Digital marketing is like a speeding freight train. Along the way, digital marketing trends pop up and evolve; some disappear down a dead-end track, never to be seen or heard again (good-bye cloaking). Smart company owners and managers jump on board at key stops, putting the right trends to work and reaping the rewards of a strategic digital marketing plan.
Local search engine optimization, both on-site and off-site, is a digital marketing trend that’s here to stay. The reason behind the long-lasting nature of local SEO is that it’s based off real consumer behaviors.
Think about it. People look for answers to their problems online. Often, those answers are products and services. Sometimes those answers are information. All of this information can be found online, making online searches a key source of leads and sales for local businesses. Smart local business owners are investing in a solid local SEO strategy (more on how to kickstart a local SEO plan here) based on statistics that highlight key consumer behaviors.
Consumers are using local search to find businesses.
- According to Google, “fifty percent of local consumers visit a store within a day of a local search.” (Search Engine Watch)
- “Google says these people are ready to buy once they are in a store, as 18 percent of local searches lead to sales, compared to 7 percent for non-local searches.”
- Nearly 1/3 of all mobile searches involve location. (Google, 2016)
- More than half of smartphone users found a new company or product during a search on their smartphone. (Google, 2018)
- 70% of online users head to the store after finding information online.
Key takeaway for businesses: Every effort (either in-house or by outsourced experts) should be made to get into local search listings, such as claiming listings on Google My Business, review sites, and local directories.
Mobile-friendly websites are important part of website optimization and customer conversions.
- More than ¾ (77%) of all Americans have a smartphone. (Pew Research Center)
- More than half of all searches are done on mobile devices versus desktops.
- Google recently wrote that a one second delay while loading a mobile website can decrease conversions by up to 20%.
- Almost ½ of all online users are annoyed by websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. (Google)
- “52% of users said that a bad mobile experience made them less likely to engage with a company.” (Google)
Key takeaway for businesses: Business websites need to be optimized for search engines and consumers. An optimized, fast, and mobile-friendly site is not optional for any business who wants to get higher search engine listings and convert visitors into sales.
Positive online reviews play a key part in customers’ buying decisions and search engine rankings.
- Research has shown that 88% factor online reviews into their purchasing decision (Source: Search Engine Land)
- More than 70% of customers say positive reviews play a part in trusting a business.
Key takeaway for businesses: Online review sites play an important role in earning customer trust and a solid local SEO effort. Businesses need to take steps to claim listings on review sites and create a comprehensive in-house strategy of asking for reviews from satisfied customers.