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Moz State of Local SEO Report: 51% of Businesses Will Continue to Invest in New Marketing and Operations

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SEO leader publishes local marketing report providing actionable insights and strategies to connect people to their communities

Moz, Inc., the leader in search engine optimization technology, today announces The State of Local SEO: Industry Report 2020. The report details how marketers deploy local-SEO tactics and offers new insights for agile, future-forward strategies. Including data from both during and pre-COVID-19 regulations, the report surveyed 1400+ professionals working in local marketing from December 2019 to May 2020.

“With many global social distancing orders still in place, new concerns over budget and other unexpected scenarios, many digital marketing professionals may be struggling to manage their local marketing initiatives. But today, connecting communities is paramount, as consumers are seeking new information on things like daycare, food delivery, healthcare and more,” said Sarah Bird, CEO of Moz. “There are new challenges, but there are also new opportunities for success. Brands can synthesize both traditional strategies with new techniques to ensure their businesses stay top-of-mind and accessible.”

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Local search maps out real-world communities, connecting residents and travelers to businesses. How those connections happen is a constantly shifting puzzle which local marketers seek to understand and leverage. In this report, Moz uncovered how brands and the agencies that represent them are devoting resources and analyzed how organic search impacts success to deliver key takeaways, including:

  • COVID-19 reduced agency and marketing budgets, but companies can still succeed. 81% of agency marketers say that marketing budgets have been cut as a result of COVID-19 compared to 62% of non-agency marketers. But 74% of people believe that business-as-usual will return within a year of safety orders being lifted.
  • Businesses of all sizes know the value of resourcing SEO. 77% of respondents shared that they have one or more SEOs on staff — up 8% from last year.
  • Local SEO work requires diverse expertise. Executing a local SEO strategy requires collaboration and diverse skill sets, and a full one-third of local marketers feel their companies are not prepared.
  • Marketers almost universally agree: reviews are powerful. 90% of marketers believe that customer reviews impact rankings in the local pack.
  • Offline local marketing is a growing focus. There has been a 9% YoY increase in survey respondents who are involved in some offline marketing capacity.
  • 2020 is the year of the customer. Optimizing for the customer has become this year’s golden rule — whether they’re visiting your website or your flagship store. 71% of respondents said that due to COVID-19 restrictions, new methods have been adopted for getting products and services to customers.

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Local search marketing has always existed in a state of rapid and continuous change, and COVID-19 has only amplified this truth. With so many uncertainties on a micro- and macro-level, the report clearly defines strategies and tactics to best serve marketers today, especially as 66% of respondents have their eyes on the true prize: conversions and revenue.

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