Local business study finds 0% of site traffic coming from email, paid media

Local business study finds 0% of site traffic coming from email, paid media


BrightLocal has just released a “Google Analytics for Local Businesses Study.” It looked at “anonymous data of 11,016 local businesses in the USA, Canada, Australia, and the UK” in an effort to establish benchmarks across a number of categories such as traffic sources, monthly users, page views, session duration, bounce rates and others.

The data were collected between September 2017 and December 2018. The local businesses in the study were “BrightLocal users that opted in with active connections to Google Analytics.” It’s not clear if all of these are small businesses (SMB) or whether this dataset includes franchises and enterprises with multiple locations. It likely skews SMB.

Just under 500 monthly visitors. BrightLocal found that local businesses see an average (across verticals and regions) of 414 monthly website visitors each month. (This does not reflect searches that result in GMB profile impressions.) However, unique visitors can vary significantly by industry. Car dealers see the most monthly visits, followed by hotels and restaurants.

other data and the current conventional wisdom that most local business lookups and search are happening on mobile. However, BrightLocal found different levels of mobile access by vertical.

Restaurants saw the highest proportion of traffic coming from mobile (58%), followed by car dealers (50%), entertainment (50%) and real estate (49%).

“zero-click” searches in Google, where people get the information they need on a business without going to its website. Further, Google Analytics is not going to be 100% accurate. Still, there are some curious and nuanced findings here that are worth thinking carefully about and exploring further.

Why are these 11,000 businesses not getting any traffic from paid sources or email? Are they not doing email marketing? Are they not tagging their campaigns? Are the majority not doing any paid advertising or are they doing it very badly? The head-scratcher findings raise many questions about digital marketing activities among SMBs.

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