(Last Updated: July 10th, 2018)

Where are things at after 6 years of research?

We Gathered Data From The Top Ranking Websites, Across Five Industries (Legal, Storage Units, Dentistry, Pest Control, Construction), In The 50 Largest Metros Of The United States.
Key Takeaways
  • 381% more backlinks on average to top ranking landing pages in 2018 vs 2016.
  • The average number of reviews on Google for top local ranking sites are up 30% from 2016.
  • The average Google page speed for mobile on top ranking sites is up 15% from 2016.
  • 72% of all the searches we performed had local pack ads showing on mobile.
  • 31% of top listings had questions on their GMB profiles while only 9% of top listings had answers.

It’s been six years since we published our research on what it takes to be a top dog in your local market. We decided it was time to do it all over again two years ago to see how much had changed since the first study. Well, it was time again. We spent the last few weeks refreshing the study to see how sites are stacking up in 2018.

We looked at five different industries and what they were all doing to get that coveted top spot in the local pack. We added in some new data points that are relevant to 2018 (i.e. local map packs ads, the 2-1 clustering effect, Google Posts, and Google Q&A’s).

Don’t worry, the original two studies in all their glory are still included on this page. You can find it at the bottom. We also did a study completely focused on local landing pages for law firms.

2018 Study Update

The topic of conversation for the last two years has been around link-acquisition, reviews, and Google My Business features, and it shows.

For links, we saw a 381% increase in the number of backlinks pointing to top ranking landing pages.

For reviews, we saw a 30% increase in Google reviews and an average of 15 reviews on Facebook and 13 reviews on yelp for to ranking sites profiles.

For Google My Business we are starting to see people using the Q&A’s feature, but there is a lot of room for improvement here. There are more questions being asked than answers being giving. 31% of the top listing had questions whereas only 9% of top listings had answers. This shows an area where improvements could easily be made by paying attention to what is happening on your GMB listing.

It is important to note that 68% of mobile searches had local pack ads showing up in the local results as well as 23% of desktop searches. Back in February of this year, Dr. Pete found that 35% of mobile searches had local pack ads. In just four months we are already seeing that number closer to 70%. If you haven’t already looked into local pack ads, it is time to take them seriously.

Statistics Pulled From New The Infographic Above.

86%

of top landing pages were mobile friendly

76%

of top landing pages were home pages

76%

of top pages have their location in the title tag

72%

have local pack ads showing on mobile

66%

of top landing pages have their business name in the title tag

58%

have the location or keyword in their GMB business name

48%

of top landing pages ranked in maps and in organic listings

42%

have their name, address, and phone number in schema

38%

of local searches show a 2-1 clustering

37%

of top landing pages have testimonials

31%

of top listings had questions

25%

of top landing pages have a video

25%

local pack ads showing on desktop

17%

have embedded a Google map on their landing page

10%

of top landing pages have reviews in schema

9%

of top listings have answers

7%

of top landing pages had keywords in their H1

5%

are using Google Posts

6,651

is the average number of backlinks to a top landing page

653

is the average word count on top landing pages

76

is the average on-page grade from Moz

70

is the average Google speed for mobile

69

is the average Google desktop speed score

54

is the average Moz local score of top landing pages

39

is the average number of reviews on Google

25

is the average Moz Domain Authority

15

is the average number of reviews on Facebook

13

is the average number of reviews on Yelp

Data from the 2016 study

Click here for help on your local pages.

Statistics Pulled From New The Infographic Above.

86%

of top landing pages were responsive designs

80%

of top pages have their location in the title tag

77%

of top landing pages were home pages

77%

of top landing pages have a type of call to action

76%

of sites have a click to call phone number

65%

of top landing pages have their business name in the title tag

53%

display their company’s awards and trust symbols

49%

of top landing pages have a local photo

44%

of top landing pages have a form

38%

have the name, address, and phone number in schema

34%

of top landing pages have testimonials

31%

have a photo of staff

27%

of header images is of a staff member

26%

of top landing pages have a video

24%

had links to sites to review their business

21%

have embedded a Google map on their site

21%

have a direction button or text

90%

of top landing pages were responsive designs

11%

of top landing pages have reviews in schema

10%

have parallax image or video background on the page

8%

of top landing pages had keywords in their H1

8%

of forms have a captcha

1382

is the average number of back links to a top landing page

761

is the average word count on top landing pages

94

is the average Google user experience score

72

is the average Google desktop speed score

62

is the average Moz local score of top landing pages

61

is the average Google speed for mobile

30

is the average number of reviews on Google

4

is the average number of form fields

C

is the average on-page grade from Moz

Original landing page study from July of 2012.

Every website has landing pages. Every local landing page has certain traits. But there is nowhere that explains what pieces of information are important and where that information should go to reach a higher ranking. That was until now.

What we’ve done is gone through and checked over a hundred different landing pages from many different types of businesses, including the food industry, the automotive industry, insurance companies, and other SEO firms, to find what most people were doing. We then complied a list and put it in infographic form so it’s easy to digest.

You’re welcome internet. We did it out of love.

We’re also proud to be a part of the launch of a very talented new brand, Avalaunch Media, who took all of our hard data and turned it into the sexy little number you see below. It rocks. They rock. Check ’em out.

Click on the image to be taken to full sized version.

Click here for help on your local pages.

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