7 TOP Local SEO Trends In 2023 | Outranking

by Outranking
Updated On: October 2, 2023
7 TOP Local SEO Trends In 2023 | Outranking

Just like all the evolving SEO trends, local SEO trends are also changing rapidly in 2023.

When engaging with a local business, customers are often looking for a personalized experience. After all, when people find local products and services, it saves them many nuances and difficulties. That’s why businesses should focus on providing high-quality, valuable, and relevant services to their customers, ultimately increasing their local leads. 

In 2022, 87% of consumers used Google to find a local business, compared to 81% in 2021. If you’re here to find out the local SEO trends for 2023, the above stat alone can show you that local SEO will only skyrocket your sales in 2023. 

Without a proper local SEO strategy, chances are people in a specific region won’t find your business online. This can hugely impact your website’s visibility, organic rankings, and leads. This will also have a negative impact on your ROI. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of top 7 local SEO trends for 2023 to help push your business to the top. 

Chart from Brightlocal showing the top searched local businesses.
Users searched the most local businesses through Google and Yelp. Source: Brightlocal Local Consumer Review Survey 2023.

1. Voice Search for Local Listings

With the introduction of Google’s language model LaMDA, Google is trying to understand natural languages better. Why is that?

Because people are moving away from typing in favor of voice searching. The voice technology market size, which was close to $10 billion in 2020, is expected to reach $30 billion by 2026. 71% of consumers also prefer to conduct queries using voice search.

Image of key insights regarding the use of voice technologies.
The voice technology market size is worth billions of dollars. Source: Statista 

Voice SEO is different from regular SEO because, in voice optimization, the keywords are more detailed and conversational. In voice search, for example, people ask “which restaurant serves Chinese food in my area?” – a common query that food blog writing may address.” instead of typing “Chinese food near me”.

So if your business has a local listing, you should optimize it for voice search. Without voice optimization, people can’t find your local business. Here are some tips on how to successfully optimize your content for voice search:

  • Use conversational keywords
  • Provide as many details about your business as possible
  • Provide valuable and helpful content in a straightforward way
  • Use all the possible cultural keywords and slang people use in a locality

2. Automatic Review Spamming on Google My Business

72% of consumers say fake reviews are becoming normal. 82% of consumers say they’ve read at least one fake review in the last year.

If you’re one of those people who write fake reviews to push your products and services, you’re in for a surprise. With Google’s advancing automated spam detection technology, Google identifies and removes any review it considers fake or spam. 

Google ensures its users read authentic, relevant, and valuable reviews. So now, if you bombard other businesses’ comments with fake reviews — or even write some on your own page — you won’t get anywhere. 

Instead of relying on fake feedback, follow the suggestions below:

  • Ensure your website provides the best and most value-based services so people leave genuine positive reviews on your website
  • Learn from negative feedback you receive on your page and strive to fix the issues people complain about as soon as possible
Image of the breakdown of people who find fake reviews, by age.
People of 18-34 age encounter the most fake reviews. Source: Invesp — The State of Fake Reviews

3. Google Recognizes AI Reviews

The more reviews your business has, the higher it appears on search pages. And because businesses understand this ranking factor, they try to game the system by using AI generation to create more reviews. 

Using AI to write a specific review isn’t harmful in its entirety. But because AI can only produce content already written on the internet, its reviews are unhelpful. Google has also made it clear that any AI content manipulating search rankings is against its spam policies

So, anyone who uses AI to write reviews will soon be penalized, and their business will lose its ranking. To avoid those consequences, we have two little tips for you:

  • Don’t use AI for search ranking manipulation
  • Try to provide the most personalized experience to customers so that your business gets a lot of genuine, positive reviews
Image of a half-man-half-robot person typing on a keyboard.
AI written reviews may seem to be an easy human review replacement, but they aren’t. Source: Authority Hacker

4. Websites Are Becoming Easier to Launch with AI  

Leveraging AI tools is among the latest SEO trends. Emerging digital technologies have made it possible to provide solutions to as many technical problems as possible. People favor AI for most of their tasks to reduce business costs and save time in this declining economy. 

If your website isn’t optimized for local search, you can use AI tools to generate one. You can also launch your website by using website templates. AI can even help you update your website to perform better locally. 

Here are a few pointers to help when using AI with website creation:

  • Use proper prompts and provide as many specific details as possible. You don’t need any coding or design skills to launch a website with AI
  • Ensure your website achieves a desirable look and feel for your local customers

5. Website and Structured Data for Local Businesses

Did you know that 88% of consumers who search for a business call or go to that business within 24 hours? This means your business will stay unknown unless you have a website with your address and number. 

And if you don’t invest in local SEO, your website and business address will likely remain hidden in search rankings. So if you want your local business to perform well, you should invest in a good website. Provide good content that hooks the reader, and give everyone the need-to-know information easily.  

In 2023, businesses will realize the importance of having an interactive website. They’ll invest in creating a well-designed local website that will attract local customers to their website and, ultimately, increase leads for them.

Image saying: 88% of consumers who search fo a type of business on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. "This tells that having a website is among the top local SEO trends for 2023.
Consumers go to a business within 24 hours after a Google search. Source: Graffiti9 Why Website Is Important For Your Business in 2023

8 Ways to Increase the Visibility of Your Local Business

As a bonus, we’ve gathered this list of items you can use to boost your business’ ranking potential: 

  1. Organic search results: Web pages that appear in organic search results have high-quality content. They don’t need to rely on advertising or other methods to get their content to rank.
  2. Google My Business profile: Businesses can have My Business profiles which enables them to appear on SERPs. These profiles also help users find info and reviews about your business.
  3. Paid ads: These campaigns appear on top of SERPs. They aren’t organic results, and Google gets paid through a bidding system. But using paid ads might help more people find your local business.
  4. Featured snippets: These contain the direct answer to the users’ question in a little box. They don’t even have to go to the site. Ensuring your snippets rank well can give your business more visibility.
  5. Video: YouTube videos that answer a user’s query appear on SERPs. Creating videos and ensuring they rank well can help people get to know the people behind your brand, making it a go-to for them. 
  6. Local pack: Google My Business profiles that appear for a region-based “near me” query. Taking advantage of this pack can help local customers find and go to your business.
  7. Shopping: Google Merchant Account products that appear on SERPs. Having this account can enable you to promote your business to local customers
  8. “People also ask” and “Related searches”: Google generates query-related questions and answers them in special boxes. You can use these spaces to generate more traffic to your site.

Amidst all this website chaos, let’s not forget schema makeup or structured data, a code that helps search engines understand your data. Schema markup can improve a website’s ranking chances. Search engines can crawl and better understand valuable information through schema markup.

Schema.org contains local business categories so you can better optimize your website locally. Other schema properties that can improve visibility for a local business are review, the aggregate rating, FAQ page, department, and products.

Screenshot from the Schema website.
Schema.org can be used for creating local business categories. Source: Screen capture of Schema Local Business Page

6. Chatbots and Local Search (Bing)

Bing has introduced a chatbot that answers queries for local searches. When someone asks about the location, opening hours, parking options, price range, or even discounts of a local restaurant, a Skype-based chatbot answers with the maximum available information.

This is a major opportunity for local businesses to optimize their websites and profiles. More people can find your business if you take advantage of bots that can answer queries about your business.

Right now, this is still a relatively new development — chatbots are only able to answer local queries in the Seattle area. Bing also hasn’t introduced or answered anything related to local search queries using chatbots, but they say they’ll share information when available.

Screenshot of a business profile with a red arrow to 'Question? Ask bot for help'
Bing is announcing a new chatbot answering local queries. Source: Search Engine Land

7. Social Media Can Boost Local Businesses’ Trust Signals

In this digital age, almost everyone uses social media. Major brands even hire professionals to grow their social media following. Even digital marketing has a branch named Social Media Marketing.

Leveraging social media is essential for your local business, because it sends trust and authority signals to users. It also improves the ranking of your business on SERPs. An excellent social media presence also allows you to connect with your customers and helps raise brand awareness.

Consider this: You have a local business but no social media presence. Users will look for your social profiles, find nothing, and probably consider not going to your location. But if you have a social presence with many followers and positive reviews, users will find a sense of trust and generate leads for your business.

So, to grow your social media impact, consider the following:

  • Remain active on your social media profiles — post announcements, pictures, and other engaging things to keep your business on users’ radars
  • Consider hiring a social media specialist who might know how to get your profiles trending

Pro Tip: Build Your Online Reputation

Studies show 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. That’s why you should build your online reputation on top of providing quality services and products. For this, consider doing the following:

  • Ask consumers to leave honest reviews based on their experience with your brand.
  • Don’t delete negative reviews. Ask the customer what went wrong and encourage them to come back with additional discounts or other favors. Mistakes happen, so focus on improving and providing a positive second experience. 
  • Integrate the reviews on social media into your Google My Business profile. This signals Google about positive reviews and experiences related to your brand.

Watch this video to learn more about building an online presence and reputation.

Infographic of the benefits of a good online reputation in 2023.
Focusing on online reputation brings a lot of benefits. Source: igniyte

Make Your Business a Fan-Favorite among Locals Using Latest SEO Trends

We know that valuable content creation serves a primary role in boosting rankings for a webpage, so leveraging AI tools that can lessen your research burden is something you should think of. We suggest you use tools for content optimization and on-page SEO optimization tools, creating SEO content briefs, creating SEO content strategies, leveraging SEO keyword strategy tools, SEO content audit tools and using an SEO content editor.

For your local business, learn how to plan a local SEO strategy and how to do local SEO marketing with actionable tips to be at the top of the local SEO game.

2023 is all about boosting local business sales through local SEO. So, to generate more local leads, focus on providing the best quality user experience. Update and improve your website while engaging with your customers to improve your ranking on SERPs. You should also consider building awareness about your brand through social media presence. At the same time, steer clear of shady practices like leaving fake, AI-generated reviews on your website. This will destroy your reputation and Google will likely penalize you for cheating.