Do Listings Help with SEO? 22 Stats on Local Search Marketing

If your goal is to rank in search so your local customers find you, you’ll need to manage your listings.

By Jessica Belsito

Jan 30, 2024

5 min

If you want to reach nearby customers, then you need to rank well in local search. In fact, 86% of search traffic comes from publishers like Google, and 97% of users will use them to find local businesses.

One of the first things these customers see on the search engine results page is the local pack. The local pack will feature listings — and reviews — for nearby businesses.

The Google search UI for a query that reads "hotel in santa fe with free breakfast and free wifi" and the search engine results page with all relevant business listings results and their aggregate reviews. Also shows publisher logos for Google Business Profile Listings, Facebook listings, Apple Business Connect, Bing, Alexa, Nextdoor, and Doordash.

The more robust the information on your listings is, the higher you rank in local search results. In fact, your business listings and SEO strategy work together — and both are stronger for it. The more listings you manage, the more likely you are to convert a search user into a website visitor. For SEO, your listings are key to a successful local search marketing strategy.

Here's where these local SEO statistics speak volumes.

Listings help you reach a local audience that’s ready to convert:
  • On average, business listings receive 2.7x more views than a brand's owned website (including local store pages and directories). (Yext)

  • When searching for a local business on a mobile device, 88% of consumers will either call or visit within 24 hours. (SEO Tribunal)

  • Listings are especially helpful during the holiday season. You can expect clicks to 'Get Directions' to physical locations on your listings to increase in November and December. In 2022, there was a 17% seasonal surge (based on September 2022 data, compared to Nov and Dec 2022). (Yext)

Managing more business listings across an extended publisher network can help your local SEO strategy:
  • According to research from Yext, location listings synced with less than 50% of the Yext publisher network synced see the least amount of Google website traffic. (Yext)*

  • Location listings syncing between 50%-75% of the Yext publisher network received a substantial bump in Google website clicks, with an average increase of 95% over the first group. (Yext)*

  • Location listings with more than 75% of the Yext publisher network synced saw even better results, with a stunning average increase of 186% in Google website clicks. (Yext)*

As publisher coverage increases, so do clicks. Scatter plot with Google website clicks along y axis and percent of Yext listings network synced along the x axis.
Listings drive visibility for brands and locations – and build trust, too:
  • When customers find a complete Google Business Profile (both on the Google search engine and via Google Maps), they are 2.7x more likely to consider your business 'reputable.' (Google)

  • Additionally, "customers are 70% more likely to visit and 50% more likely to consider purchasing from businesses with a complete Business Profile." (Google)

  • Between Dec '22 and Nov '23, all listings impressions per location per month remained mostly flat, with 5.4% growth YoY. At the same time, Google Business Profile impressions per location per month increased slightly by 6.1% YoY. However, customers engaged more: 'Get Directions' clicks were up 10.5% and Google Business Profile map views per location, per month increased by 31.5% YoY. (Yext Search Data Hub)**

However, your listings are only helpful to your local online marketing strategy if you make sure the publisher has comprehensive, accurate information:
  • Businesses that filled out more than 86% of relevant core fields received 43% more impressions on search engines. Additionally, these businesses saw 62% more clicks to their business listings. (Yext)

  • One survey indicates consistent, reliable information means 66% of consumers are more likely to return. (Yext)

  • When a search engine user clicks on a listing, 62% of that decision is because the listing has better information. (Yext)

Inaccurate and incomplete listings aren’t harmless. In fact, they can hurt your brand:
  • If a customer finds incorrect information on your listing (like out-of-date contact information), they may not convert. In fact, 63% of consumers say they aren't as likely to engage with a business if their listing has incorrect information. (Search Engine Land)

  • Locations that don't confirm business hours for holidays will display a warning on their Google Business Profile. In a Yext survey, 52% of respondents indicated that they aren't confident visiting a business in their local area if they see this message. (Yext)

  • In a 2022 Yext survey of 1,000+ consumers in the U.S., 44% say they've visited closed locations due to inaccurate business hours. (Yext)

  • If they visit a closed location that says it's 'open' online, 73% of survey respondents indicated they are unlikely to return. (Yext)

And finally, remember to include review management in your local search marketing strategy:

Listings help your target audience find your brand online. And once your potential customers have found your listing, they can see reviews on your products and services. What they read can build trust in your brand, or damage it. It all comes down to how you respond.

  • An estimated 57% of listings use local justifications (like keywords in your reviews) to rank their local pack. (Moz)

  • Businesses with 4 or 5 stars rank 9% higher in the local pack than those with 2 or 3 stars. (Yext)

  • 89% of consumers read reviews online. (Trustpilot)

  • More than half of consumers expect brands to respond to their review. (Yelp)

To rank well in local search, you need to manage your listings… and what else?

Local marketing is critical to business success, especially for multi-location businesses. Companies can sometimes focus more on the national reputation of their brand than hyper-local engagement. But as these stats indicate, managing your local listings can increase your brand's visibility — and help you reach high-intent customers.

If your goal is to help local customers find you, you'll need to manage your listings. And if your goal is to drive more organic traffic, you'll need to manage as many listings across as many publishers as possible.

Altogether, there are many factors in whether a customer finds you in their local search results. But as long as you follow SEO best practices (and prepare for AI search and search generative experiences), your brand can meet your customers where they are: on the search engine.

*As the largest listings vendor, Yext helps thousands of multi-location brands manage their digital presence. This offers Yext the unique ability to conduct a study of this caliber using such a large, diverse data set. To ensure we took an unbiased approach, Yext analyzed more than 620k locations – across all geographies and brand types – that have been live on Listings for at least one year. Reference the full study for more details.

**Trends based on Yext internal data, 2020-2023

Read next: How Diverse Publisher Coverage Impacts Brand Discoverability

New research from Yext shows brands can see +186% more clicks from Google when they manage their information across an extended publisher network.

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