The author’s views are entirely his or her own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.

What a gift it is that local SEOs put hours of research into facets of our industry and then freely share their findings! Today, I’m going to bundle the most important recent local search marketing statistics and survey takeaways into a single gift basket, which you can draw from when you need to create a compelling narrative which clients can quickly understand, demonstrate the value of a particular campaign to bosses and co-workers in order to get buy-in on an initiative, or even just explain to mystified friends and family what you do for a living. 

With sincere thanks to all the people cited in this column for your brilliant and useful work, here are my top local SEO stat picks that tell the story of our local SEO present and future.

Local search and localism are going strong! 

The stats

The story 

Small local business is huge, people want to support it (citing access to unique products and keeping money in their own communities as major motivators), and Google sees search through a local lens because they know the location of most searchers. It’s hard to overstate just how prominent the local-digital connection has become in people’s lives and it’s smart to define a narrative that aligns with local community goals, given stated mistrust of large corporations and preference for SMBs .

Data says these local search marketing tactics are winners

The stats

The story

Local SEO has become so diversified, but you can manage it with the right tools!  If a local business is approachable via many digital doors and delivers excellent customer service, it will show up in ratings and reviews, which then create a virtuous cycle of driving more visibility, clicks, and conversions. There is no smarter mindset for local search marketers and their clients than a customer-centric one.

Tales from the Local SEO workplace

The stats

  • 70% of us saw marketing budget cuts in 2020 as a result of COVID 19%. Nevertheless, multiple studies, like this one from Obility, showed that clients who were able to continue investing in SEO saw substantial growth. It has been one heck of a rollercoaster ride for our industry.

  • In 2020, half of our customers already knew they would be permanently keeping the new tech and strategies they scrambled to implement during the pandemic. I would expect this number to be higher as we bid 2021 goodbye. New developments are here to stay.

  • Our clients have invested seriously in implementing digital shopping on their local business websites, but we are in the dissatisfactory scenario of Google hiding website links in 59% of local packs. Nevertheless, keep advising clients to double down on their sites and to feed, fight and flip Google.

  • Google dominates our lives and the fates of our agency clients, but it’s estimated that Apple Maps may now have as many as a 100 million US users now, and many of us are keeping a close eye on its development.

  • Because Amazon has captured 50% of US online spending, local SEOs here are also closely watching  FTC antitrust developments which could positively impact our small local business clients who have been fighting such a hard battle against monopolies.

  • 60% of us are earning the same or more than the US median income,which is $57,456 for men and, scandalously, only $47,299 for women working full time. Only 19% of us are making over $100,000 a year. Depending on where you live, working in SEO could mean a month-to-month existence or a life relatively free of grinding financial worry.

  • Nearly 4.3 million American workers across all industries quit their jobs in August of 2021. Adam Audette offers some thoughtful commentary on the impact of this on SEO agencies, and my advice is to look for opportunity in this scenario to be bold in seeking meaningful work with a dignified wage. 

The story

There is no gainsaying that local SEO professionals have had a rough ride for the past two years. At the same time, our work has become utterly essential because so many of our clients ended up being integral to the emergent infrastructure which has kept communities resourced throughout the pandemic. It’s important to remember that though we may live and breathe local business listings, reviews, content, links, and optimization, the Internet remains a mysterious place to so many of our neighbors. COVID-19 is making it more important than ever before for us to share our knowledge to help connect the online and offline worlds for customers, businesses, and all folks in general. 

We do important work that merits decent pay, and my wish for you in 2022 is that you land in a good place, help tons of local clients, and experience a work/life balance that affords you peace, possibilities, and positive satisfaction! 

Image credits: Under The Sun, Lezumbalaberenjena, Jeremy Yoder, and Ken Lund

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By Rose Milev

I always want to learn something new. SEO is my passion.

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