The SEO giants at MOZ recently published their new 2020 industry report on the State of Local SEO. With tens of thousands of points of data collected through their tools, and through their hub of marketing professionals, MOZ compiled some amazing data points for this report.

So, our ALM Corp. team wanted to take a look at some of the data and how you can use it to benefit your clients and campaigns.

The COVID-19 Impact

Right off the bat, the report leads off with the impact that COVID-19 has had on businesses. Moz’s report shows 54% of businesses have seen an overall reduction in their marketing budgets across all channels.  Another 50% of those polled stated that paid search (PPC) has taken the biggest hit, placing the emphasis on organic and local organic to fill the gap.

Agencies are seeing the biggest hit. While non-agency marketers are impacted as well, larger organizations and larger businesses are tightening up their budgets. 81% of polled marketing agencies have confirmed budget cuts due to COVIID-19; compared to 62% of independent marketers.

The big takeaway shows smaller budgets being allocated to physical marketing and more spending on the digital side, which is good news for the long-term health of our industry.

Local Organic

Moz’s report also highlighted that proximity is above and beyond one of the big factors that drive local results. Google would rather show you what is the closest option is as opposed to what might be the best option. Still, the number one element of local organic is the optimization of a Google My Business listing, including using keywords in titles.

SEO Is Still King

The report confirms that on-page SEO is still the single most important ranking factor for organic rankings. While this may not come to as a surprise to many, what was interesting is how user behavior ranked in at number two.

It was long believed that interaction on a client’s site wasn’t a factor – in fact, Google itself has said that in the past. But with data collected, it shows that sites with lower bounce rates, higher time on site, and higher clickthrough rates, rank better organically.

Google My Business

Ranking third of that list was Google My Business elements, but ranking first among GMB elements, was reviews – not necessarily as a ranking factor, but as a user engagement factor.  Moz’s report found that listings with more reviews, even if not the best, receive more clickthrough traffic and higher engagement through Google My Business.

Google Is Your New Homepage

It is important to note that 77% of digital marketing professionals agree that Google is your new homepage. SERPs, Local, Maps, and GMB are as important, if not more important than your actual site. At ALM Corp., we’re particularly proud of this finding since it is something that has been a top priority and a focal point of our digital marketing strategy.

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While we highlighted a few big points in this blog, we encourage everyone to review the entire Moz Report for yourself since there is a lot of fascinating information that we weren’t able to cover.

To learn more about how to maximize your clients’ digital marketing and online presence, please contact our team today!