I am sitting in the SMX West exhibit hall where Gregg Stewart of 15miles is presenting some of the findings of the latest Local Search Usage study conducted in conjunction with Localeze.

The survey study consists of a targeted sample of over 4,000 users of local business Internet searchers, broken into 3 search categories – Internet Yellow Pages, Local Search Sites, and Portal Sites. While two of the major findings are pretty obvious: mobile is big and social-local/daily deals is big, the most interesting takeaway is that these local searchers thought local listings are the most relevant and trusted search results.

Some of the data presented:

  • 61% of smartphone owners use them for local business searches
  • 51% use smartphones (v. tablets) but tablets are winning out because they are easier to use and people feel like they can find more information.  I am thinking local tablet searches will increase dramatically over the next year or two, outpacing smartphone local.
  • 72% of smartphone users have made a local purchase shortly after the search.  86% of tablet users did this.
  • 32% or purchases were greater than $100.  10% were greater than $500.
  • 15% of respondents used social media sites to find local businesses, up from 10% a year ago.  91% of these social media queries occurred on Facebook.  Wow.
  • Most daily deal users return to businesses they have visited in the past. Additionally, they have or intend to purchase multiple daily deals from the same site.
  • Over 80% of users of Groupon and Living Social daily deals were satisfied with the experience.
  • 52% use consumer review sites to find local services.  45% have submitted reviews.  55% of those who have submitted reviews in the last 30 days submitted more than 1 review.
  • When searching online for local businesses, basic business Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) information is still the most critical search data.
  •  61% felt local results were the most relevant and 58% felt they were the most trustworthy v. about 30% for natural search results and 10% for paid results.
  • 72% are likely to use a local business if a social media connection recommends it v. only 63% are likely to use a local business if a the business is active in social media (which is down 6% from the previous year – stop spamming Facebook)
  • More local business searches are conducted without a specific business in mind, once again showing that more research is being done online early in the search process.

Update: Here’s the whole presentation:

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3 Response Comments

  • Simon  February 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Addition of graphs in your post makes it more understandable and clear!

  • Rosendo Cuyasen  February 29, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    This percentage helps me to think why social media queries is not good for business. Search engines are still important when it comes to online business.

  • Noma Frings  March 10, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    You can not manage a company by fear, because the strategy to eliminate fear is always to avoid criticism. And the ways to avoid criticism would be to do nothing.
    People ultimately want to get at data quickly and easily. They don’t really care just as much about attractive sites and pretty design.