Consumers frequently seek a customized experience when dealing with a local business. Local SEO serves as the compass for businesses to boost their online exposure. New local SEO features such as voice search and search generative experiences increase business owners chances for having their product or service found online.
Local SEO is constantly evolving due to changes in technology, user behavior, and search engine algorithms. It is important to have an effective local SEO plan to increase your company’s visibility, organic rankings, and leads for your website.
Research shows “87 percent of consumers used Google in 2022 compared with 81 percent in 2021 to find a local business.” (Source: BrightLocal) In this blog, Allen Marketing Communications, Inc., a local search engine optimization service in NYC, will delve into the crucial trends that are transforming how businesses communicate with local audiences.
1. Voice Search For Local Listings
Google is attempting to comprehend natural languages better with the release of its LaMDA language model. Voice search is becoming more and more popular instead of typing. “The market for voice technology, which was just under $10 billion in size in 2020, is anticipated to grow to $30 billion by 2026.” (Source: Statista). Additionally, “71 percent of consumers favor using voice search to make their inquiries.” (Source: Oberlo)
Since the keywords used in voice optimization are more specific and conversational than those used in ordinary SEO, it differs from regular SEO. For instance, while using voice search, users inquire, "What restaurant serves Chinese food nearby?" as opposed to typing, "Chinese food nearby."
It is also important to optimize your local business listing for voice search to increase the chances for customers finding your company. Here are some pointers for effective voice search content optimization:
2. Search Generative Experience (SGE) On Google
“The Search Generative Experience (SGE) is Google's most significant update to the SERP in decades, and was unveiled last year.” (Source: Near Media) It is as intimidating as it sounds. But let's dissect it. What we now have is just speculation and observations, yet these early discoveries are essential. A key step forward in our SEO journey is Google's SGE, which includes AI in the search results. It is presently being evaluated at Google's Search Labs. (Source: Community College)
While there are some areas where the SGE Pack and Classic Local Pack overlap, there isn't a complete match, suggesting that the SGE is casting a wider net. Additionally, it provides a clear indicator of how local SEO will be impacted by AI.
SGE entails its own amount of apprehension and anxiety, just like any uncharted territory. The rules of engagement for SGE are still being established in local SEO. However, the promise it holds is too important to overlook.
AI is already having a significant impact on current local SEO trends. Accept the challenge it poses, pay attention to its results, and adjust your tactics as necessary. Keep in mind that those who adapt will succeed in the game of digital visibility.
3. Greater Loading Speed
Did you know that if “a mobile website takes more than three seconds to load, 53 percent of users will abandon it?” (Source: Google Think) That's a sizable figure, and it just serves to emphasize how crucial page speed is for local SEO. Customers simply don't have the patience for a slow website in the fast-paced world of today. If your website is slow, visitors will quit and you'll suffer the consequences in the form of worse search engine ranks.
It is important to test the page speed to ensure the responsiveness of your local company website. The page speed test will assist you in determining areas for improvement on your website. Then, take action to increase the speed of your page by using a faster web hosting service, image compression, and code minification. Your website's page speed will boost local SEO, give users a better experience, and eventually increase the likelihood that local leads will become paying customers.
4. Structured Data And Websites For Local Businesses
Did you know that “88 percent of people who conduct a business search call or visit that company within 24 hours?” (Source: Grafti9) The local search implies that unless you have a website containing your address and phone number, your company will remain unknown.
Additionally, your website and business address will probably continue to be hidden in search results if you don't invest in local SEO. Therefore, you should spend money on a quality website if you want your local business to succeed. Give the reader engaging content, and make it simple for everyone to access the information they require.
Businesses with an interactive website draw in local customers and, in turn, generate more leads for them.
5. Leverage Social Media To Boost Your Businesses
Almost everyone utilizes social media in our digital age. Companies, large and small, use social media to enhance their online visibility.
Social media is crucial for your neighborhood business because it builds brand awareness, trust and community engagement Additionally, it raises your company's ranking on SERPs.
It also helps to produce leads for your business.
Here are key things to consider to increase your social media influence.
Use Local SEO Trends To Your Advantage
To ensure our clients are always one step ahead of their local competition, we continuously track local SEO best practices, trends, and technological enhancements. The team at Allen Marketing Communications, Inc. is not only knowledgeable in local SEO; we are experts in it. To learn how we may assist you with advancing your local search strategy, contact us today.
By Sanjay Poddar, founder, Yukti Digital and consultant to Allen Marketing Communications, Inc.