6 Local SEO Stats Every Online Marketer Needs To Know

Trying to make the case for local search engine optimization (SEO), or wondering how you can improve your existing efforts? Columnist Jayson DeMers has you covered.

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If you own a local business, you already know how important it is to rank in local search results. Now that the internet has become the primary source consumers turn to for local business information, not showing up in local search is tantamount to professional suicide.

This article will evaluate six important local SEO statistics that should shape your priorities when it comes to local search. For each statistic, I’ve also included an actionable step or steps you can take, as well as resources for further investigation.

1. Local Searches Lead 50% Of Mobile Visitors To Visit Stores Within One Day

Google’s research into local search behavior reveals that local searchers are poised to take action. According to their findings, “50% of consumers who conducted a local search on their smartphone visited a store within a day, and 34% who searched on computer/tablet did the same.” This means ranking in local search has a direct impact on in-store traffic.

Here are a few tips to make sure you’re ranking for local search terms:

  • Get your business listed on Google My Business, and make sure your profile is complete.
  • Make sure your NAP (name, address, phone number) is consistent across all channels. This includes your website, social media profiles, review sites and directory listings.
  • Use local business schema markup so Google can identify and show your physical location.
  • Use local keywords in your URLs, heading tags, title tags and content, where appropriate.

For further reading:

2. More Than 60% Of Consumers Have Used Local Information In Ads

In the same study referenced above, Google found that consumers have a clear preference when it comes to having ads customized to their surroundings. They found that:

  • 67% of smartphone users want ads customized via city and ZIP code, and 61% want ads customized to their immediate surroundings.
  • 61% use the address or phone number in the ad.
  • 68% use the “Get Directions” or “Call” buttons.

When targeting your ads for local consumers, be sure to target your ads by location and to use location extensions. AdWords pulls your contact information from your Google My Business settings, so make sure it’s set up the way you want it to appear in your ads.

For further reading:

3. 88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

Local businesses should be aware of the importance of positive online reviews, as highlighted in this stat from BrightLocal’s 2014 Local Consumer Review Survey. Increasingly, consumers are turning to Google to get recommendations and referrals for local businesses.

Some of the top review sites I recommend for local businesses include:

  • Yelp
  • Google+ Local
  • TripAdvisor
  • Angie’s List
  • Urbanspoon
  • Yahoo! Local

A great place to start when deciding where to list your business is to simply search for your business name, as well as for keywords you think your prospects may be searching for. See which review sites are displayed most prominently for these searches, and get to work.

For further reading:

4. Business Address/Location Is The Primary Piece Of Information Sought By Local Searchers

We’ve already talked about the importance of using local information in your ads; however, it’s just as important to make sure you’re including key contact and location info on your website and social media profiles.

According to research by comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles, address and location are the primary pieces of information sought by local searchers. Here are some of the other types of info searchers are looking for:

  • Businesses by category (In other words, searchers are looking for a particular type of business but haven’t yet decided which one to patronize.)
  • Phone number
  • Products or services (Again, they don’t have a particular business in mind, they’re searching for a specific product or service.)
  • Hours of operation
  • Driving directions
  • Coupons and special offers
  • Ratings and reviews

Given the desires of local searchers, it’s important to keep your mobile content concise and actionable. Don’t overwhelm your mobile visitors with copious amounts of information; instead, clearly provide the basic info outlined above, and provide links to additional content as needed.

For further reading:

5. 18% Of Local Mobile Searches Lead To A Sale Within One Day

We already talked about how local searchers are more likely to visit a store, but Google found that these customers are likely to actually make a purchase, as well. They also found that one in three smartphone searches occurred immediately before a consumer visited a store and that 15% of in-store activity involved product or price comparison searches.

In other words, capturing the local search market means first dibs for consumers who are in the final stages of the buying cycle, wallets out, ready to buy. Try enticing these consumers to spend money in your store through the use of mobile coupon campaigns.

Bonus Stat: Mobile phones have the highest conversion rate compared to other devices.

For further reading:

 6. 50% Of Mobile Users Prefer A Mobile Browser To A Mobile App

There has been a lot of talk about mobile optimization, mobile apps and responsive design since Google’s move to include mobile-friendliness as a significant ranking factor for its mobile search results. However, brand-new research from BrightLocal reveals that half of mobile users prefer using a mobile internet browser to mobile maps (40%) and mobile apps (only 10%).

If you haven’t already optimized your site for mobile, you may have seen a significant drop in your search rankings and traffic since April 21, 2015 (the launch date of Google’s Mobilegeddon algorithm update). If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, try Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to be sure.

Bonus Stat: According to the BrightLocal study, 38% of consumers are impressed when a local business has a mobile-optimized site.

For further reading:

Final Thoughts

The importance of ranking in local search is undeniable. As we’ve already seen, local searches lead to in-store visits and sales. Translation: High local search rankings = increased traffic and revenue.

Ensure your site and content are optimized for local SEO, and get your business listed on local review sites. Include contact info in a prominent location on your website and social media profiles, and use location extensions for paid ads. Finally, make sure your site is optimized for viewing on mobile browsers.

Did any of the stats above surprise you? Why or why not?

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Jayson DeMers
Jayson DeMers is the founder and CEO of EmailAnalytics, a productivity tool that connects to your Gmail or G Suite accounts.

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