You’ve probably heard the old saying that all politics is local.

Well, you could almost say the same thing about SEO. The days of brands competing to be on top of the generic Google SERPs (search engine results pages) are behind us. Today, companies mostly care about ranking well for searches conducted in their own neighborhood.

This is especially true for brick and mortar businesses. Say you have a pizza joint in San Diego. There’s really no reason to spend time or money trying to rank for searches conducted in Boston. Those aren’t the search engine users who are actually going to give you their patronage. You need to connect with hungry people in San Diego.

With all of that said, what’s the best way to achieve local search visibility? Here are just a few local SEO trends to be aware of in 2019.

1. Create hyperlocal content.

When we say hyper local, we don’t just mean content that references your city; it’s also important to hone in on the specific neighborhood or part of town you’re in. Streets, freeways, subdivisions, nearby businesses, and shopping centers—all of these can be meaningful reference points in your content. Also, make sure you blog about local events and news that pertain to your business. For example, if you own a restaurant, blogging about local food festivals makes sense.

2. Optimize for local search.

“Siri, where’s the nearest burger and beer joint?” More and more consumers are seeking information through their voice assistants, so make sure you’re optimizing for natural-language inquiries.

3. Handle on-page SEO.

Take advantage of advanced on-page SEO technologies that give you a competitive edge—technologies such as:

  • AMP pages
  • Local Schema markups
  • Fast page speed
  • Local keyword content (above the fold)
  • Localized images/videos

4. Think beyond Google.

No, really: Not everyone uses Google to find local businesses—especially those who use voice assistants (see above). For instance, the Amazon Echo doesn’t use Google. A Google-centric approach means limiting your opportunities.

5. Cultivate user-generated content.

Encourage user-generated content on your local pages—such as comments, reviews, even hashtags that you can show on your page.

6. Use Google Posts.

Sign up for a Google My Business page, then use the Posts feature to promote your content, offers, sales, events and products.

Bonus tip: Host local events.

If you have the capability to do so, host local events at your shop. Doing so will help you because the event promoters will also promote your location, in addition to their event. They may even link to it.

These are just a few of local SEO tips you can do to connect with local search engine users. Remember that with local SEO, you need to get creative at the individual location level, treating each location as its own independent business even if it belongs to a part of a larger chain store. The localized experience is priceless; indeed, it’s the entire point of all of this.