Search engine optimization is a necessity for any local business that wants to find success, even if they don’t sell goods online.
It’s because an overwhelming number of customers research local businesses online before taking a single step outside.
For example, 87% of consumers look up local businesses on Google before deciding to visit them in person.
AI chatbots are also changing the local business landscape, especially OpenAI’s ChatGPT.
It’s an extremely powerful tool, and SEOs have started to find ways to use ChatGPT for local SEO.
That’s especially true ever since ChatGPT gained internet access in March 2023.
While it’s not an official SEO tool, which will always have more reliable metrics, ChatGPT is still useful for assisting with the following:
- Keyword research
- Optimizing your Google Business Profile (GBP)
- Generating content ideas for social media and GBP
- Drafting emails to encourage users to leave reviews
- Responding to Google reviews
- Dealing with negative reviews
- Optimizing your on-page SEO
As you can see, there are plenty of ways you can use ChatGPT for your local SEO strategy.
We’ve assembled all the ways you can use ChatGPT to boost your local business’s online presence and search engine rankings, so read on to learn more.
The Current State of ChatGPT
ChatGPT has seen many advancements since first being unleashed to the public in November 2022.
What is ChatGPT, anyway?
It’s an AI chatbot that uses natural language processing and deep learning neural networks to do everything from carrying on conversations with users to writing essays and solving computer code problems.
It launched with a large language model (LLM) called GPT-3 (GPT stands for generative pre-trained transformer).
The free version of ChatGPT continues to use GPT-3, although the paid version (ChatGPT Plus) uses the newly released GPT-4 – which has a whole host of impressive new features.
Originally, ChatGPT was not connected to the internet, and it only had training for online data up to September 2021.
That meant its original answers to queries often contained outdated information, which was a noticeable drawback.
However, that all changed on March 23, 2023, when OpenAI launched plugins that granted the chatbot access to the web.
ChatGPT is now connected to the internet and is free for anyone to use, which is why SEO professionals have started experimenting with it.
Why Use ChatGPT for Local SEO?
Important note: While ChatGPT is more capable than ever before, it can still provide inaccurate information at times, so fact-checking everything is absolutely crucial.
Why use it for your local SEO strategy if it can be unreliable at times?
Regardless of its occasional hiccups, you just can’t beat ChatGPT’s speed and convenience for brainstorming keyword ideas, blog posts, emails, and so much more.
It’s also amazing at organizing your ideas, such as listing all your target keywords in a table and separating them by search intent.
Once you get the hang of how to prompt ChatGPT, the sky’s the limit with what you can do.
Additionally, the tool will save you countless hours of work by automating repetitive tasks like drafting outreach emails and responding to user reviews.
You can also use it to better understand your target audience, as it’s capable of generating entire buyer personas based on a simple prompt. Beyond that, you can ask ChatGPT about what’s popular in your niche and what kind of content your target audience wants to see most (of course, you need to fact-check this information, but it sure is fast and convenient).
Smaller businesses and startups should definitely make use of ChatGPT, as its capabilities will save you lots of time and hassle.
For instance, if your team doesn’t have time to create social media posts for your business, you can let ChatGPT take the wheel. That’ll free up your team to focus on more important things, like providing more attentive service to your clients.
Using ChatGPT for Local SEO Staples (GBP, Reviews, Keywords)
Local SEO has its own set of unique challenges for business owners, which is why it’s separate from traditional SEO.
In particular, local businesses need to create a Google Business Profile if they want to appear in local SERP features and on Google Maps – both of which are CRITICAL for generating local traffic.
Not only that, but positive reviews play a huge role in local search strategies.
You’ll want to accrue as much positive word of mouth as you can for your brand online, as that’ll help you generate more business.
Research shows that 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, so you can bet for certain that users will be searching for your reviews before considering your products and services.
The good news is that ChatGPT can assist with both optimizing your Google Business Profile and acquiring/responding to online reviews.
It’s also a great resource for link-building tactics, such as uncovering local directories and relevant blogs you can target for guest posts and link insertions.
Here’s a look at the main ways you can use ChatGPT for local SEO.
Optimizing your Google Business Profile
Creating a Google Business Profile is necessary for appearing on Google Maps and in SERP features like the Knowledge Panels.
If there’s already a profile for your business, you’ll need to request ownership of it before you can optimize your profile.
Your GBP will include basic information about your business, such as:
- Business name, phone number, and address
- Hours of operation
- Business Category
- Products and services
To see the best results on Google Search, you’ll need to fill out every section of your GBP, some of which are ongoing (posts, reviews, and Q&As).
How can ChatGPT help you optimize your GBP for SEO?
In particular, it’s excellent for creating posts, responding to reviews, generating Q&As, and brainstorming categories.
Using ChatGPT for choosing business categories
The categories and subcategories you choose for your business will play a huge role in the success of your local SEO campaign.
Why is selecting the right category so important?
It’s because 84% of Google Business Profile views come from discovery searches, meaning the users searched for a particular product, service, or category.
Conversely, only 16% of profile views come from direct searches, where the user searches for your specific business name.
That’s why selecting the right categories for your niche and target audience is such a big deal.
ChatGPT can help you understand which categories your top competitors are using on GBP, which you can then copy.
After all, if they see a lot of GBP views and rank high on Google’s SERPs, they’re clearly doing something right.
You can also use it to brainstorm category and subcategory ideas for your business profile.
Here’s an example:
Alt tag: A list of gardening categories generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
Just like that, you have a long list of relevant categories you can use for your Google Business Profile.
These are all viable suggestions, as you want to be as specific as possible when choosing GBP categories.
However, before pulling the trigger on these categories, run them through our keyword planner tool to ensure they’re popular search queries.
Generating GBP posts
ChatGPT excels at generating AI content on the fly, and it’s perfectly capable of writing engaging posts for your GBP and social media profiles.
While they’re often overlooked, posts on GBP should comprise at least some of your content marketing efforts.
That’s because they can provide a ton of benefits to your local SEO profile.
GBP posts inform your audience about new products, events, offers, and announcements that relate to your business.
These posts are excellent for your local SEO for the following reasons:
- They send positive ranking signals to Google, keeping your content relevant and ranking on the SERPs (search engine results pages).
- Posts increase the number of actions users take on your profile, providing a pleasant user experience while increasing exposure to your brand.
Certain types of GBP posts expire within a week, so you’ll need to post often to stay relevant.
ChatGPT can knock out GBP posts with ease, so you won’t have to trouble your marketing team to handle the copywriting.
As an example, let’s say that your fictional lawn care service is running a $20 full lawn service package, and you want ChatGPT to create a short post promoting it.
Here’s what it came up with for us:
Alt tag: A GBP post generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
Not bad, right?
All you have to do is plug in your local area, contact number, and URL, and you’ve got a piece of high-quality content ready to publish on your GBP. All that, and it only took a simple prompt to generate – which certainly beats spending upwards of an hour writing the content manually.
Creating Q&As and FAQs for your GBP
The Q&A (questions and answers) section of your GBP is also essential for your local SEO, and ChatGPT can help you fill it out in no time.
You can also come up with viable, frequently asked questions to include, which are great for users and search engines.
However, the answers you provide in your Q&A section are particularly important.
These are the common questions and answers that appear on your GBP below your business address, hours, and phone number.
They matter so much because they’re real questions from prospective customers.
Users often ask these questions, and the quality of your answers may serve as the penultimate reason why they choose to visit your business in person.
It’s a good idea to kick things off by including some FAQs in your Q&A section, and you can use ChatGPT to generate them – like this:
Alt tag: A list of FAQs generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
Besides that, you can and should set up alerts to notify you whenever a user asks a question about your business on your GBP.
That way, you can answer their question in a timely manner.
If you aren’t the best with words, you can let ChatGPT do the talking for you.
Optimizing Google Reviews
Lots of positive reviews will add credibility to your local business, and they’ll help you generate a ton more business.
We’ve already mentioned that 98% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, which is why you need reviews if you want to generate more revenue.
How can ChatGPT help with this?
You can use the AI chatbot to draft professional emails encouraging your loyal customers to leave reviews for your products and services.
Alt tag: An email generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
ChatGPT’s writing skills are also great for responding to reviews, which shows that you value your customers’ input.
Not only that but the time you’ll save generating replies instead of writing them will make it easier to respond to every single review.
Brainstorming Keyword and Content Ideas
Last but not least, ChatGPT can help optimize your on-page SEO by brainstorming viable keyword ideas and content topics.
Content creation takes a lot of work, and keyword research plays a big part in that.
The good news is ChatGPT can help you streamline the keyword research process in a big way.
While you should double-check each keyword it provides by running it through our keyword planner (to ensure it has desirable SEO metrics), ChatGPT can help you come up with tons of creative keyword ideas.
Here’s an example of what we provided when we asked for keywords related to lawn care:
Alt tag: A list of keywords generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
A super cool feature of ChatGPT is the ability to continue to prompt the AI based on previous prompts.
As such, we can ask it to brainstorm some content topic ideas using the keywords it has already generated for us.
Alt tag: A list of content topics generated by ChatGPT for local SEO.
Pretty neat, huh?
Now you have engaging content topic ideas to flesh out for blog posts, videos, social media posts, newsletters, and more.
Key Takeaways: ChatGPT for Local SEO
Artificial intelligence shows massive potential for assisting with SEO, and ChatGPT is a perfect example.
While the technology is still evolving, it’s an incredibly useful tool that you can use to save time and effort on your local SEO strategy.
Do you need help devising a winning SEO strategy for your business?
Then you need to check out HOTH X, our managed SEO packages that will yield real results regardless of your industry.