AI in Local SEO: How Automation Is Changing the Game

January 30th, 2024, 07:00 AM

While AI is certainly not a new phenomenon, over the last year or so we've seen it go from a buzzword to a staple tool in many industries and sectors, largely thanks to OpenAI's generative AI software, ChatGPT.

This specific type of AI, which can be used to almost instantly create large amounts of content, has generated a lot of controversy and discussion, especially among people working in content marketing and content creation. 

Some people hold a more skeptical view of such generative AI, fearing it will completely replace thoughtful human-written content with repetitive machine-created content, while others swear by it as a powerful tool that can help streamline workflows and boost productivity.

No matter what your own views on generative AI are in terms of content creation, there's one area where AI is undoubtedly changing the game, and that's local SEO.

Artificial intelligence in local SEO has virtually unlimited potential when it comes to doing everything from analyzing local rankings and providing optimization recommendations, to performing keyword research and helping automate content creation — and Local Falcon's Falcon AI tool is helping drive the AI in local SEO revolution forward in a big way!

How Can AI Help Local SEO Efforts?

So, what exactly does the proliferation of AI mean for local SEO? Using generative AI to boost content production is certainly one way AI can help with local SEO, but there are many other types of AI technologies that can aid local SEO efforts in a whole range of other ways.

Here are a few of the big things artificial intelligence can do as part of your SEO strategy:

  1. Analyze Business Listings and Rankings
  2. Perform Competitor Analysis
  3. Provide Optimization Recommendations
  4. Automate Keyword Research and Content Creation
  5. Assist with Website and Content Optimization
  6. Predict and Analyze User Behavior
  7. Offer Locally Relevant Insights
  8. Enhance User Experiences

Analyze Business Listings and Rankings

Certain AI tools for local SEO, such as Falcon AI, are built specifically to analyze business listings, like Google Business Profile and Apple Business Connect listings.

Manual analysis of business listing ranking performance can be one of the most time-consuming parts of doing local SEO, so having an AI-powered local SEO tool do some of this for you is invaluable.

Imagine your Google Business Profile listing is performing poorly in certain areas, so you run some local rank tracking scans to try and pinpoint why. Rather than having to try and manually identify trends and weaknesses, you can then use AI to instantly analyze the health of your listing and spot areas for improvement.

Perform Competitor Analysis

Just as certain types of local SEO AI tools can analyze your own business listings, they can also do so for your competitors' listings, providing instant and accurate competitor analysis.

Again, this can save you or your team a ton of manual work in terms of doing side-by-side comparisons of listings you manage next to those of competitors. It can also help you quickly identify ways to outrank vulnerable competitors for certain keywords or in specific areas.

Provide Optimization Recommendations

AI doesn't just speed up your local SEO data analysis and help you identify optimization opportunities on your own, it can actually TELL you exactly what to do right now.

For example, Falcon AI provides a list of actionable optimization recommendations, prioritized by whether they are major or minor optimizations. In other words, you can essentially get a checklist of things you should do to help improve your ranking right away.

This can be particularly useful for multi-location businesses with many different listings across various platforms. For these types of businesses, maintaining up-to-date and accurate business listing information across platforms can be a handful, and it's easy for something to fall through the cracks. 

Search engines factor the accuracy and consistency of business information into their rankings, so keeping everything up to date is crucial for multi-location businesses and enterprises. AI can help do this by pointing out easy fixes, such as a missing or incorrect name, address, or phone number on a particular location's listing.

Automate Keyword Research and Content Creation

Keyword research and content creation are essential and ongoing parts of any local SEO strategy. 

AI has the potential to help you find both keywords that people are currently using to find local businesses like yours, as well as predict future local search terms that you may want to start optimizing for now.

This is particularly true for long-tail keywords, especially the more conversational types of search phrases that people are likely to use in voice queries.

AI language models are able to understand the nuances of the way humans speak, therefore allowing them to predict how people might search for certain products, services, or business types via voice search. Local SEO professionals and content marketers can then incorporate these more specific local search terms into their content to optimize for voice search.

As more people turn to voice search tools when performing local searches, the use of AI in keyword research and content creation will become indispensable.

Additionally, the type of generative AI technology we mentioned earlier can help speed up content creation processes and find creative ways to incorporate new local keywords you want to target into content.

Assist with Website and Content Optimization

Using AI in local SEO can also help optimize websites and existing content. For example, AI can analyze a website's performance and suggest ways to improve it on the technical side, which is something search engine algorithms take into account when determining rankings.

Alternatively, let's say you have a bunch of existing content, but it's not performing well in local search results. To optimize it, you could perform some local keyword research, then have AI rewrite the existing content and incorporate new relevant keywords in it to help it rank better in local searches.

Predict and Analyze User Behavior 

AI can also analyze large amounts of data to predict user behavior, which can help local SEOs tailor their business listings, websites, and content accordingly, providing users with the locally relevant information they're looking for and increasing local relevance for the search engines.

Enhance User Experiences

There are a number of ways in which applying AI to local SEO can help enhance user experiences. Like we mentioned above, it can analyze and predict user behavior, allowing you to better optimize your website to improve the user experience, which in turn benefits local SEO.

There are also other ways to enhance the user experience, such as by actually incorporating AI technology into your website through the implementation of AI-powered chatbots. 

Chatbots serve multiple purposes, including answering relevant queries, providing personalized 24-hour customer service, and gathering data about customer behavior. All of these things can help boost your local SEO and overall marketing efforts.

Other Benefits of Using Artificial Intelligence for Local SEO

We went over some of the specific ways AI technology can improve local SEO, but what about some of the other, more general benefits of using artificial intelligence for local SEO?

As you've probably gathered by now, one of the biggest overall benefits of AI is how much time the automation of certain types of tasks can save you — wherever there's a task that normally requires some level of human intelligence and plenty of time to complete, there's potential for AI to save you that time.

Another huge benefit of incorporating AI into your local SEO strategy is the potential for enhanced reporting and analytics. 

AI can aggregate data from multiple sources in a fraction of the time it would take a human to do so, providing more comprehensive, in-depth local SEO insights for SEO professionals and the stakeholders they report to.

All the benefits of using AI in local SEO strategies also mean that it can provide a competitive edge over competitors who are not using it. Businesses and local SEOs who incorporate AI into their local search engine optimization efforts now — the early adopters — will have an advantage over those who don't.

Are There Any Risks of Using AI for Local SEO?

Although AI has virtually unlimited potential to boost local SEO efforts, it's important to be aware of some of the potential pitfalls of relying solely on AI, as over-reliance on using AI tools for local SEO could potentially lead to a couple of problems. 

For starters, the over-automation of content production using generative AI tools can result in repetitive content that lacks human insight and doesn't resonate well with the target audience or search engines. 

There's also the potential for missing out on information or opportunities that humans may notice better than AI. 

Despite its power to analyze vast amounts of data, it's still possible for AI to miss things that a human wouldn't (it's still a machine, after all).

This is why it's still important to keep humans involved in local SEO AI processes, having them review AI-provided reports and provide their own insights, as well as revise content and give it that human touch that's missing from most AI-produced content.

Ultimately, AI is one more local SEO tool that you can add to your toolbox and master in order to take your local SEO efforts to new heights — the sky's the limit!

Final Thoughts

Considering the fact that search engine algorithms are a form of machine learning that's closely related to AI, it was only a matter of time before different types of AI technology stepped into the ring of local SEO, and that's why AI in local SEO is one of our top local SEO trends to watch out for in 2024.

Local Falcon's Falcon AI tool is leading the pack when it comes to AI-powered analysis of Google Business Profiles and other business listings, including Apple Business Connect listings for Apple Maps.

Sign up for Local Falcon and try Falcon AI today to identify actionable optimization opportunities and ways to outrank vulnerable competitors in local searches.

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