Local Search Is constantly evolving.
As we move into 2023, the importance of local Search has never been greater. With the rise of mobile search, voice search, and the continued dominance of Google, businesses focus more on optimizing their online presence for local Search. This article will explore why local Search is exploding in 2023 and what companies can do to exploit this trend.
The Growth of Mobile Search
Mobile devices are now the primary means of accessing the internet for many people. This means that people use their phones to search for local businesses and services while on the go. Google reports that nearly 80% of local searches on mobile devices turn into purchases. This is a massive opportunity for businesses to capture the attention of potential customers looking for what they have to offer.
Voice Search Is on the Rise
Voice search is becoming more popular as people use voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to search for information. It’s estimated that by 2023, 8 billion voice assistants will be used worldwide. This means businesses need to optimize their online presence for voice search by using natural language and answering common questions related to their business.
The Importance of Google Maps
Google Maps is a powerful tool for local Search. When people search for businesses on Google, they often see a map pack at the top of the search results. This map pack shows local companies that match the search query and includes information like the business’s name, address, phone number, and reviews. Getting your business listed in the map pack can be a game-changer for local SEO, as it puts your business right in front of potential customers.
Personalization of Search Results
Google is continually refining its search algorithm to provide more personalized results for users. Search results are tailored to the user’s location, search history, and other factors. For businesses, optimizing for local Search is essential to ensure their business is visible to potential customers.
The Importance of Reviews
Reviews are an essential part of local SEO. Positive reviews can improve your business’s visibility in local search results, while negative reviews can harm your business’s reputation. Encouraging customers to leave reviews on platforms like Google, Yelp, and Facebook can help improve your online presence and attract more customers.
Things are heating up and are all set to boil over this year. Several rising factors suggest that local Search in 2023 should deserve your complete attention. Because now more than ever before, you have to meet the increasing demands of mobile users.
Trust us—this is something you do not want to miss.
Why You Should Focus on Local Search in 2023
Mobile is moving up in the world. Users spend most of their online time on mobile—51% compared to 42% on desktop as of last year. Why the steady increase? It’s easy to assume that it’s because more people use mobile devices like smartphones. But that doesn’t explain why you should focus so much on mobile this year. You need some genuine reasons.
Of course, you don’t need an excuse to make your site the best. But if that’s not enough, here are significant reasons to focus on local Search in 2023 based on recent news and trends:
Wearable devices. As if we needed another reason to distance ourselves from desktop searches. Wearable devices like the Apple Watch are becoming more than just conveniences; they’re becoming fashion accessories. Customers are asking Siri, Cortana, and whomever else to help them find the closest burger joint, nearest gas station, etc. A haptic feedback feature tells the wearer exactly where and when to turn to locate their destination. With that kind of power at the customer’s disposal, your business info MUST be kept up to date if you want to be found.
No more Google Location tool. By December last year, almost every SEO company noticed that Google had removed its Location search tool. The implications for this are enormous: Google is now only—or primarily—showing local results to search queries. This shift away from global search results means many key terms may suddenly have less reach. For example, “SEO company” is a general term, while “San Diego SEO Company” is more location-focused. This poses a potential problem for businesses that serve on a global scale (like ours), as it means users who search for “SEO company” may only get results based on what’s close by.
Removing this tool may cause severe issues for your bottom line if your business doesn’t have an actual brick-and-mortar location. And with Google Map Pack to work with, you’ve got to vie for the top ad spots to ensure you stay on top of competitors.
Google’s continuing focus on User Experience. No surprise here—Google is continuing its focus on better UX into 2023. And considering how many users are now on mobile, that experience had better be pretty good. We saved it for last on this list because, despite Google’s efforts, user experience is still something many websites aren’t prioritizing. It seems almost too simplistic and vague, which is why it’s still being overlooked. Your mobile site must first and foremost serve the user and make it easy to find what they need. That means your site has got to be fast and informative.
How You Can Improve Your Local Presence
So how do you get into the Google 3 Pack? How do you get users to find and choose your company over the others out there? First, you must take advantage of the changes we’ve already seen. And you have to get started now.
Here are some quick and straightforward steps you can take. Implement them right away, and your business will benefit.
Verify your business on Google My Business. Yes—you need a Google My Business account, even if you already have a website. Just like submitting your robots.txt file is a step you need to take to get indexed, putting your info in Google My Business is essential for your business info to show up on Google’s Web results and Google Map Pack.
Get more Google reviews. Five-star reviews and short blurbs on the local search results can significantly increase your website’s clickthrough. But you shouldn’t just write them yourself. Sure, you could, but asking your clients is much less work (and far more gratifying). On the other hand, if they’re happy with the work you’ve been doing—and why wouldn’t they be?—more often than not, they’ll be glad to write you a glowing review. Moreover, whatever they have to say will be a thousand times more honest than if you had written the review yourself.
Add location schema. Location schema and the Place type allow Google to add your business’s info to the search results quickly. For example, you can include your address, business hours, and geographical coordinates to make it easy for anyone to find you. Schema is an excellent idea because it helps Google understand what kind of site it is. Great when a repeat customer is trying to remember your business but can’t remember the name!
Maintain your Facebook business page. Facebook recently launched its Professional Services page. Like Yelp or Angie’s List, this directory can help users search for a service by acting as an international or local business listing. Will it replace Google as a primary search function?
Have questions about what you can do to improve your 2023 Google local search? Contact us.