New research report published today" /> Marketer Survey: Google has no significant competitor in local marketing

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Marketer Survey: Google has no significant competitor in local marketing
02 April 2019 (Edited )
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New research report published today based on a survey of 1400+ local marketers - in-house and agency - by SEO software developers MOZ concludes that:

"[Google]have successfully created not just the platform for customer journeys, but also the tools to analyze those journeys..."

Some key points:

Investment in Search Engine Optimization pays off - How Google's 1 August 2018 algorithm affected brand websites as a function of full-time SEO persons on staff:

  • 6 or more SEOs: 52% reported positive effect, 0% negative
  • 2-5 SEOs: 18% positive. 11% negative
  • 1 SEO: 14% positive, 13% negative
  • No SEOs: 7% positive, 9% negative

"Google is the new homepage for local businesses": 64% of marketers agreed,8% disagreed.

Rankings in organic search are strongly correlated with inclusion in Google Local Pack: 65% agreed, 7% disagreed.

Google reviews and ratings impact Google Local Pack rankings: 91% agreed, 1% disagreed.

Marketing services most in demand by local businesses (top 5):

  1. On-page SEO (19% mentioned)
  2. Website design (12%)
  3. Analytics - ranking/traffic/conversions (12%)
  4. Content development (10%)
  5. Social media (10%)

Aspects of marketing local marketers said they need to learn more about in 2019 (top 5):

  1. Organic SEO (24%)
  2. New Google Local features (14%)
  3. Coding (12%)
  4. Link building (11%)
  5. Paid ads including Google Ads and Local Service Ads (11%)

Level of SEO proficiency reported by sub-enterprise business local marketers:

  • None - don't do SEO (4%)
  • Little (15%)
  • Can apply basic concepts (60%)
  • Deep understanding (22%)

Share of local businesses with no link-building strategy: 35%

Local businesses with an effective review-management strategy in place: 27%

Local businesses with websites fully equipped for Google's mobile-first index: 55%

Local businesses paying Google for ads or leads: 69%

Number of SEO software tools local marketers say are in use at their company:

  • One or none (25%)
  • 2 to 5 (65%)
  • 6 to 10 (9%)
  • 11 or more (1%)

Tools local marketers are using for tracking, analysis, reporting, measuring ROI (mentioned by 50+%):

  1. Google Analytics (93%)
  2. Google Search Console (76%)
  3. Google My Business Insights (65%)

Challenges for local marketers:

  • Business owners/managers don't understand local search, and care too much about rankings and traffic vs. conversions and revenue.
  • Google dominates, and uses proximity as top ranking factor.
  • Difficulty in finding good local SEO tools and training resources
  • Finding marketing techniques competitors aren't using



Those results show that too many local businesses still aren't up to speed on 2019 digital marketing basics:

  • Google - deliverer of 93% of US search results, 96% of European - cannot be ignored. But some local business marketers are doing no SEO for local search.
  • Link building - still a key Google search ranking factor - isn't a top-5 priority for the local businesses surveyed, and 35% said they have no link-building strategy.
  • Nearly half (45%) of these companies' websites aren't fully prepared for Google's mobile first single index.
  • Only 27% of marketers surveyed have an effective review management plan in place.
  • Many companies aren't seeking out and using necessary software tools and training for SEO and other current marketing technologies.

And I have to believe that marketers themselves - both in-house and at agencies - share some of the blame for this for not educating the owners/managers of those businesses on the connection between effective marketing and business success.

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David Boggs MS    - David
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