Study: 56% of Local Retailers Haven’t Claimed Google My Business Listing

In our efforts to provide resources for small businesses to learn about digital marketing (events, webinars, blogs, etc.), there have been a number of common recommendations coming from experts. One very practical and concrete suggestion we’ve repeatedly heard is the need for SMBs to claim and verify their Google My Business (GMB) page.

Despite the well-documented and widely recognized influence of Google on local search behavior, a new study from Brandmuscle found that 56% of local retailers still haven’t claimed their GMB listing. This was one of many takeaways from the study.

“The State of Local Marketing Report” surveyed more than 2,100 dealers, agents and franchisees and identifies a number of opportunities as it relates to local marketing. In addition, it looks at the often strained marketing relationship between corporate entities and local retailers.

Beyond GMB, local retailers were equally behind when it came to claiming listings on other prominent listing sites. Just 33% have claimed their Yelp listing, 21% on Yahoo and 19% on to name a few. What’s more, of the just 23% that actively manage online listings, 57% do it themselves (DIY), a very challenging task for those unfamiliar or new to the local search ecosystem.

As mentioned, only about 1 in 4 local retailers are managing listings, and there is a clear difference in perceived value of these activates based on if they are self-managed or managed by a vendor. 38% that manage online directories on their own say that it is “ineffective” while 37% who rely on a vendor or agency to manage online directories say it’s “very/extremely effective.”

The report goes on to say:

Based on our experience, local affiliates [retailers] are often over-confident about the accuracy of their local online listings. If you haven’t run tests with a location data management tool recently, there’s a good chance the data isn’t as up-to-date as local affiliates might think.

The study seems to suggest that many local retailers are left to determine if they should self-manage, hire a vendor or do nothing as it relates to listing management efforts. The lack of participation and deficient success rates could be a result of a too-great marketing burden placed on local retailers for this work. This burden appears to be replicated across many other digital media as well.


Overall, the study found that 57% of local retailers are self-managing digital marketing efforts, 25% hire an agency/vendor and only 18% are managed by corporate. The study broke this down by media as well (above), showing that local retailers were most likely to self-manage email marketing and were least likely to do the same for paid search and mobile targeted display.

However, for the most part, these local retailers don’t want to DIY, even if most of them do. According to the study, the reason for the aversion to DIY is:

  • They don’t want to manage it and know they aren’t equipped to
  • They need resources, time or partners to help
  • They want help selecting the right tactics and best vendors to help them

The insights from the report uncover some interesting tensions between local retailers and corporate organizations as it relates to digital marketing. One of the solutions presented in the study was the use of co-op advertising programs to unlock the marketing opportunity that exists in each retailer’s local market.

3 Responses to “Study: 56% of Local Retailers Haven’t Claimed Google My Business Listing”

  1. The situation is more dramatical in my country : Belgium

  2. Anurag says:

    By far the easiest and overlooked aspect of local marketing. I wish more business owners would take advantage of this simple process to gain a listing in the SERPs for local searches.

  3. Greg Sterling says:

    Pretty amazing.

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