Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lessons from The "Real Numbers of Local Search" Webinar


(clockwise from upper left: Jeremy Owens, Miramar
Automotive; Steve Dennen, comScore; Peter
Krasilovsky, Krasilovsky Consulting; Dick Larkin,
Small Business Commandos)

There were some important lessons in the Real
Numbers of Local Search Webinar that I'd like to share.


Lesson 1: Don't give up your print Yellow Pages
(yet).



When Internet measurement guru
, Steve Dennen
recommended that local advertisers not abandon their
print Yellow Pages, you could have knocked me over
with a bucket of linguine.


That is assuming of course, that
you were
holding a bucket of linguine, in which case I probably
wouldn't have been standing close enough for you to
hit me with it.
Still, 60% of local
look-ups
occur in the print world (for now).

While the shift to Internet is dramatic,
print is still viable in many markets.

Don't wait too long to advertise online,

because all indications show local web search
surpassing print as early as next year and being
totally dominant in three short years.


The lesson here
is to advertise where you get
results regardless of the medium. That may be
common sense, but it sure ain't common practice.


Lesson 2: Local Search leads directly to offline
contact.



ComScore found that most
people made contact and
purchased from local merchants after searching for
local information online. Does this surprise
anyone?
Restaurants are one of the top
local web
searches, and last time I checked, restaurants
generally require you to show up in order to get food.


However, I recently ate
a pizza that
tasted suspiciously like it had been emailed to me.
That's a topic for another newsletter.


Lesson 3: Internet Yellow Pages have the best
customers



This makes me smile because
I spent nearly a
decade building Internet Yellow Pages. IYPs have
better customers that the search engines because
they have richer local information (and the person
searching an IYP has already searched Google or
Yahoo and is searching deeper).


Here, real life matched
comScore's research.
Jeremy Owens of Miramar Automotive said that the
customers coming from Internet Yellow Pages spend
more than customers coming from other advertising
sources. People searching on an Internet Yellow
Pages are further along the buying cycle.


The downside is that
the traffic on IYPs is a
fraction of the major search engines. You gotta do
both to get quantity and quality.


Lesson 4: Local markets vary widely.



ComScore found that there
were significant
regional differences in local search traffic. To
advertise effectively, ask your customers where they
search online. The local Yellow Pages publishers'
sites are strongest where they have print directories.


Peter Krasilovsky reminded
advertisers to
consider their local newspaper sites. Those sites
often have the highest local traffic and they have
very loyal customer bases.
Missed the Webinar? Listen again, and again, and again
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ringing Up Book
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When you order the DVD, I'll throw in an MP3
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your hot tub. I'll even include the slides for your
viewing and bathing pleasure.


If you order before November 15, you'll save
$20 Sorry, no extensions.
Order the DVD and MP3 and save $20

1 Comments:

Anonymous Kevin said...

The only time I touch the Yellow Pages is to remove it from blocking my front entry way - and that's only after it's been rained on and covered with unraked leaves.

Yellow Pages are becoming outdated, but I can still see them having use in small towns I've lived in over the years. In particular, the fireplace and as a booster chair for those pesty little children.

Kidding.... I like kids. If you're a small business, you should check out MerchantCircle.com. It's a quick and easy way to have a presence on the web and more. You can blog, post pictures, build coupons and link with other business owners - all free of charge. It's pretty neat.

3:52 PM  

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