How Local Search Behaviour Has Changed. Again.

A recent study on how consumers search for products and services shows that while Google is still the 800-pound gorilla of search, consumers are using more information sources these days to make buying decisions. Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers, authored by International Data Corporation (IDC) on behalf of YP Marketing Solutions (formerly YellowPages.com), found that:

  • nearly half (49%) of consumers surveyed conducted four or more search activities when looking for local products and services
  • nearly a quarter (24%) made six or more searches
  • nearly two-thirds (63%) completed their local searches in under an hour

The most telling indicator was that over half (64%) of local searches for vertical-specific offerings started at a specialized site, such as Expedia or Hotels.com for travel, or an app -- not a general-purpose search engine. Furthermore, half of these searches (50%) did not use a general search engine at all.

Unfortunately for business marketing teams, it means that outside the realm of major search engines, local search is fragmented and very specialized by vertical.

The demographics of survey respondents (in the 18 to 44 age group) skewed results heavily in favour of smartphones as the device of choice for local search. Nonetheless, survey results convincingly support the trend toward integrated, multi-channel marketing that is contextually relevant and extremely targeted. Click here for the full report from IDC.  

If you need help navigating the complexities of local search, contact us. We can help you make sure your digital marketing campaigns are targeted and relevant. From mobile-friendly websites to fully-managed pay-per-click campaigns, our experienced team will help you get more out of your marketing budget.