Local SEO statistics 2022 and how your business can make use of it

While Search Engine Optimization (SEO) continues to benefit businesses immensely, its local SEO subset gains unquestionable popularity. Indeed, between fierce competition and the changed, locally-focused, post-COVID customer, this development was likely inevitable. But does local SEO really deserve your time? Which practices should you prioritize to entice customers? Which ranking factors truly matter? We at Digital Dot are here to answer these questions for you, by exploring local SEO statistics in due depth.

Local SEO statistics 2022: the importance of local SEO

First, we may explore some statistics that highlight the importance and value of local SEO. To do so, let’s begin with a visualization of the general state of local SEO by Finances Online:

An infographic on local SEO statistics.

As you can see, they initially highlight 5 data points worth noting “at a glance”:

  • 79% of companies are paying Google for online advertising
  • 64% of consumers use Google Business Profile (GBP), formerly Google My Business (GMB), to find business addresses
  • 50% of marketers believe SEO tools are keeping up with local marketing changes
  • 42% of marketers say that Google is becoming the homepage for local businesses
  • 35% of marketers agree that local SEO is important to business

The final point may seem odd, given the ones before it, but the answer is simple. Notice the lack of the “local” qualifier; many marketers still believe local SEO strictly benefits local businesses, not all businesses. However, as we’ll see next, this is increasingly changing.

The primary proof of this one may find in mobile statistics:

  • Mobile traffic is now surpassing desktop traffic (according to Statista)
  • 75% of smartphone users turn to search first to address their immediate needs (according to Google)
  • 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information (according to HubSpot)

It’s for these reasons that both Google and HubSpot argue local SEO will only grow in significance over time. More and more smartphone users generate website traffic, conduct local searches, and look up local businesses. As a New York SEO consultant, we cannot disagree; local searches frequently result in physical visits, as we’ll cover later.

Local SEO statistics 2022: local SEO ranking factors

In addition, we may juxtapose the above local SEO ranking factors with the following by WhiteSpark:

An infographic on local search ranking factors.

Here, we may initially distinguish between Local Pack/Finder results and organic local ranking. As you can see, the former’s top 5 factors include:

  • GBP (formerly GMB) signals; authoritativeness, relevance, distance – 36%
  • Reviews – 17%
  • On-page optimizations; image compression, loading speed, etc – 16%
  • Links – 13%
  • Behavioral factors; past searches, search intent, etc – 7%

In contrast, the top 5 organic ranking factors include:

  • On-page optimizations – 34%
  • Links – 31%
  • Behavioral factors – 11%
  • Citations – 7%
  • Personalization – 6%

Here we may observe an oddity; GBP barely ranks in the top 5 for organic search, tied with #5 at 6%. However, this also requires clarification. GBP in itself does not factor into organic search as heavily, but its byproducts do. Links and citations, most notably, require a robust GBP presence – which you may best not ignore.

Still, a crucial point evidently needs to be made as regards ranking factors. That is, you may need to prioritize different factors depending on your marketing focus. You should not neglect any among them, of course, but your resources may require more careful planning and prudent investment.

Local SEO statistics 2022: beneficial activities and returns

Finally, on that note, we may cite local SEO statistics on beneficial activities marketers have been embracing. To do so, we may first reiterate that local SEO yields demonstrable results, as Milestone Research illustrates:

A pie chart on digital traffic sources.

Next, we may quantify this with appropriate statistics on different data subsets. While brief, these should help highlight local SEO’s value further and give you additional pointers for your marketing endeavors.

Return on Investment (ROI)

First, as regards ROI, Finances Online cites statistics including the following:

  • 40% of SEO campaigns tracking ROI achieved a 500% or better ROI compared to just 22% of PPC campaigns, according to Birkett
  • Over 50% of ‘near me’ searches result in a physical store visit, according to Sullivan
  • All things being equal, moving up a single position in Google search results increases relative CTR by 30.8%, according to Dean

These we can safely claim to align with marketers’ evaluations of local SEO’s continued value. As businesses focus more on local markets and local audiences respond, this trend should continue.

Trust signals

Next, as regards trust signals, BrightLocal finds the following:

  • The average consumer spends 13 minutes and 45 seconds reading online reviews before making a decision about a local business.
  • 89% of consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘fairly’ likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews.
  • More consumers use Google to evaluate local businesses than ever before. In 2021, 81% did, but the year before that, just 63% did so.

These statistics, too, align with ample research that finds customers trust reviews as much as they do peer recommendations. At the same time, their distrust of marketers increases – so such trust signals become imperative.

Beneficial activities for local SEO

Lastly, we may return to FinancesOnline’s local SEO statistics to gauge activities marketers are now prioritizing:

  • Review management – 13.9%. As a major trust signal, reviews do deserve your attention.
  • Local content development – 13.2%. Local content drives local SEO, so your keyword research needs to fuel it.
  • On-site optimization – 13.2%. GBP will ultimately drive traffic to your website, and it is a major ranking factor in itself.
  • Local link building – 11.1%. As we covered above, local links do offer immense value to local SEO as well.
  • Technical analysis of performance – 10.4%. All marketing endeavors thrive on deep analytics, and local SEO is no exception.
  • Website design – 9%. Website conversions do hinge on immediate appeal and functionality, which we can attest to as providers of web design New York solutions.

Your priorities may of course differ, but tried-and-tested optimizations like those should warrant your attention. Website optimizations may warrant stressing, as local SEO does not reside exclusively on GBP alone.

Local SEO statistics: how your business can make use of them

Finally, let us reiterate that local search visibility directly equates to physical store visits – as ReviewTrackers also illustrates:

An infographic on local searches resulting in physical store visits.

So, to help you reap these benefits, let us consolidate all of the above suggestions into the following digestible checklist:

  • Create and claim your GBP. As we’ve seen, local SEO helps your local business immensely. Even if you only intend to engage in paid Google marketing, GBP will spearhead your local SEO efforts.
  • Create local content. Local SEO thrives on local content. Remember to use local keywords and cater to the needs of local audiences to boost your rankings.
  • Build local links. With local content and networking will come local links, and those offer demonstrable value as well. Local links will assure Google of your business’s local value and prominence.
  • Leverage local reviews. Links aside, both Google and customers also value reviews very highly. Encourage reviews and respond to them as often as possible to rank higher and attract more customers alike.
  • Invest in website optimizations. Finally, remember that local SEO will also funnel traffic to your website. For this reason, you cannot neglect it; from web design and loading speeds to content quality and readability, optimize away.

If you need further ideas, information, or advice on local SEO or anything marketing, please feel free to contact us. Our representatives will be more than happy to help you ensure a bright future for your business.

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