This past August, a survey was conducted online among 583 local business owners throughout the world, most of them being from the United States. They were asked to rank the importance of a number of local search KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) including: phone calls, search ranking, website traffic, online reviews and ratings, website enquires, citation volume, revenue impact and GMB Insights. Phone calls and search ranking came in first and second, with website traffic and online customer reviews tied for third place.
Among local business owners, 48% voted phone calls as the most important. Phone calls are one of the easiest metrics to track, especially for a small or medium-sized business. Call volume can be witnessed first-hand by employees in the company and are an obvious sign that customers are looking to buy. Not only that, but employees can speak directly to customers, which allows them to form relationships and take in valuable feedback. Some more sophisticated business owners turn to call tracking, which will provide a phone number for each location that is traceable to determine where customers are finding the business. However, it must be done properly or will have a counter effect on your local search rankings and local SEO strategy. Please see our blog on this: click here!
In the survey, search ranking came in as a close second to phone calls, with 46% of the vote. This metric has a tendency to be ignored. However, if your business isn’t listed close to the top of the first page, then chances are valuable customers are overlooking it. Approximately 94% of average Internet users don’t bother to look past the first page of results when searching the web. Visibility online leads to clicks, which then leads to calls and traffic to your stores.
Website Traffic & Online Customer Reviews
Website traffic took third place, with 35% of the vote. Search ranking and website traffic are often correlated, but not nearly as much in local SEO. With local search, consumers are often using Google Maps, Yelp and other local search sites to find places and phone numbers and never even make it to your website. Depending on the services you offer, obviously some will visit your site so it is still important to have a good one. And not only is it important to have good site, it is important that is optimized for search engines and mobile as well.
Online customer reviews tied with website traffic. This key metric also received 35% of the vote. In 2009, an article was released that mentioned how one negative review or comment on a website could cost a company as many as thirty customers. With the progression of the Internet in the past six years, it is safe to assume this is still relevant today, if not more. On the contrary, after reading a positive online review, close to half of U.S. internet users visit the company’s website. And it’s simple, the more people visit your website, the more you sell.
As a business owner, were you aware of these important local search metrics? Have you been monitoring them appropriately? At Chatmeter, we make it simple for you to track all of these metrics on a daily basis. If you need assistance navigating the world of SEO, contact us today for a free demonstration and we’ll show you how we can help!
Survey Conducted by BrightLocal