Imagine you are looking for a local business, let’s say a local plumber, where do you start searching? Probably Google!
You quickly scroll over the first results, you have a look at the local snack pack (first 3 Google maps results) and their reviews. You open the first few websites. You choose the one with the best reviews or you might call the best 3 for a quote. Am I right?
Nowadays, 46% of all searches on Google are local. This shows how important it is to be amongst the top 3 of the Google local searches. Plus the importance of positive reviews on your Google My Business account.
The online market is very competitive, and a small local business’ success depends enormously on their local search strategies. Having good knowledge of the current data and trends of local search will help you make wiser decisions for your local SEO strategy. To save you some time, we have listed the most important and mind-blowing local SEO statistics for 2019.
Statistics on Mobile Search
- The use of “best” as a search keyword on mobile searches has increased by 80% in the last two years.
- 30% of all mobile searches are location-based.
- 51% of smartphone users access local information remotely.
- 89% of people use their phone to search for local businesses at least once a week. 50% of the searchers eventually proceed to the store latest the following day.
- 65% of people rely on their phone for online purchases.
- Searches involving the combination of “near me” or “now open” have increased by 2x, while “near me tonight/today” queries have increased by 9x. 50% of these searches lead to check-ins at the physical store.
- For local mobile searches, 78% led to an online or in-store purchase, with 72% of the searchers checking into stores within 8km from their residence.
When do we do a local search? When we actually need one! That’s why so many local searches actually result in a sale, and most of those sales go to those businesses ranking one, two or three. Often these searches are done on our phones, while on the road, or when we just don’t have our desktop by hand. And while using our phones more and more, searches including “near me” are becoming more used. This growth can be explained by the increase of local voice searches. How easy is it to just say, “Siri, find a gluten-free cafe near me”?
Statistics on Google My Business
- 56% of Google’s business listings are unclaimed
- Google Maps is used by 86% of people looking for the location of a business.
- More than half of auto parts and service shoppers contact the provider from the phone number provided in their listing.
Surprisingly, so many businesses are unclaimed on Google, despite how easy the process is. Claiming your business on Google means you can tell Google what to display whenever someone makes a mobile or desktop search for you. Likewise, you can include nice videos and photos to describe your business even better and improve your overall SEO ranking.
Seeing the huge amount of searches on Google to locate local businesses should motivate you to set up and optimise your account. Having a proper listing increases your chances of receiving calls and growing your business. It’s just a few easy steps that make a huge difference. Claim you listing, add the accurate business information, some photos and encourage your clients to leave excellent reviews.
Statistics on Local Ranking
- 75% of Google users admit that they don’t check the second and subsequent pages of the search results
- The first item on the search result gets up to 25% of all the clicks, the second – 14%, and the third 10%. The sixth and subsequent items receive 2% or less of all clicks.
Ranking high gets you more clicks. If you are not ranking on the first page, you are losing about 75% of potential customers. It should be your target to appear on the first page and amongst the first three items.
Statistics on Google Reviews
- Amongst prospective customers, 97% say they are influenced by online reviews
- 88% of prospective customers rely on online reviews and value them as much as recommendations from their family and friends.
- 73% of prospective customers will choose (or ditch) a local business based on online reviews.
- Having great reviews on your websites increases customer conversions by up to 270%
- From consumers visiting a local businesses, 68% leaves a review
Google reviews are essential! Good reviews increase your rankings and encourage conversions. The feedback of past and present consumers serve as a guarantee or insurance for prospective customers. Positive reviews for your business are also very important to receive the clicks and sales. You can get to number 1 in Google, but if your reviews are not supporting you, you might miss out on the traffic anyway. So don’t be afraid to ask your clients for a review next time!
There will be cases of not-so-good reviews. That’s ok. Don’t stress! Research has shown that the best would be an overall rating of between 4.3 and 4.7 stars. This will portray your business not as “perfect” but as near perfect, which is what consumers are on the lookout for. If you do receive a negative review, make sure you take the time to respond to it! 82% of consumers actively look for negative reviews. As long as you respond to the review respectfully, acknowledging the review, apologising or giving an explanation, then the review won’t hurt you.
When adding reviews to your website, don’t just copy and paste the reviews to your site, as this goes against Google’s Copywrite rules. However, there are other ways to display the reviews on your site with legitimate tools.
Statistics on Social Media
- 58% of businesses had improved SEO rankings after using social media for a year or more.
- 40% of customers feel more comfortable to work with local businesses with a visible social media presence.
The updated Google Algorithms has created a relationship between social media and SEO. They are now linked! Social Media is becoming more important to your SEO ranking. Time to explore the social media waters and take full advantage.
Statistics on Voice Search
- Voice searches will constitute 50% of Google searches in 2020.
- 39% of smart speaker users get local business information using voice search
Typing is becoming less popular amongst Google users, with many people preferring to use their voice. So, if you think you will be fine with the old-style keywords approach, you may have to think again. A better approach will be the use of voice search optimisation – an effective technique to optimise your keyword profile based on Google voice queries.
If you are still finding it difficult to differentiate between voice and text searches, check out the following points;
- Voice queries are longer – up to 76.1% increase in length, compared to text-based searches.
- Voice queries usually contain detailed questions compared to text searches, which are usually short – a maximum of five words.
- Voice queries often have stronger intent – searchers will be led to your site only if their queries match your content.
- Voice queries are often being used for local searches – think of queries like “near me”
I hope I didn’t overwhelm you too much with these current and upcoming changes in local SEO stats. You can’t get around it. The local SEO trends and Google algorithms are constantly changing. You have to keep up to not fall behind of your competitors!
Trust the experts, 61% of digital marketers say SEO is a top priority when it comes to your online strategy. Digital marketers know the ins and outs of online advertising. If 61% says SEO should be the top priority, then this shows how important it is to use part of your budget for an SEO strategy. You can compare SEO with investments in your house. It might cost you at first, but it’s a long term investment and the total value and profit of your business will increase when you invest in it.
Looking to improve your local SEO strategy? Get in touch for a free strategy call to see how you can improve your business’ local rankings.