Some interesting facts about local search from Mike Stewert of Dallas Blog.
".....In 2006, 77% of those who used an Internet Yellow Pages for at least one product/service category also used a print Yellow Pages for at least one product/service category. The point is: To reach ready to purchase consumers a business owner, as they say, does not need to put all thier eggs in one basket. Some people use print, some people use online local search (Google, Yahoo, Superpages.com, YellowPages.com, MSN, etc etc.), but most use both.
Local online marketing firm conducted an online survey this past August regarding Internet usage to find a local service business. The survey used Nielsen//NetRatings’ online panel and asked about behavior within the past 90 days. Among more than 2,800 consumer responses:
- 70% had used the Internet to search for a local service business at any point, and 46% had used the Internet to search one or more times for a local service in the last 90 days
- 89% found search to be “somewhat effective” or “very effective” in finding local services in their area.
- 68% said they would most likely use the phone number on the website to contact a vendor..."
He goes on to say;
"If you want your business to be found by ready to buy consumers, you need advise from someone that understands the in's and out's of LOCAL SEARCH. This includes organic search, SEM, link popularity, online directory advertising, and print advertising designs and concepts."
My thoughts on those points;
- Organic search; Important but shop carefully for SEO help, vultures lurk.
- Link popularity; Not so important for local as for businesses with a national intent.
- SEM; All important, trumps all other means of advertising for a local business.
- Online directory advertising; Imperative
- Print advertising designs; Still important but don't waste more than 20% of your budget on it.