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BizReport : Search Marketing : February 23, 2009

Study: Bigger return from search than yellow pages

Now, this isn't a suggestion that local businesses shut out ads or listings in the local phone book, but according to a recent comScore/TMP Directional Marketing study local search may be a bigger benefit to local marketers. Researchers have found that search engines are used by nearly one-third of local consumers while slightly fewer local consumers turn to Yellow or White Pages for similar information.

by Kristina Knight

comScore conducted the "Local Search Consumer Usage Research Study" for TMP, finding that 31% of consumers are turning to a search engine for local business information compared to 30% turning to the phone book first. Internet Yellow Pages sites were used first by 19% and local search sites were used first by just over 10% of local consumers.

Compared to 2008 findings, this is a slight change as Yellow Pages ranked first with 33% of consumer interest and search engines pulling in only 30%.

One reason to keep the Yellow Pages listing? The consumers in this study said they still find the Yellow Pages to be a good source for local business information. Because consumers are still using Yellow Pages and because the Yellow Pages and search engine percentages are still so closely linked, it makes sense for marketers to use both options.

Local search sites are another interesting factor in the 2009 study because one in five consumers reported using a local search engine via mobile to find a local business. Nearly 66% of consumers reported using a Wi-Fi enabled device to do a local search.

Tags: local search, mobile search, search marketing, TMP Directional Marketing, yellow pages

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