Tracking local SEO KPIs will show you if and how local search results are driving traffic to your website and getting visitors to make purchases.
Measuring what matters to your business is critical to ensuring its overall health. Key performance indicators (KPIs) track progress towards specific objectives over time. They tell you whether a project, campaign, process or strategy is effective and, ultimately, if you are on track or need to make changes.
More than this, KPIs align and focus teams around a specific objective and help employees understand their impact. They tell a story, connect projects and objectives to overarching business goals, and help turn big ideas into workable targets.
KPIs for local search engine optimization (SEO) are metrics that help you evaluate if your local SEO strategy is making your business and website discoverable in local searches. They also help establish and manage expectations.
Local SEO explained
Local SEO, or local search marketing, is a digital marketing strategy that helps put your business in front of customers ready to buy what you’re selling. It does this by boosting your brand’s visibility in searches that indicate the location. The searches may include the city, postal code, service area or term “near me.”
Local SEO will help you land on Google’s 3-Pack, the three most popular businesses related to a search. This means your business will appear in the form of a snippet that includes your address, phone number, link to your website and directions.
Google’s local algorithm relies on three factors to rank search queries with local intent:
- distance (the closer your business is to the user, the higher the search ranking);
- relevance (alignment between a local listing and what a user is looking for); and
- prominence (how well known and credible your business is).
The algorithm then provides the user with Google search engine results pages (SERPs) from that geographic area.
While there are hundreds of KPIs a business can use, they all fall under one of two categories:
A quantitative KPI is a measure that involves numbers to track progress and is the most common type of KPI. Product sales, abandoned carts, page views, conversion rates, net profit margin, cost of acquisition, customer lifetime value and ROI are all examples of quantitative KPIs.
A qualitative KPI is a measure that involves characteristics to track progress. Customer and employee satisfaction surveys, customer comments and social media engagement are all examples of qualitative KPIs.
Every business is unique and will have to identify KPIs connected to its goals, stage of growth and industry.
Why KPIs are important
The volume of data will continue to grow exponentially. According to Statista, the amount of data people create, consume and store is expected to hit 181 zettabytes (1 zettabyte is 1 billion terabytes) by 2025 – up from 64.2 zettabytes in 2020.
That’s a lot of data to track and it’s already leading to information overload, as reported by 80 per cent of workers. When it comes to local SEO, setting the right KPIs for your business will help focus efforts on specific objectives, cutting down on information overload, saving time and providing your team with relevant insights to drive short-term results and long-term growth.
Six local KPIs to measure performance
1. Search engine ranking
How visible is your brand in an organic search? This KPI connects directly to your local SEO strategy. The better you rank, the more visible you are to potential customers and the broader your reach.
Tip: Google Search Console highlights your total number of impressions for a specific time period, providing insight into your visibility.
2. Website traffic
This can be generated in two ways. One is organic search, also called organic sessions, which includes things like a visitor finding your website on a SERP. The other is paid search, which is generated by advertising. Paid search KPIs include cost per click, clickthrough rate, cost per acquisition and return on ad spend.
Tip: Google Search Console and Google Analytics can help you measure organic sessions.
3. Keyword rankings
Knowing which keywords are driving people to your site and why will help you create content that resonates with your target audience. Higher keyword rankings translate to more website visitors.
Tip: To improve your keyword rankings, use Google Search Console keyword data with common question modifiers to address your customers’ most common questions and concerns. Create a FAQ page and provide concise, accurate responses.
4. Google Business Profile interactions
Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is a free business profile that shows up on Google search results and maps. It includes your business name, location and category. It may also include other information Google has indexed from across the internet. The total interactions with your Google Business Profile is a strong measure of how well it’s working for you.
Access the insights reporting tool to see how many calls, website clicks and direction requests you’ve received each month from Google local searches and maps.
5. Reviews and review ratings
Customers trust reviews. Consider the numbers:
- 92 per cent of consumers read at least one review before making a purchase.
- 88 per cent of consumers trust reviews as much as personal recommendations.
- 97 per cent of consumers say customer reviews factor into their buying decisions.
- Reviews for local businesses influence up to 10 per cent of the search ranking.
The more positive reviews your business receives, the better your ranking on SERPs. Use this KPI to earn more reviews and improve operations.
Conversions are any user actions that ultimately help you make money. The most common conversions are users making purchases or subscribing to a newsletter. Measuring and tracking conversions is the clearest way to see if your local SEO strategy is working. Track both the number of conversions and the conversion rate as a percentage of organic traffic.
Tip: Google Analytics 4, the latest update to Google Analytics, has made conversion tracking simple. Just create an event that measures the user interaction you want to achieve and then mark the event as a conversion.
What gets measured gets managed. When it comes to KPIs for local SEO, taking the time to set specific goals and corresponding KPIs will help you ensure your local SEO marketing strategy is successful.