Analyzing the Local Information Search Process

Google recently updated the results on its Consumer Barometer. Among the many beneficial search marketing insights, is information about local search behavior. The results show how important accurate and accessible listing information is to a company.

Search Sources and Time Spent

Consumers are looking for local information quickly after first interacting with a business. Around two thirds of consumers take a day or less before searching for more details about a business they have visited or contacted. This shows a strong intent to make a buying decision in the near future. This intent is also shown in consumers’ urgency to get local information:How urgently did people need local information? Emergency - 5%, Immediate 31%, Upcoming 40%, Speculative 19%

76% of consumers need local information in the next few days.

To quickly find the information they are looking for, consumers are turning to search engines. Search engines are part of the local information search for eighty percent of consumers surveyed, by far the most popular resource. This gives more value to SEO and running successful search engine advertising campaigns. Consumers are looking to get local information in a short amount of time with relatively high urgency, and this is best achieved through utilizing search engines.

Proximity and Type of Information

“Locally” can mean different distances to different people.

How close to the business were people while looking for local information? in sight of the business 11%, within a few hundred yards 15%, within a few miles 35%, more than a few miles 33% 2/3 of consumers are within a few miles from the local business they are searching for.

Price is the most popular information that consumers search for, with over half responding that is something they are looking for in a local business search. After price, business location and business hours are among the top types of information consumers want to discover in a search for a local business. It is important that these business descriptions are a part of a business listing and accurate, or a business may lose sales.

Local Decision Making

Once research and local location search has taken place, there are many factors that a consumer takes into account before making a buying decision. Price is again the most important factor to consumers in this category. Close behind is the proximity of a business to a consumer. Price and proximity both go into the overall cost of buying from a local business. Both of these factors are considered more when purchasing than past experience at a business. Online presence is often the first user experience a company will have with a business, so it is important that this presence is effectively optimized. It is especially important for businesses to stand out with these factors becauseHow many local businesses did people consider before making a choice? one - 30%, two 37%, three 19%, four 3%, five or more 2%

86% of consumers consider three or less businesses before making their choice.

This again details the value that customers put on overall time that a purchase will take, from research, comparing options and traveling to a business.

Check out Go Local Interactive to find out how your business can get the most value from an optimized presence.

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