Digital Marketing

Google Maps is the dominant native search device, adopted by Fb and Yelp

It's no secret that Google Maps has cemented its place as the dominant entry point for local search. In fact, a recent Consumer Survey conducted by Brandify revealed that 77% of respondents use Google Maps to find business information in my area well ahead of other websites.

Survey in accordance with traffic data. This finding is supported by data from GatherUp, ThriveHive and others that show Google Maps controls most of the local customer traffic. Interestingly, the Brandify survey shows that the percentage of Maps users is decreasing (51%), and the order of sites is changing slightly when consumers are asked which local websites / apps consider them "most useful".

Source: Brandify (2019)

Most local searches on smartphones. The vast majority of people (81%) use smartphones for searching near me, with a small number of tablets (9%) and the rest desktops or laptops (22%) preferred. This is in dramatic contrast to a poll released last week, which found that the PC was favored for local search – although the survey sample was dominated by 55-year-olds and older.

There are a few other interesting things in the table above. Facebook is number two for local business search. Followed by Yelp and "Business Website". This is another reminder to those who believe that the website is dead for small businesses.

Google Assistant / Home and Instagram are on the list for websites. They in turn lead Apple Maps. Instagram is definitely in the area of ​​SMB marketing, but most local SEOs are not focused on the social site.

There is no additional visibility in the Google Home to Google Assistant split survey. It is likely that most users use Voice Search / Google Assistant on their smartphone. However, Alexa is used by 8% of the survey sample for local searches. That's probably pretty much what Google Home would be if split up separately.

Source: Brandify (2019)

Most people are not "on the move". Another very interesting data point that reflects the behavior of mobile users as a whole is the finding that most local search activities (on smartphones) take place in people's homes (59%). , In contrast, about 31% stated that they performed business searches "in the car" or "on the go" near me.

So the average local viewfinder can be at home on the sofa with his smartphone. I suspect that they do not search "near me" as often as category searches, provided there is a local result. But that is speculation on my part.

According to a local search, the most likely activity most of these respondents do is "personally visit the company" (56%). Then call the company (36%) and send an e-mail or fill out an online form (13%).

Source: Brandify (2019)

Of those respondents, 54% said they would visit the company "immediately" or on the same day. And 46% said they would visit in the next few days.

The survey included slightly more than 1,000 responses from US adults. The gender distribution was 53% female. Almost half (47%) was younger than 45 and the rest was older.

Why should we worry. What most marketers still do not understand is that most online searches lead to an offline purchase. This is the dominant use case for non-informative searches: A user on a smartphone who is looking for a product or service where the transaction or fulfillment is offline. However, if the Brandify survey is representative, the majority of these local viewfinders will only appear in a company or business, making tracking a significant challenge.

About the Author

Greg Sterling is an editor for Search Engine Land. He writes about the connections between digital and offline commerce. Previously, he held leadership positions at LSA, The Kelsey Group and TechTV. Follow him on Twitter or find him on LinkedIn.