Benu Aggarwal, the founder of Milestone, shared her point of view on local search trends in 2023. A guide which, without a doubt, will be of great use to you to confirm or refute your strategies…
We all agree that what consumers are looking for today is a personalized and omnichannel experience. In his guide published on Search Engine LandBenu Aggarwal goes a little further by delivering his vision of local research in 2023.
For non-English speakers or those who don’t have time to read the full guide, here are the guide’s key points:
Buying online… but locally
Although online shopping is popular with consumers, 49% of them prefer to buy from local businesses. A revival of local commercebut digital version…
To help consumers make the purchase, the need for useful content (chat, real-time reviews, videos, etc.) is more relevant than ever.
A more complex customer journey
If a few years ago, the customer journey could be summed up in “Information / Comparison / Decision / Loyalty”, this is absolutely no longer the case today. It is no longer so linear!
With the goal of creating the best customer experience, you need to work on every possible touchpoint with your business.
A more visual local search
If Google sees TikTok as a competitor, it’s because local search is increasingly done by video, especially among younger people. Google and Maps are no longer enough for your local strategy, you must also be on TikTok and Instagram.
Forget royalty-free visuals, prefer original images and videos for your products on your Google Business Profile. You can validate the relevance of your images via theGoogle Vision API.
No review gating
Whether on Google or in Maps, reviews and ratings play an essential role in the purchase decision. Nothing new under the sun !
The problem is the Review Gating, a practice of asking for reviews, then filtering negative reviews so that only good reviews are posted on Google. In 2022, the Federal Trade Commission decided to end this practice to preserve the integrity of reviews.
Benu Aggarwal’s recommendation is therefore not to do review gating and to go more slowly in your requests for advice.
Recent and relevant content
Deployed since August 2022, the HCU algorithm (Helpful Content Update) prioritizes useful and original content, written by real people, for real people.
Fresh, relevant and accessible content is necessary for local businesses to be featured on Google. Vary the types of content: PDF, FAQ, videos, images, expert advice, etc.
The specificity of multi-site companies
Content creation is more difficult for multi-site companies. It is recommended to base yourself on your customer journeys to connect the different touchpoints.
Personalize your content according to your target and the way they are looking for a response. They should then be visible on all your channels. Don’t create the same content over and over, for your different sites. However, you can create local landing pages from your website.
The use of AI
Although artificial intelligence and ChatGPT can help you automate tasks, a human review still needed to improve your content or build an in-depth local strategy.
Local search in 2023
No big surprises in the 2023 local search trends, the different points covered are logical and therefore, rather reliable. Content remains key to stand out from the competition and be highlighted on search engines, in compliance with the HCU. Textual content is no longer the panacea, think of visuals and videos, especially on social networks which have an increasingly important place in local search. And be careful when using artificial intelligence in your content strategy!
To read the complete guide, we invite you to consult Search Engine Land.
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