(Verified and updated) local SEO stats for 2022
Today you shouldn’t run a local business — that serves a physical location or a geographical area — without a local SEO strategy. Consumers are conducting “near me searches” on Google more than ever. By skipping local SEO, you miss out on the primary channel of how consumers discover local businesses.
- What are the search engine factors that contribute to your local online presence?
- What should you look for when hiring a local SEO services provider?
- How can you make a strong case for investing in Google My Business SEO to your chief marketing officer (CMO) or your chief executive owner (CEO)?
The local SEO statistics in this article answer the important questions above and can guide your local SEO efforts. However, before we look at them, let’s address some basic questions around local search results.
Frequently asked questions about local SEO
Here are quick answers to pertinent questions around how you should approach SEO as a local company:
What is local search?
Local search entails consumers using search engines to find local businesses serving products or services near their current geographic location. Typically local searches include a location modifier such as “Manhattan restaurants.” However, implicit searches can refer to items used locally, such as “haircut” and “restaurants.”
What percentage of searches are local?
In 2020, 93% of consumers used online searches to find a local business (as per a BrightLocal survey of 1,013 US-based consumers).
What are important local SEO KPIs?
A 2021 local search industry survey of 550 local marketers by BrightLocal found that the top valued metrics by businesses are: local rankings, Google organic rankings, and phone calls. You should also track your lead quality and revenue, especially while working with an external local SEO agency.
Local SEO statistics and industry overview
If you’re yet to kick your first local SEO campaign, the local search statistics below will convince you to take the leap (or get buy-in from your team to invest in it).
1. One-third of online consumers use the internet to search for local businesses daily, as per a 2019 Statista survey.
Wonder how the landscape looks like today?
2. BrightLocal’s 2020 Customer Review Survey found that in 2020, 93% of consumers used online searches to find a local business. 34% were conducted every day, and 73% were done weekly.
Look how the numbers stack up over the years (and trending upwards):
3. The above findings are in line with November 2021 research by Reviewtrackers. It found that 42% of millennials who perform a local search will visit a business most of the time. Also, they are 50% more likely to conduct these local searches on the go.
4. A 2016 research by Think With Google claimed that 28% of nearby searches result in a purchase:
5. 61% of shoppers prefer going to local businesses that have both physical locations and online websites. (Think with Google, 2018)
6. The State of Local Marketing Research 2020 by Brandmuscle found that:
- 46% of local partners used SEO,
- 79% perceive it to be an effective channel.
The channel is growing fast and rated as the most effective tactic:
See how your local business can get immediate, ready-to-buy consumers via local search engine optimization?
7. Yet most businesses are majorly failing at local SEO.
- 58% of companies still don’t optimize for local search,
- 31% would like to,
- Merely 30% have an actual plan to capitalize on high-converting local traffic.
Next, let’s talk about the local SEO industry.
The BrightLocal search industry survey of 550 local marketers found the following five interesting trends:
8. 59% of respondents said that Google My Business has improved in the last year.
9. The services most commonly offered by local marketers include GMB optimization, content creation, SEO audits, citation building, and on site optimization:
10. The average hourly rate for local SEO services in the USA stands at $128.
11. Also for 49% of local marketers, the average lifespan of a client is over 3 years:
Long-term commitments aren’t just in the self-interest of a digital marketing agency like On The Map Marketing. See, local SEO success doesn’t happen overnight. We’ve seen that the clients that work with us for multiple years are most likely to reap the compounding returns of SEO.
12. Finally, the outlook for local SEO in the second half of 2021 was for it to be overall more difficult (as per 37% of respondents):
13. Let’s end the section with the Local Search Ranking Factors compiled by Whitespark in their survey of local search experts:
Next, let’s look at the top local search stats.
Statistics about local searches
I can see why businesses cannot dip their toes in local SEO. It’s challenging to keep up with algorithmic updates throughout the year.
So why can’t you simply pay for local service ads and appear above the organic results in local queries?
1. A 2018 local services ads (LSAs) study by BrightLocal found that organic results receive the most clicks of all SERP types.
The presence of LSAs affects the click-through rate of each SERP type:
2. “Where to buy” + “Near me” searches had grown over 200% in two years as per March 2019 Think with Google report.
If that’s not sufficient, an analysis of 500 location-based websites by the Milestone Research department further makes a compelling case for leveraging local SEO strategies.
3. Milestone found that:
- Local and organic searches together make up 69% of overall digital traffic,
- Local searches contribute 22.6% of website traffic,
- The traffic for location-based businesses has increased from 19.2% to 28.8% between Jan 2020 and July 2021.
4. Also, local search is highly engaging:
- It has a 22% session share and gives the highest ROI with the most page views per session (compared with other channels).
- Paid search is the fourth largest contributor bringing 8% of website traffic and 3.3 page views per session.
5. Users rely on Google’s autocomplete suggestions 23% of the time, as per Backlinko’s 2020 study. Users performing local and informational searches are more likely to click on these suggestions than when they perform commercial searches.
If we talk about local SEO, we can’t ignore the importance of a local business listing and Google Business Profile. Let’s look at relevant stats for these two entities next.
Google Maps and Google-3 pack stats
Until 2016, 56% of local retailers hadn’t even claimed their Google Business Profile listing. That year was also when the organic landscape shifted from 7-pack to 3-pack local listing. SEOClarity found that Google 3-Pack listings showed up in the #1 position 93% of the time back then.
However, what do the Google Maps stats look like today?
Here we go:
1. Backlinko’s study (we referred to in the last section) found that 42% of local searches involve clicks on the Google Map Pack.
2. March 2019 figures from ComScore also found that Google Maps is the 4th most popular Smartphone app:
3. The Local Search Ranking Factors survey of experts by Whitespark reveals that the importance of GMB signals and reviews have increased over the years:
However, what do consumers care the most about when looking at a search result?
4. BrightLocal 2020 Local Consumer Review Survey found that:
- 87% of customers read online reviews for local businesses,
- 73% of consumers pay attention to reviews written only in the last month,
- Only 48% of consumers would consider using a business with fewer than 4 stars.
Where do consumers look out for in these reviews?
5. 89% of consumers use Google, followed by Facebook at 48%, and Yelp at 32% as per a 2021 BrightLocal Business Listings Trust Report.
Guess what the most important aspect of your business listing is?
6. 85% of consumers said they found incorrect information about a business on a business information site.
Don’t take NAP + W consistency for granted.
7. 63% of consumers said that finding incorrect information would actively stop them from choosing your business.
8. Finally, the local pack results saw a major shake up in December 2021 in the form of vicinity update. As the name suggests, the algorithmic update increased the weightage of proximity in local search.
Mobile SEO statistics
Any local strategy always has an element of mobile SEO because most consumers search for local businesses on the go through their Smartphones. Here are a few stats to establish the importance of mobile searches:
1. As per a 2021 Statista report, 64% of the combined data traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices.
2. As per a 2019 Statista report, 56% of online consumers in the US had searched for local businesses via mobile browsers.
That’s an ouch for voice search as mobile users seem to be in no hurry to adopt it.
3. A 2021 SEOClarity CTR Study found that mobile results have 85% more click-through rate than desktop results:
However, higher impressions don’t equate to higher click-through rates.
4. On mobile devices, users are less likely to click on top ranking listings than on desktop. So ranking in lower positions is better for your organic traffic on mobile than on desktop.
5. The 2021 Reviewtrackers study we referred to earlier found that 57% of local searches are conducted using a mobile device or tablet.
So local search queries are mobile.
6. A Statista 2019 survey found that more than 50% of online shoppers have used their mobile phones to research more about a product while in-store.
7. A Google 2019 study found that 60% of smartphone users contact local businesses directly using search results (e.g., “click to call” option).
Local SEO is an essential digital marketing component for garnering local customers. A great starting point for your local SEO strategy is targeting Google searches by your target audience with local intent.
Hopefully, the local SEO stats in the article will guide you in the right direction. You can read our compilation of SEO statistics next to understand more about the search landscape.
Whether local SEO for lawyers (or other ambitious business owners), Google My Business listing optimization, local link building, custom content marketing, or website design — On The Map Marketing has done it all. You can book a consultation with us to explore how we can help you with launching a local SEO campaign.