The Local SEO Factors that Matter in 2023 — and the Ones that Don’t

Local SEO is an essential aspect of any digital marketing strategy. Optimizing your company’s online presence to improve its visibility in local search results can bring awareness of your products and services to the exact people who are most likely to become loyal customers. But with Google’s never-ending changes to its ranking algorithms, how do you know which local SEO factors you need to be focusing on right now? Here are some of the current top ranking factors for 2023, plus a couple that aren’t as important as you may have heard.

It’s probably no surprise that Google My Business signals are the most significant ranking factor in local search. These include the completeness and accuracy of the business information on your GMB profile, the number and quality of your customer reviews, and the accuracy and specificity of your GMB category. If you’ve been slacking on completing or updating your GMB profile because you thought it wasn’t as important as your website, it’s time to give that profile some attention for better local search results.

That said, the quality and relevance of your website content is indeed another important local SEO ranking factor, so make sure you’re keeping your site updated and optimized as well. This includes having content that is relevant to local search queries, the presence of effectively-placed keywords in your content (especially in your GBP landing page title), and having separate, dedicated pages for each service and major product you offer.

The number of people who have positive things to say about your business also matters, as evidenced by review and link signals. Having a consistent stream of positive reviews helps, as do links to your GMB landing page from other locally-relevant domains. In other words, never stop asking your customers for reviews, and do your best to keep people (and sites) in your local area talking about your business.

On the flip side, there are always rumors and myths floating around about “secret SEO tricks,” and many of them don’t actually make much of an impact on your local search rankings. Geotagging the photos that you upload to GMB is one of the more common tactics that you can ignore, and adding keywords into your review responses is another. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be spending time on responding to reviews, as doing so can boost your conversion rates, but just write a natural response and don’t worry about awkwardly squeezing your target keywords in there, as they won’t move the needle on your rankings.

Local SEO has a lot of moving parts on its own, and it’s just one piece of a comprehensive digital marketing strategy. Contact us for a free consultation to get an assessment of your current efforts, as well as actionable tips to help grow your business in 2023.

COGO Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and across the nation.