News Courtesy of Moz.com:
64% of 1,411 surveyed local business marketers agree that Google is becoming the new “homepage” for local businesses. Via Moz State of Local SEO Industry Report
…but please don’t come away with the wrong storyline from this statistic.
As local brands and their marketers watch Google play Trojan horse, shifting from top benefactor to top competitor by replacing former “free” publicity with paid packs, Local Service Ads, zero-click SERPs, and related structures, it’s no surprise to see forum members asking, “Do I even need a website anymore?”
Our answer to this question is, “Yes, you’ve never needed a website more than you will in 2019.”
Google search results have changed drastically over the last several years. It wasn’t too long ago when it was just paid ads and organic results cluttering the Google SERPs. Now, there are so many different informational widgets that appear at the top of these results. This pushes organic rankings further down the page which led to the question, “Why do I even need a website?”.
Let’s clear one thing up. Google, itself, is not a business directory. Sure you can add your business to Google Places. However, there is no guarantee that your business will be listed alongside competitors. Several factors are involved in determining how your business ranks in the Local Pack. Positive user reviews certainly have an impact, but your overall online brand presence is taken into consideration too.
One of the most important parts of this presence is a website. A well-written and informational website will go a long way to help establish authority with Google. I see a lot of other website design agencies building vanilla no-frills websites and promising their clients the moon. Unless you have a ton of content and are promoting that content, the chances for high visibility in Google are slim.
MOZ, as they always do, have written an excellent post on this subject and I encourage everyone to read it by clicking on the source link above. Even though you may get clients from “Zero Clicks” (info pulled directly from Google), a website is critical to providing Google this information.