What Is The Focus Of Local SEO's In 2020?

What Is The Focus Of Local SEO In 2020?

As the COVID-19 has caused major disruptions in how we lives our lives and conducted business, the whole world is now learning to adjust to the “new normal”. Some of the conversations and questions that I have had with entrepreneurs and business owners is how we are adapting our marketing strategies to the new realities.

At the same time, I have also researching what the digital marketing strategies of other businesses are. So, in this article, I am sharing the results of a research conducted by MOZ. My goal is to show what other businesses are doing online to grow.

Other than using organic strategies, around 80% of local marketers are buying ads on Google. This figure is almost 10% more as compared to last year, as revealed by a MOZ Survey of 1,300 local marketing agencies, small businesses and multi-location enterprises.

The survey also included questions regarding the impact of COVID-19 on marketing budgets. Majority of them (70%+) said that they were dealing with budget cuts. However, “74% believe that business-as-usual will return within a year of safety orders being lifted.” While local link building was somewhere in between, paid media, social and localized web content were more often cut than SEO.

When marketers were asked about the SERP feature that they were most focused on, the results were as follows:

  1. Featured Snippets.

  2. Local Packs.

  3. Google Business Profile

  4. “We don’t have an SERP Feature Snippets strategy.”

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Consistent with the zero-click narrative, 77% of respondents said they agreed with the statement that Google (Business Profiles) are “the new homepage” for local businesses.

Here you can see a local link building strategy with the highest ROI (Return On Investment).

These are the Top Local SEO areas where marketers wanted to invest more.

  1. Local link building – 18%

  2. Local content development – 15%

  3. On-site optimization – 13%

  4. Technical analysis of ranking/traffic/conversions – 9%

  5. Website design – 8%

  6. Review management – 7%

  7. Social media – 6%

  8. Email marketing – 5%

  9. Technical needs – 4%

  10. Schema – 4%

OnMax Host Digital - Local SEO Focus In 2020 - Strategy
Source: Moz State of Local SEO Industry

Top Used Features of Local SEO In 2020

As observed in the study, the highly competitive industries such as Automotive, Real Estate and Legal were “clamoring the loudest for devoted link building resources”. The top items on the local SEO tactical wish list, for enterprises, by comparison were:

  1. Review management – 13.9%

  2. Local content development – 13.2%

  3. On-site optimization – 13.2%

  4. Local link building – 11.1%

  5. Technical analysis for ranking/traffic/conversions – 10.4%

  6. Website design – 9%

  7. Schema – 5.6%

  8. Other Google Business Profile features management – 5.6%

  9. Technical needs – 4.2%

  10. Social media – 3.5%

When it comes to link building – content development, direct requests and sponsorships were the top 3 strategies with the highest ROI, as per the survey.

Three-Fourths (3/4th) of respondents said that they believe “use of Google My Business profile features (e.g., Posts, Q&A) impacts rankings in the local pack”, which is partly true. Although some elements of Google My Business (GMB) do impact local rankings, the local SEO consensus is that Posts and Q&A do not impact local rankings. Reviews and photos, by comparison, do not have an impact.

When asked about where local SEO resides within the organization, around 48% of the time, which is most often, it was located in the marketing department. Alternatively, it fell under the control of the business owner.

  1. Account Managers – 15%

  2. Webmasters – 9.1%

  3. IT Department – 6.6%

  4. Other groups – 3.4%

Most local marketers (68%) reported that they were using 2-5 local SEO tools, while 12% were using six or more, 20% used either none or one.

Local SEO is an essential part of digital marketing for the majority of U.S. businesses that have a physical presence or a service area. If you are looking to optimize your local presence, do get in touch with our experienced team for assistance.


I hope that you found this article helpful and interesting. Feel feel free to share it with others and invite them to join the conversation.

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