Level Up Your Local SEO for 2023: The Complete Tactical Guide

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Searching for a local business online has become the norm for most consumers. In fact, according to a study by Google, 76% of people who search for something nearby on their smartphones visit a related business within a day.

With more and more potential customers turning to search engines and online directories to find local businesses, having an effective local SEO strategy is crucial for driving brand awareness and sales. But local SEO is a rapidly evolving space, and what worked well last year may not be as effective today.

Staying on top of the latest local SEO trends and algorithm updates is key for businesses who want to stand out online and connect with local searchers. This post will provide an overview of the top trends to focus on for local SEO success in 2023.

From optimizing Google My Business and managing local listings to improving link building and tracking location-based results, there are many opportunities to improve your local search visibility. By focusing on these core areas, your business can gain an edge on the competition and make your brand as findable and accessible as possible for nearby customers.

The stakes are high, as more mobile searches lead to same-day in-store visits. But with the right local SEO strategy for 2023, small businesses can drive more foot traffic and sales from organic search.

Optimize for Google My Business and Local Listings

Google My Business (GMB) profiles have become one of the most important local SEO tools for businesses looking to improve their visibility on Google Search and Maps. With Google now providing business profile information directly in the local pack, GMB optimization needs to be a priority.

Here are some key ways to optimize your GMB listing for 2023:

Complete and Update Your Google My Business Profile

  • Fill out all fields – Completely fill out your business name, address, phone number, website, business hours, services, photos, etc.
  • Add niche categories – Include all relevant business categories to help you rank for niche searches.
  • Monitor insights – Regularly check your GMB insights and act on opportunities to improve.
  • Promptly respond to reviews and messages – This signals responsiveness to customers.
  • Keep info updated – Changes to business hours, contact info, etc. need to be reflected quickly.

Manage Reviews and Posts

  • Respond professionally to all reviews – Whether positive or negative, reply in a timely manner.
  • Encourage new reviews – Ask satisfied customers to leave reviews through email or when interacting.
  • Share posts and offers – Post updates, photos, events, etc. to engage followers.
  • Monitor third-party review sites – Be aware of reviews on Facebook, Yelp, etc. and respond if needed.

Claim and Optimize Additional Listings

  • ** Moz Local** – Check your Moz Local listing and claim/optimize if needed.
  • Bing Places – Claim your Bing Places for Business listing.
  • Apple Maps – Claim your Apple Maps listing.
  • Yellow Pages – Claim listings on Yellowpages.com and other directory sites.
  • Industry directories – Claim niche and local business directories.
  • Citation aggregators – Manage listings on sites like Acxiom, Infogroup, Factual.

By fully optimizing your Google My Business profile and managing additional listings, you ensure customers find accurate, up-to-date info for your business across the web. This builds visibility, trust, and helps search engines understand your business footprint.

Use Schema Markup for Local Businesses

Schema markup is a way to add extra structured data to your website that search engines like Google can understand. Implementing schema can enhance how your business information appears in local SEO packs and Knowledge Panels.

Here are some key schema markup types to focus on:


The LocalBusiness schema provides details like your business name, address, phone number, opening hours and more. This gives Google extra info to display for your business.

<script type="application/ld+json">
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "LocalBusiness",
  "name": "Business Name",
  "image": "https://example.com/logo.png",
  "telephone": "123-456-7890",
  "address": {
    "@type": "PostalAddress",
    "streetAddress": "123 Main St",
    "addressLocality": "My City",
    "addressRegion": "My State", 
    "postalCode": "12345"


Mark up your business FAQ page with FAQPage schema to highlight your key questions and answers.

<script type="application/ld+json">  
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "FAQPage",
  "mainEntity": [{
    "@type": "Question",
    "name": "What are your hours?",
    "acceptedAnswer": {
      "@type": "Answer",
      "text": "Our hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm."


If you host events, add Event schema to provide details.

<script type="application/ld+json">
  "@context": "https://schema.org",
  "@type": "Event",
  "name": "Business Anniversary Party",
  "description": "Annual anniversary celebration",
  "startDate": "2023-04-12T19:00",
  "location": {
    "@type": "Place",
    "name": "Main Event Center", 
    "address": {
      "@type": "PostalAddress",
      "addressLocality": "My City",
      "addressRegion": "My State"
  "offers": {
    "@type": "Offer",
    "url": "https://example.com/register",
    "price": "25",
    "priceCurrency": "USD"

Implementing schema can help search engines better display your business info across local results. Make sure to test your structured data with Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.

Focus on Relevance and Expertise

With local SEO, creating content that engages and informs local searchers should be a priority. Businesses that focus on topics relevant to their customers’ needs and highlight their expertise gain trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.

Here are some tips for improving relevance and showcasing expertise:

Create Content that Answers Local Searcher Intent

  • Research keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner to identify questions and searches from your target local audience.
  • Write posts, guides, and local pages that directly respond to those information needs.
  • Focus on topics like your services, products, business history, awards, and anything that makes you stand out in your geographic area.

Highlight Your Unique Local Knowledge and Experience

  • Feature local details like streets, neighborhoods, and landmarks when writing content. This establishes your location-based expertise.
  • Share insights from having an established local presence and understanding of the market.
  • Create content around your unique value proposition and why customers should trust you over out-of-town competitors.

Optimize for Long-Tail, Geo-Targeted Keywords

  • Include highly specific keywords in content, like “affordable orthodontists in Austin, TX”.
  • Craft page titles and meta descriptions with long-tail keywords.
  • Add location names like your city and neighborhood to copy where it fits naturally.

Producing locally-focused content that provides real value to potential customers is key for ranking in Map Packs and organic search. Establish yourself as a trusted neighborhood expert.

Leverage AI and Automation

Implementing AI and automation tools is an emerging local SEO trend that helps businesses work smarter and scale their efforts. Intelligently leveraging technology can maximize your reach while minimizing the workload.

Here are some ways to use AI and automation for local SEO in 2023:

Use AI Writing Tools to Efficiently Create Local Content

  • Tools like Jasper and Rytr can generate blog post drafts and content outlines on local topics that you can refine.
  • Jarvis is an advanced AI that can write high-quality long-form content tailored to your business.
  • Shortly and INK A Link use AI to rewrite content for local optimization.

Automate Local Link Building Outreach

  • Pitchbox and Fat Joe automate sending personalized outreach emails to local citation sites and publications.
  • Niche-specific plugins like PitchMe for outreaching local attorneys streamlines getting links.
  • Automated follow-up sequences via email services like Mailchimp increases link conversion rates.

Automate Social Media Posting for Local Pages

  • Facebook Creator Studio and Hootsuite can schedule optimized local social media content.
  • Chatbots like ManyChat can engage with Facebook followers and prompt reviews.
  • IFTTT recipes can automatically cross-post from one social platform to others.

With the right tools, local SEO tasks can be automated to free up time for higher value activities. But always maintain a human touch!

Improve Local Link Building

Earning high-quality backlinks from relevant local websites remains one of the most important local SEO ranking factors. Getting mentioned and linked to from trusted local sources helps establish your credibility and presence in the community.

Here are some of the top ways to improve your local link building:

Getting Mentioned in Local Publications

  • Build relationships with local newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc.
  • Pitch them story ideas related to your business, expertise, events or community contributions.
  • Offer to contribute guest posts or be interviewed to make getting featured easier.
  • Monitor and share when you get mentioned.

Getting Links from Local Organization Websites

  • Identify organizations, charities, chambers of commerce etc. to get involved with locally.
  • Sponsor events, donate services, volunteer expertise.
  • Politely request a link in return from their website.

Building Relationships with Local Businesses

  • Connect with other complementary businesses through partnerships, cross-promotion, referrals.
  • Trade links – you link to them and they link back.
  • Participate in local business alliances and directory listings that result in links.

Using Link Building Software Tools

  • Ahrefs and Majestic can identify local link opportunities.
  • Pitchbox and Buzzstream facilitate personalized outreach at scale.

Building true community connections results in earned links that Google values over time. Be helpful, not pushy when asking for links.

Optimize for Local SEO Packs

Ranking in the coveted local 3-pack in Google search results is key for visibility. But with increasing competition, getting into the local pack takes specific optimization.

Here are tips for optimizing your listings to stand out and earn a top local SEO pack ranking:

Understand How Local Pack Rankings Work

Google’s algorithm primarily considers:

  • Proximity – How close your business location is to the searcher.
  • Relevance – How closely your business matches the search query.
  • Prominence – Signals of reputation like reviews, links, and citations.

Optimize for Proximity

  • Accurately list your full business address in Google My Business and schemas.
  • If you have multiple locations, make sure the closest one appears in local search.
  • Clearly display your address and contact info on website pages.

Optimize for Relevance

  • Include your city, neighborhood and other local keywords throughout your GMB listing and website copy where it fits naturally.
  • Provide as many relevant categories, products, and services in your GMB profile.
  • Have a properly optimized Google Maps listing.

Optimize for Prominence

  • Get more positive local reviews on your GMB listing and across the web.
  • Build local citations and earned links from directory listings and websites.
  • Encourage customers to post photos and videos about your business on GMB.

Ranking in the 3-pack requires work, but pays off with increased clicks and conversions from searchers. Monitor your progress in Google’s Local Result Testing Tool.

Track Location-Based Results

An important part of executing a local SEO strategy is measuring and tracking location-based results. Understanding how your efforts impact searches and conversions from customers in your geographic area allows you to refine your approach for better outcomes.

Here are some ways to track the performance of your local SEO:

Use Location Modifiers in Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides data on:

  • Clicks and impressions by country, state, and city.
  • Queries and click-through rates for location-modified searches like “pizza New York”.
  • Pages getting the most traffic from specific locations.

Track Calls and Foot Traffic from Local Searches

  • Use call tracking numbers on your GMB listing to measure phone calls.
  • Implement user-level tracking to tie web visits to in-store visits.
  • Record check-ins, customer zip codes, and purchase data.

Optimize Based on Real-World Conversions

  • Look at analytics to identify which keywords and content are driving the most phone calls or in-store visits.
  • Double down on optimizing pages for those high-converting terms.
  • Refine your GMB profile categories, on-page content, etc. based on real conversions.

Use Rank Tracking Software

  • Tools like Moz Local and BrightLocal reveal your local pack rankings for different keywords.
  • See how you rank vs. competitors for optimize further.

Monitoring and improving your local search visibility based on real conversions is crucial for optimal ROI from local SEO efforts.


Local SEO continues to rapidly evolve, with constant changes to Google’s algorithm, new technologies, and shifting consumer behaviors. By staying on top of the latest trends and best practices, local businesses can connect with customers and drive growth.

Some of the most important local SEO strategies to focus on in 2023 include:

  • Optimizing and managing your Google My Business and other key local listings. This establishes credibility across the web.
  • Using schema markup to help search engines better understand your business info.
  • Creating locally-optimized, intent-driven content that highlights your expertise.
  • Leveraging AI tools to efficiently produce local content and manage outreach.
  • Building high-quality backlinks from local citation sources and publications.
  • Monitoring your rankings in local packs and optimizing based on real conversions.

The competitive landscape demands that local businesses continuously refine their local SEO efforts. Following these best practices for 2023 can help you attract more customers from search and remain discoverable in your community.

By staying agile and focusing on value for local searchers, your local SEO strategy will serve your business well both now and into the future. The key is continuous optimization based on ever-evolving algorithms and consumer behavior. Work smarter, not just harder in 2023.