Hyper-​Local Search Audience Growing for Digital Marketers

While yesterday’s consumers turned to traditional Yellow Pages books to find the phone number or address of the new restaurant in town, today’s shoppers search using their digital devices. Both marketers and publishers are increasing their presence in this space. Their digital investment will be rewarded as consumers transition completely away from traditional formats in their local searches.

In a typical week, a consumer who owns only a PC will undertake 5 local digital searches a week. When a smartphone is added to the mix, the number of searches rises to 14. And, consumers with all of the latest devices, PCs-​smartphones-​tablets, look for local business information 21 times a week.

Consumers show high search activity in specific local categories. Among those looking for information, the highest number of local searches occur in the following sectors. The numbers in parentheses reflect the percentages of consumers who purchase in these categories:

  • Entertainment 87% (82%)
  • Restaurants/​dining 84% (84%)
  • Transportation 80% (41%)
  • Contractors 79% (36%)
  • Retail stores 77% (90%)

Marketers should also know that local searches show some variability between device and category. For now, most local searches are carried out through PCs. But, a nearly identical number of purchasers, 47%, use both PCs and smartphones to search for local transportation. More consumers are looking for professionals services via tablets (25%) than on smartphones (22%). And while 22% of consumers seek healthcare services on smartphones, 21% do so on their tablets.

Currently, search engines are the top local search resource used by most consumers. But in some categories, consumers turn to other resources as often as they use search engines. For example, local consumers are just as likely to employ local search sites, review sites or other portals when they want information on local transportation, contractors, or professional services.

The recent immr Local Search Study also highlighs how businesses can improve their standing by targeting avid searchers. My blog post on Monday will cover that topic.

For now, marketers who want to learn more about Yellow Pages/​Local Search Ad Responders can check out the Audience Interests & Intent Report at the Research Store on Ad​-ology​.com.

[Source: Hendrix, Phil Dr. How Consumers Are Using Local Search. Yp​.com. October 2012. Web. 8 Nov. 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.