strategy that can put you ahead of the game without a big investment. 

10 Local SEO Stats

  • 76% of people who search for local information on their smartphones end up visiting a local business within a day, and nearly a third of these searches lead to a purchase. (Source: Google)
  • Location-related searches account for 30% of all searches processed by Google. (Source: Google)
  • 61% of consumers indicated that they conduct local searches on a daily basis. (Source: Rio SEO)
  • 97% of people learn more about a local company via the internet. (Source: SEO Tribunal)
  • 51% of consumers said they feel more trust in a local business when they actively respond to reviews. (Source: Rio SEO)
  • Google Maps is the go-to tool for 86% of people who want to locate a business. (Source: Safari Digital)
  • “Near me” or “close by” searches grew by more than 900% over the past two years. (Source: Chat Meter)
  • Yelp appears among the top five search results for SMB (small and medium-sized business) searches 92% of the time. (Source: Fresh Chalk)
  • Almost 70% of users view businesses as more approachable, reputable, and well-established when they have complete listings. (Source: Google)
  • When researching nearby businesses, 83% of searchers use Google Search, 55% use Google Maps, 44% turn to Apple Maps, 39% use Yahoo, and 31% use Bing. (Source: Rio SEO)

Surprising, isn’t it? Sit tight for more information…

How Google Regulates Local Ranking?

Ever wonder how Google determines which businesses to show first when someone searches for something locally? 

While Google keeps its organic search ranking algorithms under wraps, it is more open about the factors that influence local search rankings.

Here’s how google determines its local ranking:

  1. Location, Location, Location: The closer your business is to the searcher’s location, the higher your local ranking will be.
  2. Relevance is Key: Google wants to show results that are relevant to the searcher’s query. Therefore, businesses need to make sure their website and Google Business Profile (previously called Google My Business) accurately reflect what they do. Including the keywords that people are searching for to find that specific type of business in the Google Business Profile and the website is essential.
  3. Popularity Contest: Higher popularity leads to a higher local ranking, which depends on several factors. Customer reviews, along with the overall online reputation, are some of the key determinants of a business’s popularity. Therefore, the number and quality of customer reviews play a crucial role in boosting a business’s local ranking.
  4. Authority Matters: Google wants to show results from businesses that are authoritative in their industry. Therefore, businesses need to build their online authority through things like local link-building and content marketing.
  5. Engagement is Everything: Google wants to see people engaging with your business online, whether that’s through website clicks, phone calls, or requests for directions.

All in all, Google’s local ranking algorithm is like a complicated puzzle that businesses need to solve to stand out in local search results. By focusing on location, relevance, popularity, authority, and engagement, businesses can increase their chances of being at the top of local search rankings.

Local SEO is an effective way for businesses to establish a strong presence in their community and attract local customers. It’s like having a storefront on Main Street that everyone knows and loves.

If you’re convinced that local SEO is the way to go, then it’s time to take action. Here are our top 10 quick tips to help businesses ace their local SEO game in 2023.

How to Ace Your Local SEO Game in 2023?

Your Local SEO Checklist

For businesses operating in a specific geographic area, local SEO is an essential marketing strategy. By optimizing your online presence and targeting location-specific keywords, you can improve your search engine rankings and attract more local traffic to your website or physical location. 

It’s like putting up a digital billboard in your neighborhood to make your online presence known to local customers. Here’s how local SEO works:

1.  Get on the Map:

Google Business Profile is a free tool that allows businesses to manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps. 

To let your local customers know that your business is open, it’s crucial to optimize your Google Business Profile. It’s like putting up a neon sign saying that “we’re open for business” which can attract more visitors to your physical location. 

Optimizing your GMB profile is crucial for Local SEO success. This involves filling out all necessary information about your business, including your address, phone number, website, hours of operation, services, and customer reviews.

2.  Speak Your Customer’s Language:

 To speak the language of your local customers, you need to use location-specific keywords in your website content, titles, and descriptions. 

This means conducting thorough research to determine the relevant keywords that your target audience is searching for in your area to find businesses like yours. These keywords can be used in your website content, GMB profile, and other local directories.

Make sure to include relevant local keywords in your website’s meta descriptions, title tags, and header tags, as well as in your website’s content. But don’t overdo it – stuffing your website with too many keywords can actually harm your local SEO.

3.  Dress to Impress:

On-page optimization is like dressing up your website to make it look attractive and user-friendly for local customers. 

This involves optimizing your website’s content with relevant keywords, titles, and descriptions that cater to local searchers. This also involves optimizing your website’s structure, mobile-friendliness, and speed.

4.  Make Friends with the Locals:

Local link building involves building relationships with other local businesses and websites to increase your credibility and relevance in local search results. This helps search engines understand that your website is relevant and authoritative for local searches.

When it comes to relevance, you should aim to get links from websites that are related to your business or industry. For example, if you run a local restaurant, getting a link from a local food blog or review site can have a much bigger impact on your local SEO than a link from a general business directory.

In terms of authority, you want to get links from websites seen as trustworthy and reputable by search engines. This can include local news sites and industry associations. When search engines see that other authoritative websites are linking to your site, it can help to boost your own authority and improve your search engine rankings.

5.  Aim for a 5-Star Rating:

Customer reviews are essential in local SEO, as they provide social proof and help build trust with potential customers. 

In addition to encouraging customers to leave reviews, it’s important to respond to them promptly and professionally, whether they are positive or negative. 

By engaging with your customers in this way, you can demonstrate your commitment to providing excellent service and building a loyal customer base.

So, make sure to monitor your reviews regularly and respond to them in a timely and courteous manner.

6.  Socialize with the Neighbors:

Having a social media strategy can increase your online visibility and engagement with your local audience. This means creating and maintaining social media profiles, sharing relevant content, hosting social media contests, or running targeted ads. 

A consistent and authentic social media presence can establish your business as a reliable and trustworthy source of information and services in your area.

In addition to increasing online visibility and engagement, social media can also help businesses build their brand and reputation in the local community. This can lead to more customer loyalty, word-of-mouth referrals, and ultimately, higher Local SEO rankings.

7.  Build a Network of High-Quality Backlinks:

Your website’s domain authority is a critical factor in determining your local search rankings. One of the best ways to improve your domain authority and climb the search rankings is by building a network of high-quality backlinks from local directories and websites.

Look for local directories and websites that have a strong domain authority and are trusted by search engines and your target audience. Contact these websites and ask if they’d feature your business or link to your site. Provide them with engaging and relevant content that adds value to their website and audience.

8.  Make Use of Schema Markup:

Schema markup is a type of structured data that can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines with information about your business, such as your address, phone number, and reviews. 

This can help improve your business’s visibility in local search results. Additionally, schema markup can also improve your website’s appearance in search results by providing rich snippets. Those snippets can display additional information such as star ratings, business hours, and pricing. 

It’s important to ensure that your schema markup is accurate and up-to-date, as incorrect or outdated information can harm your website’s visibility and credibility.

You can use free tools like Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper to generate code that you can add to your website’s HTML. Or, if you’re using a content management system like WordPress, you can use a plugin to implement schema markup automatically.

9.  Go Mobile-Friendly:

Having a mobile-friendly and optimized website is crucial for any business looking to succeed in local search. 

You need to make sure your website is easy to navigate and loads quickly on mobile devices, as more and more consumers use their smartphones to search for local businesses.

But it’s not just about being mobile-friendly – you also need to optimize your website for local search. This means including your city or region in title tags, headers, and URLs, as well as in your website’s content. This helps search engines understand the location and context of your business. Also, it makes it easier for local customers to find you.

10.  Be the Voice of Your Community:

If you want to stand out in local search results, it’s essential to craft content. But not any content. Content that speaks directly to your local audience. 

Position yourself as the ultimate destination for local news and events related to your industry. You can do this by sharing valuable content such as local gatherings, employee stories, industry updates, and educational resources on your blog. 

Rather than just writing about your products or services, try to create informative and engaging content that addresses the needs and interests of your target audience. 

By doing so, you’ll be able to attract potential customers who are looking for information relevant to their local community and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.

11.  Do What You Can to Improve Your Performance:

Analyzing your local SEO performance regularly and making necessary adjustments to your strategy based on your results can help ensure that your business stays competitive in local search results. 

This can include tracking your website’s traffic and ranking, monitoring your online reviews, and keeping an eye on your competitors.

Track your local search performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to identify areas for improvement. Also, you could use local SEO tools like Moz Local and BrightLocal. Those tools can help you audit and manage your online business listings across multiple platforms. This can help ensure that your business’s information is consistent and accurate across the web.

Continuously optimize, refresh, and refine your local SEO strategy based on data and results, making sure to stay up-to-date with the latest best practices and trends in the industry.

In conclusion,

In today’s digital age, local SEO is an indispensable aspect of any business with a brick-and-mortar presence. 

As more and more consumers turn to mobile devices and voice search, optimizing for local search has become even more critical in 2023. 

By adhering to the tried-and-true practices of local SEO, such as developing high-quality content, building authoritative backlinks, and garnering positive customer reviews, businesses can enhance their online visibility, attract more local customers, and boost their revenue.

As local search algorithms continue to evolve, it is vital for businesses to keep up with the latest trends and techniques to stay ahead of the competition in the digital landscape. 

By partnering with us, you can rest assured that we will help optimize your local SEO presence, ensuring that your business reaches its full potential online. 

Don’t hesitate to reach out to us by calling us at (781)591-0678 or clicking here to learn more. Let’s work together to take your business to the next level!

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