One size doesn’t fit all in local search. And there is no reason to throw out traditional media such as Yellow Pages just to become dependent on Google. In fact, every medium still has its purpose, and should be analyzed on the basis of how it is actually used, according to a new study by TMP Directional Marketing/15 Miles, using data and analysis from comScore. The study was discussed during an Oct. 21 webinar.
“The good news for marketers is that consumers are searching for business information, but the question is: ‘How are they searching?’ ” asks the report, which is based on behavioral data from Q2 2009 and a July 2009 survey.
The report notes that Google has overtaken online business directories in both IYP/local searches, where it has a 26 percent share, and in local portal searches, where it has a 45 percent share. But that doesn’t mean that the Yellow Pages industry is on the ropes.
While Yellow Pages usage is down 3 percent and now comprises 28 percent of local search, Internet Yellow Pages have jumped from 19 percent in 2008 to 21 percent of all searches. In certain categories, such as home services, IYP account for nearly half of all searches.
“By adapting to the world of online search, the Yellow Pages are proving to be a competitive and effective cross-platform reference,” notes the report. But local search remains very low on the totem pole for certain categories.
Insurance, for instance, is dominated by national “general” search. Local search only represents 8 percent of all lookups, while IYP represents 32 percent. Results are even more extreme in Banking and Finance, where search results are 95 percent general, 3 percent local and 2 percent IYP.