Recently Nielsen Online & Webvisible conducted a survey polling nearly 4,000 people in the U.S. asking about their habits and methods in finding local businesses. Their results revealed a considerable disconnect between the way consumers look for local business and the way business owners are advertising. Because of this, local businesses miss a significant opportunity. We hope the research here shows you the absolute importance of search engine marketing. We also hope you enjoy numbers as much as we do!
You already know that an incredible 82% of consumers today use search engines to find local business.
With advertising coming from every direction, consumers today feel inundated with all the advertising and they value control and relevance. Search engines allow the consumer to control their advertising via their search queries and 73% would prefer to find products and services using search engines than have an advertisement sent to them.
Because an advertiser's ad only appears to interested consumers searching for their products or services, search marketing provides the highest quality leads to business owners. When consumers want to find a local business, they use clearly defined search terms. 40% use a location specific term in their search, such as "dentist in New York". Less than 10% search by business name.
Meanwhile, 63% of consumers turn to the internet FIRST when looking for local products or services.
The use of search to find local businesses, products or services grew 58% in 2008 to reach an annual total of 15.7 billion searches. Source: comScore
As search engine marketing continues to dramatically increase its market share, consumers have heavily decreased their usage in other traditional forms of marketing when searching for local businesses.
Over the last 2 years, local newspaper usage has declined by 15%, direct mail by 18%, and radio by 14%.
Consumer searches for “Yellow Pages” is also quickly becoming obsolete: