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New research shows how to win in local search

New research shows how to win in local search

New research from Silicon Valley agency Milestone Internet reveals how local and organic search generates more traffic, produces higher exposures, and it converts to higher revenue rates per capita. Transaction than other channels.

Methodology: Millions of sessions and page views analyzed

Milestone Internet research paper analyzed 500 location-based businesses, their sessions and page views to understand which channels provided the most ROI.

According to Milestone Internet:

“Milestone Research reviewed over 500 site-based sites, 63 million sessions and 176 million page views over 18 months from January 2020 to June 2021 to generate these findings.”

The most effective channels

Organic search was the most effective channel followed by local search.


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What was particularly interesting was that referral traffic came in third place. Referral traffic can be traffic from sites like Angi (formerly Angies List), Yelp, Home Advisor and so on.

I once heard Brett Tabke (@btabke), founder of Pubcon (@Pubcon) search marketing market conference, talk about promoting a site where he said there is no better source of traffic than a referral from a trusted source. He said these referrals are converted at a higher rate and result in higher enthusiasm among customers.

My work experience following this advice confirmed his observation.

There is something special about a site telling their audience how good another site is as part of a strategy to get more traffic because visitors are ready to embrace the site before they even visit it.


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Local search today has many options for getting quality recommendations from trusted third-party sites.

Referral results in multiple page views

An interesting finding was that traffic from referrals resulted in higher engagement numbers.

Milestone Internet research showed that referral traffic was responsible for almost 10% of traffic. According to research, optimization for referrals from third parties is an important channel to optimize for.

According to research article:

Referral traffic is the 3rd largest contributor to website traffic with 9.4% of total traffic. Referral traffic is visits to your site from links on various sites. It’s a recommendation from one site to another.

The data indicates that generating quality backlinks and external sources is a good source for generating web traffic. ”

How to rank the different channels for traffic:

Organic: 46.5% Local: 22.6% Referral: 9.4% Paid search: 8% of website traffic. Other: 13.6%


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Research Takeaways:

A major takeaway is that local search deserves to be fully optimized, from taking full advantage of Google My Business (GMB), building third-party referrals, improving SEO, and taking advantage of every opportunity to increase search visibility.

Milestone Internet researchers observed:

“Organic and local search together is the best combination to drive traffic to your site with 69% session share and 73% pageview share. But given the data, it turns out to be the most reliable, resilient and high-performance channels. Local provides the best ROI with the highest page views per. Session compared to other channels. ”

Milestone Internet offered these ten tips for optimizing local search visibility:


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Complete and optimize your Google My Business (GMB) profile Make your business name, URL, address information consistent across all channels Add schedule-structured data Focus strongly on the mobile user experience
This can mean optimization for core web vitality, but also to ensure that the mobile version feels familiar and easy to use. This means deliberately designing the page for mobile devices and only logging in to the design when it works flawlessly on mobile devices Voice optimization (actions and skills in Google Assistant and Alexa) Add Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions means frequently asked questions. This is an interesting recommendation because the core of it is the reality that potential customers have questions and they are asking them in search. Thinking about frequently asked questions and then answering them on the site within a FAQ context is a great way to capture the local query-type search queries. Companies can also use structured data with frequently asked questions to qualify for rich results that are specific to frequently asked questions. Search engine optimization
Today, SEO for local is more than just adding keywords. Optimization also includes promoting the idea that the local business is expert, credible and authoritative. Clear CTAs
CTAs are a call to action. These are the “contact us” boxes that a potential customer can use to initiate a transaction or call for information. Because 50% or more of local traffic is mobile, it also makes it easy for customers to click to call.
This is a great one. Nor is it just about hearing or visually impaired customers. Something like color choice is very important for the many people who are color blind. The wrong color choice for buttons can ruin the user experience for customers with disabilities and cost a potential sale. Why leave money on the table?


Read the full article and download the research article:
Organic search and local operation 69% of digital traffic to location-based businesses

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