Renowned local experts Greg Sterling, Joy Hawkins, Mike Blumenthal, and Benu Aggarwal shared extremely useful information on local search for 2023 in a recent webinar.
These included various impacts of algorithm updates and effects in 2022 and the role of Google AI in local search. They highlighted the different types of content that will engage users in local search using hyperlocal experience and also they shared other must-have solutions for local search presence within a marketing plan.
The deck and webinar video are now available.
New Channels Become Search Engine Competitors
Greg Sterling pointed out that TikTok is becoming a popular search engine for restaurants with the GenZ consumers
To compete with the emerging search engines and experiences, Google is making the search results pages much more visual. That makes high-quality original images much more important for visibility.
Reviews are important, but consumers are becoming skeptical about the authenticity of the reviews.
Mike Blumenthal calculated how much of a local search results screen is taken up by images.
Google is using AI to understand pictures, but that can lead to misunderstandings. Google sees the image on the right as more fruit than pancakes. Image management, alt-tagging, and structured data can help disambiguate the images.
Businesses are seeing their reviews get taken down by algorithms trying to stop fraudulent reviews.
Video can help a business standout in the SERPs and generate engagement.
Google can now combine videos with location and local intent.
Videos are generating impressions, especially on mobile.
Videos, especially short videos tend to increase engagement.
In 2023, local success will require profile completeness and a focus on content and variety of media types.
An Airbnb research experiment found that professional photos led to a 17% increase in rentals and revenue of $2,500 per year vs. those that used inferior images. That’s a huge ROI if you consider that bringing a photographer into a single location is only gonna cost about $300 for an hour or two shoot.
Google continues to evolve the local search experience for better and for worse. In 2022 we saw a range of significant changes, including a new listings management UI, more emphasis on visual content, product inventory, and a new AI-review algorithm that’s filtering legitimate reviews. This webinar highlighted best practices marketers must implement to drive digital discovery and customer acquisition in industries, such as Banking, Restaurants, Hospitality and Automotive.
To learn more, download the full deck and webinar.