Is Local SEO Dead? 5 Statistics That Prove Local SEO Is Alive in 2024

May 25, 2024

Local SEO is not dead because as long as people search for local businesses, search engines will need to come up with relevant searches to fulfill the query. Data from studies, surveys, and insights by SEO experts show that local SEO is alive in 2024. Some statistics that prove local SEO is not dead include:

  1. "Open now near me" searches have increased by 400% between the years 2019-2020 and 2020-2021
  2. 46% of all searches on Google are local
  3. 36% of consumers rely on search engines to find products
  4. 76% of people who conduct local search visits the store within 24 hours
  5. 40% of small and medium businesses outsource all or some of their local SEO needs 

Digital marketing expert Ian Lurie from Seattle, Washington says "as long as folks search for stuff, search engines will exist. Ian is also the founder of Portent, Inc. He adds that marketers will make money based on the quality of their search results.

A Reddit user also says local SEO is far from dead in 2024. He shares that a brick and mortar business with strong online presence can outrank spammy sites. Local SEO differs from broader SEO tactics in terms of effectiveness by the audience it targets. It uses location-specific targeting not intended for general internet users. The Reddit suggests that marketers should focus on creating value for local customers. They also need to optimize their website for local search intent.

This article will answer the question "is local SEO dead?" with the latest statistics and views from SEO consultants. We will include answers from marketers and SEO agency owners. There's also a discussion about the impact of AI technologies and tools like ChatGPT on local SEO. You'll learn about local lead generation, a business model that use local SEO

5 Statistics That Prove Local SEO is Alive in 2024

1. Increased Mobile Usage

Local businesses can benefit from SEO strategies through increased mobile usage.  Statista's data shows the increase in mobile usage worldwide. According to Statista's forecast, there are 7.41 billion mobile users in 2024 and 7.49 billion in 2025. "Near me" searches via mobile also increased by 250% in 2019. This is based on SemRush's report citing Google's data. "Open now near me" searches turned out to have more dramatic increase at 400%. It was recorded between September 2019 to August 2020 and September 2020 to August 2021. With local SEO, you can optimize your business' online presence. It ensures that your website appears prominently.   

2. Google's Priority Over Relevant Searches

When a potential buyer searches for a specific business near him, Google's search algorithms will process information. Google's key factors that determine the search results include: 

  • Meaning of the query

  • Relevance of content

  • Content quality

  • Usability of webpages

  • Context and settings

The Google 3-Pack feature also shows the top 3 local business listings that are most relevant to the query. Brightlocal reported that 46% of the 40,000 Google searches have local intent. That is 40,000 searches every second. Your website is more likely to rank on Google when your page is relevant to the local search query. Also, you must have a claimed Google Business Profile. Quality content is important. Plus, you need correct physical location in maps. Not only with Google Maps, but also Apple Maps, Bing Maps, and online directories.

This feature is significant for local SEO. It highlights businesses within a specific geographic area. It makes them more visible to potential customers in that location.

3. Consumer's Reliance on Search Engines

Society22's 2024 Consumer Buying Habits Survey found that nearly 36% of consumers in the US rely on search engines. The survey included 500 general consumers. Think With Google found that 49% of consumers turn to Google to find new products.  

Additionally, the survey revealed that 70% of US consumers would likely buy from brands in positive news articles. With local SEO, you can target and capture these consumers. You can optimize your online presence for local search. It helps you beat competitors because customers can find you.

4. Competitive Advantage

Local SEO is very important for small businesses because it is a cost-effective method of marketing. It gives local brands an advantage over bigger firms because its audience is location-specific. SemRush says a one-off campaign for local SEO costs between $300 to $1,000. It adds you could pay anywhere up to $3,000 a month for ongoing service. 

The benefit of running a local SEO campaign could lead to more traffic and, sales. Think With Google's data shows 76% of people who search on their mobile phone visit a business within 24 hours. Out of the local searches, 28% of them buys the product or service.

5. Local Shopping Boom

Citing data from Small Business Administration, Forbes reported that there are 33.2 million small businesses in 2024. In the last 25 years, small businesses account for 2/3 of all new jobs in the economy, equal to 12.9 million jobs.  The growing number of small businesses presents an opportunity for local SEO experts to offer them local SEO services. FinancesOnline cited MOZ's data showing 91% of large businesses have full-time SEO resource. Meanwhile, 40% of small and medium businesses outsource all or some of their local SEO needs.

Why Do People Say Local SEO is Dead? 

People say local SEO is dead because of the dominance of ads and rise of online directories. They also say local SEO is dead because of aggregator services, voice search, and popularity of social media.

  • Dominance of paid ads. Local SEO experts say the dominance of paid ads, flooding search engine results pages (SERPs). This makes it difficult for organic search to gain visibility.  Justin Gluska, CEO and founder of Gold Penguin, shares that he does marketing work for lawyers. Justin observes that too many paid ads bombard SERP pages. Based on Google's 2023 earnings report, Google earned $237.86 billion from ads.
  • Rise of online directories. Online directories and aggregator services made it challenging for individual websites to compete. Justin mentioned FindLaw and Justia. "These directories often outrank businesses in search results," he said. He added that they further diminish the effectiveness of local SEO. Justin explained that these platforms make it easier for users to find information on various services. But, "their rise has also had a notable impact on local SEO for these professions," he added.
  • Popularity of social media. There are also those who believe that the popularity of social media affects the effectivity of local SEO. There are businesses who use social media platforms like Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube to sell their products and services. Forbes reported that 77% of businesses use social media to reach their customers. Also, DataReportal's data on Digital Growth as of January 2024 shows there are 266 million social media users. This shows that reaching the market using social media is important for business growth. SEO specialist M A Mamun wrote that this is a myth that "is unfounded." While social media plays a significant role in digital marketing, local SEO focuses specifically on local search results, enhancing online visibility and driving local customers. 
  • Use of video search technology.  Some think local SEO is dead because of the increasing use of mobile devices and voice assistants. reported that 62% of Americans aged 18 and above use a voice assistant on their devices. Think With Google's data from 2017 shows that 52% use voice-activated speaker to receive information on brands. Narvar's survey among online shoppers shows 51% use voice search to research products. The same survey shows 36% use voice search to add a product to shopping list.

Is Local SEO Dead or Alive? Comparison Table of Different Views



More businesses invest in local SEO, and competition for top rankings intensifies.

Users still rely on local searches for finding nearby businesses and services. Mobile search has also increased.

Paid advertising, including Google Ads, may overshadow organic search results, reducing the effectiveness of local SEO efforts.

Google Business Profile helps businesses appear in local searchers, and users find the service or product they need.

Algorithm changes and SERP features prioritize paid ads and directory listings, decreasing organic reach for local businesses.

Local SEO allows geo-targeted advertising, reaching potential customers who are actively seeking local products or services.

Some businesses may not see immediate or tangible results from their local SEO efforts, leading to frustration.

Local SEO enables small businesses to compete with larger corporations for visibility in local search results.

Users may distrust search results because of ads and directory listings, leading to lower click-through rates for organic listings and diminishing the effectiveness of local SEO.

Search engines prioritize user experience, and local SEO efforts that enhance usability, relevance, and accessibility can still positively impact rankings.

Is Local SEO Dying? What Quora and Reddit Users Say

Local SEO is not dying. Quora and Reddit users think local SEO is evolving and businesses can improve their local SEO results to reach more customers. Mark Balliet shares that local SEO is one of the most effective type of search engine optimization for local businesses. Mark is the founder of digital marketing agency Mentality Designs. He adds that local service businesses can earn great ROI with local SEO efforts.  

Webxeros Solutions, a digital marketing service provider, says local SEO is not dying. It adds that local SEO is "continuously updating." They said "as long as there is search, optimization will remain important."

A Reddit user says local SEO is more important than ever. The Reddit commenter adds that he has seen increase in traffic on all the local sites he's managing. 

Is Google Killing Local SEO? Insights From Ryan Stewart 

No, Google is not killing local SEO, instead it emphasizes it more prominently in search results. Ryan Stewart, managing partner of The Blueprint Training, said Google is giving high-value local search results for local businesses because of customer behavior. Some examples of local businesses were plastic surgeon, doctors, dentists, and contractors. He also mentioned lawyers, home services, and HVACs. 

About 7 years ago, Ryan promised not to take a local SEO campaign because it requires a bit more work. He added there weren't many businesses willing to pay over $500 a month for local SEO. But Stewart shared his agency has completed 180 campaigns. 80% of these are within the local SERPs. 

Will AI Kill Local SEO? What Marketers Are Saying

No, AI will not kill local SEO, instead it can help optimize content for natural language and voice search. Voice search helps marketers to match the intent of users' queries. It makes their content more relevant and visible to searches. Some of the AI tools  that help experts create and optimize content are MarketMuse and Frase. 

Achieving more relevant content is the impact of AI technologies like ChatGPT on local SEO practices. AI tools such as ChatGPT, Perplexity, and Bard can process prompts. With this feature, you can streamline the creation localized content for local audiences .

Matt Sheehan, a digital marketing expert and the Spatial Adviser for GenAI Marketers, shares SEO's future is not about becoming obsolete. Matt adds that SEO is developing to align with advancements in AI. "We might see SEO strategies that are heavily reliant on AI algorithms to analyze user behavior and preferences," he says. This could lead to more personalized content strategies. 

This means marketers should create content that "not only ranks well on search engines." Content must also "resonate well with AI-driven content curation systems." 

Codrin Arsene, Chief Marketing Officer of Digital Authority Partners, says AI poses new challenges. "SEO professionals must stay updated with the latest AI trends," he notes. He adds understanding how to use these technologies can improve SEO strategies.

Why Is Local SEO Important? 

Local SEO is important because it benefits businesses with increase in visibility. It also benefits them with location-specific targeting and cost-effective marketing. Local SEO can bring higher website traffic. Doing a local SEO is worth it for small businesses that need to establish their brands. Local SEO targets the potential buyers who have high intent to buy the product or avail the service.

Milestone Research study shows local search contributes 22.6% of website traffic. Next is organic search with 46.5%. Besides driving the most traffic, organic and local search results in 67% of website revenue. The study noted that local search gives the best ROI with the highest page views, with 3.92 per session. This is compared to referral, organic, and paid searches.

Local Lead Generation is the Most Thriving Business Model

Local lead generation is the most thriving business model because it maximizes local SEO benefits. You can monetize local SEO by becoming a specialist. ZipRecruiter's data shows that a local SEO specialist in the US earns an average of $67,388 a year (or $5,616 monthly).  But, owning a digital marketing agency and offering local SEO services are demanding. A digital marketing agency requires constant attention. A client can replace you anytime. 

With local lead generation, you own the digital assets. You pick a niche for a local service and build the websites. You rank websites using Google's organic traffic and local SEO strategies. Once ranked, you offer these websites for rent to local businesses. Since you own the websites and the leads they generate, you get more control over the business. So, it becomes easier to keep a client and grow at scale. 

I built my local lead generation business in 2014. Since then, I've made over 80 lead gen sites biz and earn $500 to $2,000 monthly per site. Start a thriving business where you get complete control and stable passive income stream. Our local lead gen program will guide you how.

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Ippei Kanehara

$52K per month providing lead generation services to small businesses is for digital hustlers, industry leaders and online business owners.

His #1 online business recommendation in 2024, is to build your own lead generation business.

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