There is a lot of excitement around local SEO (search engine optimization) at the moment.

Local small businesses are continuing to increase their online marketing, in response to the proven increase in local searches.

Mobile and local SEO represent a serious opportunity for local brands to reach laser targeted customers, generate more brand awareness & increase sales for very little investment.

Since Google updated their local search algorithm back in 2014 it has become far easier for smaller, local businesses to compete in the search rankings, and many are taking advantage too.

Over the past few years Google have completed several studies into mobile & local search.

Because of this up trend in local search I have decided to compile some of the most valuable local SEO statistics, including their potential affects on local business.

Local SEO statistics you can’t ignore!

50% of mobile searches visit a store within 1 day – Google

In the past the internet has been criticized for taking customers away from local businesses. However it now seems that mobile internet users are not only keen to search for local information, but act upon it too.

Extra fact: According to Google Think Insights: “1 in 3 smartphone searches were made right before a store visit”

18% of local searches generate sales within 1 day

Mobile devices are often used as a quick, convenient tool for shopping & finding information online. The same Google study into mobile search behavior found that mobile searchers would often make a purchase following a local search on a smartphone, with some purchasing within only one day.

Extra fact: “This compares with just 7% for non-local searches”

70% of smartphone users have used Google ads to call a business

Google call only ads show a phone number with call button alongside your search ads.

Statistics from Google Think Insights show that as many as 70% of searchers have used this feature to call a local business from their mobile.

  • For local listings 68% of searchers were found to have used ‘get directions’ or ‘click to call’ in a mobile ad.
  • 67% of smartphone users want to be shown ads customized to their zip code or city.

50% of mobile callers research products or services

A large number of mobile callers are actively looking for purchase information in relation to products or services. These searchers are ready to make a purchase when they call your business too. – Google

Importance of going mobile

While local searches are not limited to mobile devices, there is overwhelming evidence to suggest mobile leads the way in local search. If you want to reach local customers online and your business isn’t embracing mobile you are going to miss out.

  • 77% of mobile searches are made where a desktop PC is available – Google & Nielsen
  • 45% of mobile searches are focused on a particular goal (often leading to a call, store visit or purchase) – Google Search Moments
  • More searches are made on mobiles than on desktops – Google May 2015

If your business website is not mobile friendly, you will lose out on these high-converting sales leads.

  • 61% of searchers will move onto another site if they can’t quickly find what they want on a mobile site
  • 50% of searchers will use a website less often if it’s not mobile friendly, even if they like the business.
  • 48% said that if a site didn’t work well on their smartphones, it made them feel like the company didn’t care about their business-

Test your site with Google’s Mobile Friendly Test, if your site doesn’t pass the test then you need to invest in responsive web design.

10 Simple steps to improve your local SEO

  1. Complete your Google My Business profile & make sure that all information is accurate
  2. Submit your business to local directories such as Yelp, Google+, Trip Advisor and Yahoo local
  3. Encourage online reviews of your business
  4. Use location & call extensions in your Google Ads
  5. Integrate local keywords in your website, including: URLS, headings, titles, descriptions & page content
  6. Ensure your NAP (Name Address, Phone Number) is consistent across your website, ads & all social channels
  7. Include valuable local information on your website such as: opening hours, directions to your store, testimonials (This is the type of local information searchers are looking for).
  8. Make sure your website passes Google’s mobile friendly test, if not invest in responsive web design.
  9. Speed your website up (Mobile users expect fast loading websites, especially when searching on the go) – Run a Page Speed Insights test to see how your website performs.
  10. Speak to Elvin Web Marketing – SEO customers will reach the first page of Google in their town GUARANTEED or we will work for FREE! – Call For a FREE Consultation: (203)882-0171

What to take from these results

  • Consumers expect to find local businesses online (4 in 5 search for local information)
  • Mobile is a big part of local SEO & should be embraced
  • Only 37% of local businesses have claimed a local business listing on Google
  • Local SEO is easier than you might think

The benefits of local SEO for small businesses are beyond question. For your average local business it is far easier to compete on a local search level, there’s less competition & less expectation from Google.

Once you start to invest in local SEO you can expect targeted visits to your website, as well as highly converting visitors as well.

What are your opinions on these statistics? Are they what you expected? Is your business embracing local SEO?