BrightLocal Survey- 59% of Consumers use Google Each Month to Find a Good Local Business

Brightlocal.com, a provider of local search tools for local marketers and SMBs, has released a new survey of Local SEO’s and US consumers title: Where do local business websites get their traffic & do consumers appreciate local search results? They surveyed 648 Local SEOs and 1,250 US consumers as to the value of Local search results.

Local SEOs reported that Google Places was the number one source of traffic and Google organic was number two, with Google in total providing 58% of all search traffic. (I have asked for clarification of the results but it strikes me as difficult to ascertain with any confidence where a result from Google is coming from with blended results.) All other sites provided a small percentage of the traffic; Yahoo providing 4% in from both local and organic, Bing providing 3% and Facebook 2%. These numbers reinforced the results that I reported in a much smaller sample of rural visitation in January.

The report found that consumers looked more closely at results that included images particularly in younger demographics. It is confirmation of the general perception in the SEO world of the benefits of the Google included visuals. Of particular interest to me, were the consumer usage and satisfaction results.

Question: How often do you use Google to locate and find a good local business? (e.g cafe, bar, plumber, taxi service…)
– 59% of consumers use Google each month to find a good local business
– 31% of consumers use Google each week to find a good local business

% of consumers using Google Local results

Question: In Google’s search results they often display local results*. Which of the following statements best applies to your attitude and use of these types of results?

Key Findings:
-71% of consumers value the information contained within local search results.
-This rises to 80% for those aged 16-34; Only 66% of consumers aged 55+ find these results useful

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
BrightLocal Survey- 59% of Consumers use Google Each Month to Find a Good Local Business by

11 thoughts on “BrightLocal Survey- 59% of Consumers use Google Each Month to Find a Good Local Business”

  1. Nice charts and interesting data. Like you, Mike, I would like to understand how they are processing analytics data from blended listings. I wondered exactly that. I would have liked to see column in this survey for “I have become wary of this data due to bad results.” Wonder what those numbers would look like, but all in all, this was a nice survey.

  2. @Zelick
    Thanks. It is useful info

    @Miriam
    Here is what Brightlocal said when asked about the traffic from Places:
    We didn’t specify between pure-Places traffic and clicks from blended result.

    Of the folks I had deeper, qualitative chats with I know that many used Google Places analytics data (‘clicks to your website’) as their primary tracker of Places clicks and then compared that figure to their overall GA site visit data. And so that would imply it’s only pure Places clicks and not blended. < \em>

  3. Mike – thank you for the coverage – much appreciated.

    I’m happy to answer any questions about the survey & deeper conversations that i had with SEOs – from yourself or your readers.

    Thanks again

  4. @Myles:

    Hi Miles,

    Thx for those great surveys you’re publishing regularly… it’s very interesting to track the development of Google Places in the US, especially since EU tends to develop similar trends just approx. 1-2 years later…

    Useful information!

    Greetings,
    Sebastian

  5. The data may not be 100% accurate, but from a user perspective and from seeing and talking to friends and family on how they search and find local business, I doubt the data is that far off.

    60% use Google to find local busiinesses
    70% find the info useful

    I think people do use Google to find local businesses and most of the time they are happy with the results.

    It’s just us local SEO’ers that have much more hyper sensitiveness (sp?) prospective on stuff like this.

    I have been pretty impressed with the info coming out from Myles over at BrightLocal.com

    Mike, how would you set-up a campaign to test and get this kind of data….?

    Also, now with the new integrated search results… if some clicks on your site, I don’t think it gets recorded in Google Places even though Google Places is getting tagged below. I think those photo’s and reviews from GP greatly influence increase clicks to the site, even the end user never ends up back at Google Places.

    I’d like to know what people are clicking with the new integrated search results.

    I think before with the 7-pack it was easier to measure the difference, but harder now.

  6. @Mathew

    I do not have a solution to measuring whether a result is from Organic or Blended results. Certainly it is fairly easy to track Places only but that traffic is trivial compared to organic and blended results. So while I think the result is directionally accurate and confirmed by my logs, I would hesitate to state categorically that traffic is from Places.

    70% is an interesting number and validates the usefulness of Local search. I would add though that if looked at from a customer satisfaction point of view it demonstrates that Google has a long way yet to go in local.

  7. Yesterday I met someone who searches on Bing rather than Google. It was so exciting! I told her that she was the first person that I had ever met who searched on Bing. She said, “Oh…um…well…should I do the search on Macafee then?”. How fun is that?

  8. Some things I have observed using a stats application that lists the actual referring URLS is that if someone clicks on the business’s website URL in the business’s Google Places page the referring url begins with: http://maps.google.com/maps/place. If the person clicks on the business URL in Google Maps it seems to begin with: http://maps.google.com/maps.

    I generally try to throw out Google searches that come from Google images (http://www.google.com/imgres), as well as from other countries (http://www.google.iq/url, http://www.google.ca/url). That leaves me with http://www.google.com/url and http://www.google.com/search, which I feel gives me a more accurate way of measuring Google traffic.

    What I am trying to figure out is when in Google Places where they get some of their data. For example: when I go in one of my client’s Google Places dashboard Google says they have had 53 click-throughs to their website in the past 30 days, but I do not see 53 urls starting with:http://maps.google.com/maps/place. This leaves me to believe they are counting the blended search whenever the local business listing appears and someone clicks on the website url. If that is true, than most users never seem to go to the Google Places page and click on the business’s website url, they click on it in the blended search results.

  9. Great survey guys thanks for the useful info. I’m actually quite surprised it’s only 59%. I conducted a (much smaller) survey in my local area (Donegal, Ireland) and we came out with about 73% that use Google to find local products or services.

    Like I say it wasn’t as conclusive as your survey though so thanks again for the info.

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