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BizReport : Search Marketing : September 29, 2006

July Local Searches Up 43%

A new study out by comScore indicates that performing a search for a local business or service drives consumer action. In the study, nearly 50% of all local searchers visited a local merchant as the result of searching for their service.

by Kristina Knight

Of those performing local searches, most made contact with the business offline (about 41%), but many also made contact online (about 37%). The study also found that more than 40% of local search users were looking for something in their hometown or neighborhood, rather than looking for these things in a town they were planning to visit.

In July, 109 million local searches were performed in the United States; that is 43% more searches than were performed in July 2005. Google led the way, handling 30% of the searches while Yahoo came close with 29%. Microsoft and Time Warner network sites fell behind with 12% and 7% respectively.

Most local searches, defined by comScore as searches by consumers using the local or directory listings on search engines, were looking for dining and entertainment information. However, about 41% of consumers were looking for local services like lawyers, car rentals or dry cleaners.

What these numbers mean for local merchants advertising with search engines or in online directories is obvious: if you aren’t included, consumers may not find you.

Tags: local search, search marketing

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