Is Local SEO Dead?

No, local SEO is not dead.
In fact, it's growing tremendously. Lockdowns, curfews, and COVID restrictions have changed the way consumers and clients search and purchase goods or services.
People have to source their requirements locally, which means more online local searches. That's why Local SEO is beneficial for companies. But, there's more, and we'll uncover it all today.

7 Valuable Local SEO Stats

  • 97% of users know about a local brand through online sources. (Hubspot)
  • 82% of people choose Google Maps to find the location of a company near them. (Backlinko)
  • 90% of people use the internet to find local businesses. (Bright Local)
  • 88% of mobile users searching for local businesses call or visit the location within 24 hours. (Nectafy)
  • ‘Near me’ searches have increased by 900% since 2018. (Chat Meter)
  • Of the various search queries on Google, 46% are local searches. (Go Globe)
  • 72% of computer users want ads customized to their city. (Think with Google)

Benefits of Local SEO

1. Get More Brand Visibility

Local SEO activities, such as citations and listings, help increase a brand's visibility.
For example, say you run a nail salon in Tampa, and someone in your area wants to get gel nails done. So, they search for a 'nail salon' or 'gel nails in Tampa.'
Since you've listed your nail salon on various directories, Google will show your salon in its search results. The below screenshot shows how it looks on search results.
Your business will appear on its maps and, if lucky, in the coveted top 3-pack.
That's why a business profile on Google my Business or Bing Places is necessary. These profiles increase a company's visibility in local searches.
That's because search engines use listing and NAP information while factoring search results for a user's query. Visibility like this is only possible with a robust local SEO strategy.

2. Gain Higher Conversion Rates

Through local SEO practices, you can achieve higher conversion rates. That's because users conducting local searches are more motivated to take the desired action, resulting in higher conversion rates.
However, It's not just online conversions such as filling out forms or writing a review that increases due to local SEO. You can also expect higher conversions with sales and quality leads too.
Let's say you're an owner of a private dental clinic in LA. Potential patients in your area who search for 'dentist near me' will find your business listing or website.
Here’s a screenshot of Google showing the dentist business listing site and business directory as the relevant result for the user.
When they see your ratings and contact details, they will call or book an appointment with you directly. These organic conversions make local SEO vital for any small or large organization.

3. Gain More Relevant Traffic

For businesses dependent on repeat and local customers, it's vital to invest in local SEO. That's because you want most of your traffic to be relevant to your company.
After all, you can't expect a dog parent in Dubai to avail your pet grooming services in Detroit. But, that's what happens when you don't optimize your pet grooming business for a local demographic. So, keep track of geo-location traffic in Google Analytics to analyze local traffic and plan local SEO strategy.
Without a local SEO strategy, your website and company compete for attention and space among 1000s of search results. It's a given that general SEO will increase your traffic.
However, not all will convert into quality leads. And that's the significant benefit of local SEO. It targets a specific demographic in your location who are already looking for your product or service.

4. Reduce Your Marketing Costs

Reducing marketing costs comes from understanding your consumer's behavior. So, let's say you're a cafe owner.
When was the last time a customer accepted a physical brochure or flyer from your cafe's employee?
However, we bet clients have tagged your cafe on social media or conducted an online search for the best restaurants in the area. This is also commonly shared and seen on different social media platforms with hashtags.
Traditional marketing methods like billboards, pamphlets, radio ads, etc., all cost money. However, you can reduce your marketing costs by implementing low-cost local SEO methods without compromising results.
For example, creating a Linkedin profile, Instagram account, or Google My Business listing is free. Yet, these platforms help your business gain more organic traffic and increase sales and website rank.
Plus, if you have the budget, spend it on a local SEO expert who will yield tangible and trackable results.

5. Stay Competitive

No matter the industry niche, it's important to adopt marketing methods to stay competitive. Since we live in an era linked with digital, local SEO is one way to outrank the competition.
For example, let's say a customer living in your neighborhood searches for a plumber. A search engine will bring up all your competitors.
However, you won't show up if you aren't optimized for local search. You might be the best plumber in the area. But, how would your local community know that?
The answer is through local SEO practices such as:

  • Local keyword research using free Google keyword planner or other SEO tools
  • Building location-based backlinks,
  • Claiming listings on reputed directories,
  • Creating content that adds value to your community, etc.

If you're a small business owner or professional, local SEO helps you stay competitive relevant and grow your business.

6. Get More Local Reviews

Not all reviews hold the same weight. You might think all reviews are good reviews. However, a reputed food critic's opinion is more trusted than an average foodies' perspective. So too, is a local review compared to a review from someone in a different city/state.
For example, customers are likely to visit a local barbershop in Harlem if they see rave reviews from community members. However, they may be suspicious if they see reviews from clients who live in other parts of the country.
Take a look at the screenshot of user reviews labeled ‘local guide’ suggesting genuine reviews about the shop.
A local SEO strategy will promote your business and its content to clients and users in your area. Therefore, you will get more local reviews. Additionally, Google uses local reviews to indicate that your business is part of that area. And will rank your business in more of those area searches.

Future of Local SEO

1. Voice Searches

According to BrightLocal, 45% of voice search people are looking for local businesses. Consider this example; a mom drives her kids to school when she realizes she's run out of gas.
She is more likely to conduct a voice search for a local gas station rather than type on her phone while driving. This example shows us how important local SEO is for voice searches. Take a look at the screenshot of stats that show voice search will become more prevalent in the future.
AI assistants such as Siri, Alexa, and Bixby are currently enabled on smartwatches, phones, and speakers.
These assistants rely on structured data and factor in location when ranking and reading aloud their search results. This advancement makes local SEO very important in the future. So, stay ahead of the trend and optimize your website and business for voice searches.

2. Zero Click Results

Algorithms have gotten so good at discerning user search intent that most people don't need to scroll through a list of websites. They find specific information directly on the first page.
For example, if you searched for a floral bouquet on Google. It will display numerous options to buy floral arrangements in the 'Ad section' at the top of the page.
This section is followed by a map of the nearest floral shops in your area.
This 'zero click results' technique means that Google uses structured data and location information from websites to display information that users require without visiting the site specifically. It’s followed by popular suggestions that most people in that locality use.
The only way to make Zero click results work in your favor is to invest in local SEO and site optimization. Not doing it could mean that others who implemented these strategies will appear on the first page.

3. Mobile Optimization

Why is local SEO for mobile so important?
Well, say you're at home and craving pizza. A quick search on your phone will display the best pizza joints in your neighborhood, based on your current location.
While traveling, the same 'pizza' search will bring up relevant pizza places in that new location.
How does it do this?
It works, Through the location information on your mobile phone.
So, do check your website's mobile responsiveness and mobile speed often to keep it optimized and provide a better user experience.
Also, consider this, according to Statista, 54.4% of worldwide traffic comes from mobile. This statistic means two things.
Firstly, your website must be easy to navigate and optimized for mobile. Secondly, search engines use current location information from your mobiles when displaying search results. Don't miss out on this huge percentage of active mobile users.
Get your developers to optimize your website for mobile and local SEO.

4. Valuable Text Content

A survey by Hubspot suggests that the most read blogs are those between the length of 2,100 to 2,400 words. Simply put, long-form content that truly adds value to your demographic is what ranks high on search engines.
So, what does this mean for local SEO?
Well, blogs and articles are key elements to its strategy. That's because search engines crawl through blogs to get information that target's a user's search intent factoring location. For example, say you're a contractor in LA.
A short-form article about 'best materials for homes' will rank low. However, a long-form article about 'the best materials for homes that withstand earthquakes' will appear higher in search results.
That's because it fulfills multiple search queries and intents. Therefore, the future of local SEO is content based on area-specific user personas.

5. Claiming Listings

Physical directories are a thing of the past, but their digital counterpart is a key player in the future of local SEO. We're talking about claiming listings on reputed directories.
Apart from clients being able to call or locate your business. Search engines rely on their in-house directories when curating results.
Claiming a listing on Google My Business, for example, will help your business appear in the 3-pack box. You can claim it easily by adding business with vital information like NAP, niche, services, operating hours, etc.
Users trust and click on the most relevant searches. And there is no position 'more relevant’ than the 3-pack box. So, to get that position on search engines, claim your listings on GMB, Bing Places, and Apple Maps.
Additionally, it's beneficial to have listings in niche-specific directories. For example, if you're are cafe-owner, get a Zomato listing or PostMates account.

6. User Experience

In 2020, Google announced that user experience was a factor in their ranking system. They have also integrated it with the Search console to give a detailed report to the webmasters.
You have to analyze the page experience of your business for mobile and desktop to provide a great user experience. Here’s a screenshot of how GSC insights on-page experience:
Therefore, how a user interacts with a website is a major part of a local SEO strategy. Unfortunately for companies, users are spoiled for choice regarding search results.
Meaning users won't:

  • wait for your webpage to load,
  • tolerate unnecessarily popup ads,
  • accept missing NAP information, etc.

They will click off and go to your competitor. So, let's say a customer is searching for an ice cream shop in the neighborhood. Your creamery, along with your competitors, appears on the map.
However, your competitor's website is slow to load. Therefore, your website will rank higher, and the customer will click on your website and visit your store. Thus, you can outrank competitors by having a well-oiled website.

The Future of Local SEO - FAQs

Q1: What Are The Most Important Practices For Local SEO?

In 2022, the best practices to include in your local SEO strategy is:

  • Getting a Google My Business listing
  • Increasing page loading speed - as every delayed second causes a 25% of loss in conversions
  • Creating valuable local content
  • Making your website mobile-friendly
  • Updating NAP info on a webpages and directories

Q2: Is Local SEO Relevant For Businesses In 2022?

Yes, it helps your business stand out in its niche and location. That's because it targets traffic searching for your product/service. Your website gets quality leads and high conversions with a good local SEO strategy.

Q3: Which Are The Best Tools For Tracking Local SEO Success?

Tracking the success of your local SEO strategy is determined by many KPIs, such as bounce rates, traffic sources, listing management, etc.
All of which can be tracked using:

Key Takeaways

  • Claim your Google My Business listing and keep it updated with contact info, photographs, reviews, etc.
  • Ask developers to optimize your website for mobile. Ensuring that it has CTA buttons for easy navigation.
  • Publish area-specific content that establishes your business as part of the community and a key player in your location.
  • Create location-specific pages to attain more traffic from your area.
  • Ensure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) info is consistent on all directories.
  • Add structured data to your website to help it show up in voice and local searches.
  • Implement local keywords in your website's content and metadata.
  • Get more reviews and ratings from local clients.

Rank Your Website

Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.


Joseph Schneider

He has spent more than 12 Years strategizing and executing SEO campaigns. He is interested in writing Digital-marketing, PPC, and Social Media Marketing related topics.