A local SEO industry survey, managed by SEO software company Brightlocal, revealed that the most in-demand SEO services are on-site SEO and Google+ optimization.
Conducted between January 20 and February 20 of this year, the survey evaluated the health and nature of the local SEO industry by focusing on five key areas: agency size and turnover, clients and industries, marketing and sales, services and tasks, and future outlooks. The majority of survey respondents included freelancers, small digital agencies and web designers, with a total of 1,409 respondents.
On-site SEO and Google+ optimization were the most in-demand services, out-ranking Web development, link building, PPC, content creation and optimization, and social media marketing. Less than five percent of customers requested affiliate marketing.
BrightLocal noted that services most often requested by customers reflected the services mostly likely offered by SEO agencies, “In the local arena, digital marketing is driven by the supply side because knowledge resides firmly in the minds of SEOs and digital marketing professionals.”
Survey responses showed that individual client earnings ranged from less than $100 per month to over $5,000, with 70 percent paying under $1,000 per month for SEO services, and 28 percent paying between $500 to $1,000 per month. When asked about revenue turnover, 34 percent of respondents had turnover less than $30,000 in the last 12 months, while 17 percent claimed to have $500,000 or more.
More than 80 percent of respondents said general search was the most effective online channel when it came to generating customers for clients. Local search and PPC rounded out the top three most effective online channels, with classified websites, display advertising and daily deals ranking least effective.
When it comes to marketing their own business, 91 percent of survey respondents said word-of-mouth was the most successful tool for gaining new clients, while only 46 percent gave credit to SEO, which ranked second. Of all the social networks, Linkedin was the most popular for finding leads with 18 percent of respondents favoring the professional networking site over Facebook and Twitter.
For the remainder of 2013, 82 percent of respondents said they plan to recruit new staff this year and 93 percent said they expect their business to grow by year’s end. Most all of the survey respondents have a positive outlook for 2013, with 84 percent of the SEO professionals surveyed confident it will be a good or great year.