Unlike popular belief, SEO is not dead. If anything, it is more relevant now than ever.
While Google’s Panda made it possible to weed out the content farms from the creamy layer of SERPs, the more recent Bert has proven to be increasingly inclined towards high-quality, relevant content. In that light, any local SEO services company worth its mettle would tell you that SEO has become the central pillar that holds a website together to compete in the SERP jostle.
This holds true, especially in the case of localized searches. Search engines are increasingly becoming the agony aunts for the populace. People turn to search engines for every query they have – and they want solutions that are regionally/locally relevant. It shows in the statistics recorded for SEO that the year 2021 is all about going local.
Here are some important numbers that prove that optimizing the digital space for local SEO is the way forward for businesses in the online world. Digital marketers, take note:
Statistics That Matter
With Google’s Pigeon update of 2014, local businesses got the much-deserved headstart when users searched for services with a local tag, for example, “Spa near me”. This gave them a way to compete with the big brands for top rankings. The following statistics prove it.
1. 46% of the search volume on Google are requests for a local service or business. Needless to say, people want to see services that are the most accessible to them in real-time. Including locally relevant keywords in your high-quality content will help your website rank better.
2. Despite how important it is to have a website title optimized for SEO, many small local businesses do not sport a proper H1 tag. Worse, some local service providers don’t even have one. This number goes as high as 25%. H1 tags tell Google, and the user, what the website and its content are all about. From an SEO angle, it is an important attribute.
3. Talking in terms of lead generation, statistics say that 76% of the people that perform local searches show up at the address mentioned in the search they selected. Is yours updated to the latest?
4. To further augment the statement above, the percentage conversion into sales from local Google searches is as high as 28%! Time to make local SEO an integral part of that sales funnel.
5. It is time to start including “Near me” and “Where to buy” keywords in your SEO strategy, for the search volume containing these terms jumped by 200% between 2017 and ‘19!
6. Utilizing Google’s My Business has now become more important than ever. With local searches booming, analyses have revealed that consumers favor local businesses that sport more than 4 stars in ratings displayed in search results.
7. If you haven’t yet pinned your business location to Google Maps, you are missing out on the 42% of the local search traffic that clicks on businesses inside Google Maps Pack. It is evident that people wish to physically see how close or far your place of business is from their current location, and how easy it is to get there.
8. Interestingly enough, 86% of the people search for the location of a business on Google Maps. This highly increases the relevance of revamping a website’s local SEO strategy to fit lead generation.
9. Another important statistic for local SEO optimization is related to voice search. 58% of users search for local businesses using voice. Digital marketers today should place emphasis on the SEO of semantics. These wouldn’t necessarily be long-tail keywords; instead, it is more probable for voice search queries to be in the form of questions.
10. The relevance of mobile devices is also witnessed in the rise in mobile searches. With 40% of mobile device searches being with local keywords, it makes sense to design responsive websites friendly with all mobile devices.
11. Adding to that fact is the stat that says that businesses with a responsive website get contacted by 61% of the searchers using mobile.
12. In fact, mobile devices are highly relevant in driving traffic not just to your website, but to your store as well. These statistics say that 88% of local searches through mobile devices reach out to the businesses (either by call or visit) within 24 hours.
13. Local searches are even more important where there are stores in an area that provide online purchases with a pick-up facility. 45% of mobile phone shoppers would purchase online but pick up from the store.
14. In another statistic, it was found that 30% of the local search volume came from mobile devices. With the advent of mobile-first searches, it is imperative to ensure all the features of a website are responsive.
15. SEO brings in organic traffic. According to this statistic, higher than 40% of retail revenue came through organic traffic. It only makes sense to optimize the website of your business for local SEO to cash in on this consumer pool.
16. In a surprising metric, Google doesn’t send traffic to 91% of the pages! Optimizing your local SEO to suit the latest algorithms of this search giant helps generate more traffic.
17. It is obvious that when presented with a relevant local search, the opinion of the user is swayed. Numbers claim that 39% of users are influenced in this way.
18. The importance of optimizing for local SEO is seen in that the leads generated this way have a closing rate as high as 14.6%.
19. Focusing on organic search results, Google has a CTR of 31.7% for its top-ranking organic search result.
20. Yelp, a platform where employees review businesses and their companies, shows up in local search results that contain a city name, and that too in the top 5 positions no less, 92% of the time.
It isn’t surprising to see all numbers above on the higher side and in favor of optimizing a website for local SEO. Google may come up with more updates to its algorithms for SERPs. However, one thing is certain: quality, relevance, and context still remain the drivers for all local SEO strategies for digital marketers.