In order to be found online by potential customers, local businesses can take action in a number of ways. In my last post, I presented data on how many Columbus businesses advertise online, publish a website, or update their online listing.
When properly implemented, these actions can significantly improve a local business’s online visibility. However, many businesses who spend precious time and hard earned money on building a website or on advertising online fail to see the desired results. Worse yet, many business owners do not even know how to measure success in terms of online visibility (e.g. does claiming my listing on Bing really make my business more visible to customers?).
To help local businesses better assess their online visibility we started covering a new metric that we believe reflects how well they are doing online: SMBs’ search ranking for relevant keywords on Google. To do this, we searched for 20,000 popular local keywords on Google Maps (e.g. “Plumber in Orlando”). We then measured how many businesses show up in the first page, in the first 2 pages and so on, up to page 50.
The chart below shows this information for Orlando, Florida:
Note that the 20,000 keywords used in this study include similar terms (e.g. plumber, plumbing, pluming contractor etc.) and generated 79,050 unique business results. Our Orlando MSA file includes over 128,000 businesses, meaning that over a third of Orlando businesses did not show up in the first 500 search results at all.
It is interesting that 32% of the businesses showed up in the first 10 results for at least one of the keywords. While in general web search, getting on the first search results page for your category is a formidable achievement, usually reserved for companies that made a special effort, it is safe to guess that many of the companies that made the first page here have never even heard of Google Maps.
Note: this data will soon be available as a personalized free report to all businesses in Orlando and in other cities on www.amivisible.org (currently in beta).
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.