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Local Search Engine Optimization Trends: Merchant Confidence Index

MerchantCircle’s quarterly Merchant Confidence Index was recently released and has provided local search engine optimization practitioners with a bevy of interesting local data. The Merchant Confidence Index surveyed 4,942 small, local business owners throughout the United States regarding local marketing topics.

According to the Merchant Confidence Index, local business merchants are warming up to the idea of advertising on Facebook. Although, only roughly 22 percent of merchants have used Facebook Ads, nearly 65 percent said they would use the service again. Meanwhile, nearly two-thirds of local merchants said the have used Facebook for marketing.

Local merchants cited ease of use and flexibility to restart or pause campaigns as the two main reasons they would reuse Facebook Ads. Additional reasons included Facebook’s targeted display offering and the acquisition of new business. However, not all local merchants have had success using Facebook Ads. Nearly 70 percent of the local merchants who stated they would not use Facebook Ads again cited a lack of new business as the reason.

The survey also discussed group-buying, which had a low adoption rate among local merchants but high favorability. According to the survey less then 10 percent of merchants said they have used a group-buying site but more than three-quarters of users said they would offer a deal with a group-buying site again. Additionally, another 8.4 percent of merchants said they plan to use a group-buying site in the next six months.

It will be interesting to watch the group-buying market space, as well-known brands like Google and Facebook may overtake current market leaders LivingSocial and Groupon. According to the Merchant Confidence Index, say brand familiarity would lead them to choose Google Offers or Facebook Deals over current market leaders. Other reasons for choosing Google or Facebook include better local targeting, bigger audience size and brand reputation. The Merchant Confidence Index also discussed trends in Digital and Mobile Marketing.

For more information about local search trends and local search engine optimization, contact KEO Marketing.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.