Jillian Als  |  11/10/2018

Websites role in the digital marketing stack

The Local Search Association (LSA) recently released a report: Scoring The Digital Marketing Stack, in cooperation with Boostability.

The report focused on defining the value of different elements of the digital stack for SMBs. After surveying more than 100 digital service providers, the results showed clearly which services and technologies are the stickiest and which give the best margins.


Websites still lead the way

When the LSA reached out for comment on the website results that were found as part of the survey, I was pleased, yet not surprised to see that websites score well alongside SEO and listings.


Websites particularly outperformed in the categories:

  • Stickiness: ranked 1/10 - 88% of respondents
  • Margin: ranked 2/10 - 45% of respondents 
  • ROI: ranked 2/10 - 67% of respondents

As I mentioned in the report, “It’s not a surprise that websites remain the number one for ‘stickiness’ when it comes to client retention. This is consistent in what we hear from the digital service providers we work with. But the bigger point to make is that the website is still a valuable part of the digital marketing stack and fundamental for other products and services. Specifically, controlling both SEO and the website for a client makes the ROI component easier to achieve.”


The foundation of the digital marketing stack

We truly believe that websites are fundamental to the digital marketing stack, and through our own research with the LSA, we’ve made the argument that they serve as an important proprietary hub of local business information.

And while the Scoring the Digital Marketing Stack report notes that demand for websites “...may become a challenge as penetration grows”, they also provide the foundation for digital service providers to offer other digital offerings, such as content marketing (blogs, guides, more sophisticated and expertise-based content), email marketing, video, SEO and more. 

Another interesting combination is the symbiosis between listings management and websites, with websites as the authoritative data source syncing with listings data (and perhaps even vice versa) for greater consistency and authority across the web.

Websites may not have the same perceived prominence in the digital marketing stack that they once did, but their value is not diminishing. Rather, the role of websites is changing and while the focus is still on building and adjusting the online presence of SMBs, there will be a shift to prioritizing content that delivers long-tail benefits for SMBs.