Local SEO has been around for quite some time now, and businesses are well aware of its importance in driving traffic and sales to their brick-and-mortar stores. However, as technology evolves, so do search engines and SEO strategies. To keep up with the changing times and remain competitive, businesses must future-proof their local SEO strategies for 2023 and beyond.
Here are some tips to future-proof your local SEO strategy:
1. Optimize for Voice Search
With the rise of smart speakers and virtual assistants, voice search has become an integral part of how people search for local businesses. According to ComScore, 50% of all searches will be voice searches by 2023. Therefore, optimizing for voice search is critical. To do so, focus on conversational keywords and phrases, long-tail keywords, and natural language that people use when speaking.
2. Embrace Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is transforming the way search engines rank websites. Google’s RankBrain, for instance, uses AI to interpret search queries and provide relevant results. Businesses must leverage AI to their advantage by optimizing their website’s content for RankBrain’s algorithm. This involves creating content that matches the user’s search intent, using structured data to help search engines understand the website’s content better, and focusing on user experience (e.g., fast loading speed, mobile responsiveness, etc.).
3. Use Video to Boost Engagement
Video is a powerful tool to engage customers and increase their time spent on a website. By 2023, it’s estimated that videos will account for 75% of all internet traffic. Businesses must leverage this trend by creating video content that showcases their products, services, and brand personality. Videos can also build trust and credibility with customers, improve search rankings, and boost click-through rates.
4. Implement Conversational Marketing
Conversational marketing is about having real-time conversations with customers and prospects via chatbots, messaging apps, or live chat. It’s a more personalized and interactive way of engaging with customers, which can lead to higher conversions and customer satisfaction. To implement conversational marketing, businesses must first identify where their customers hang out online (e.g., Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, etc.). Then, they must create chatbots or hire customer service representatives to handle inquiries and conversations.
5. Focus on Local Link Building
Link building remains a critical element of local SEO, but its significance will only grow in the future. Search engines use backlinks to determine a website’s authority, quality, and relevance. However, businesses must focus on local link building, which involves earning links from local sites that are relevant to their industry and location. Such links can boost local search rankings and drive traffic to their physical location.
In conclusion, future-proofing your local SEO strategy requires continuous experimentation and adaptation to new trends and technologies. By optimizing for voice search, embracing AI, leveraging video, implementing conversational marketing, and focusing on local link building, businesses can stay ahead of the game and ensure their long-term success.