Soon after publishing its Local Ranking Factors survey, Moz has released a “State of Local SEO” report for 2019 to help marketers understand current trends, thoughts, and challenges.

The findings are based on the responses of around 1,400 local marketers, who were asked 30 questions about their work in the industry. Answers were analysed individually by marketer type (agency vs. in-house), by company size, and as a whole.

In addition to valuable insights into local SEO strategy and tactics, the report detailed three high-level takeaways – local search marketers must be versatile to succeed, clients don’t understand local search, and local marketing is about more than just search.

 

Local SEO strategy

In terms of local SEO goals, training, as well as ways to define and measure success, Moz’s report noted:

  • 66 per cent of clients and companies care most about conversions and revenue.
  • 62 per cent of marketers lack confidence in the availability of good local SEO training resources.
  • No single strategy is a top priority for more than 20 per cent of marketers.
  • 1 in 4 local marketers plan to learn more about organic SEO.
  • 17 per cent of enterprise businesses don’t have any full-time SEO staff.
  • Nearly 20 per cent of in-house small business marketers report they make little to no use of SEO in their efforts.
  • 20 per cent of small businesses see rankings as their highest priority.

 

Local SEO tactics

When it comes to areas of emphasis (alongside areas lacking emphasis), the report found:

  • 35 per cent of marketers have no local link-building strategy in place.
  • 60 per cent of companies lack a comprehensive review management strategy.
  • 31 per cent of companies haven’t made the mobile-first leap.
  • 69 per cent of surveyed companies are paying Google for advertising.
  • 77 per cent of companies have yet to adopt any form of in-store tech.
  • 59 per cent of companies are now regularly conducting email marketing.
  • 51 per cent of companies are implementing word-of-mouth and loyalty programs.
  • 75 per cent of online marketers contribute offline strategy recommendations.
  • 65 per cent of marketers use between 2-5 local SEO tools and software products for campaigns.
  • Google’s tools and products dominate local search marketing activity.

 

High-level takeaways

  • Local search marketers must be versatile to succeed – “No matter what kind of company they work for, today’s marketers need both the big picture — relating to customers in the real world — as well as little details like questions submitted on a Google Knowledge Panel.”
  • Clients don’t understand local search – “Getting clients on board with strategies is difficult when they don’t fully understand the goals and metrics, and teaching them is getting harder as the SERPs become more complex.”
  • Local marketing is about more than just search – ” “With a lack of serious competition for Google and an increasing presence of paid results, local search marketers are broadening the scope of their work. SERPs will always be important, but marketers are now also focusing on alternative platforms like email, word-of-mouth, and real-world community building.”