Recently the TMP Directional Marketing and 15Miles Study: Bridging the Gap, from Search to Sales Local Search Usage Study from September 2010 was reviewed by Lisa Barone atThe Search Crossover: Local, Mobile Social and Matt McGee at  Local Search Study Results at SMX East. After reading their review/comments, I decided to take a look myself. If you would like a copy of the study, please head over to the TMP Directional Marketing website here.

First I wanted to relay were a number of trends they outlined in the study:

Trend 1: Online search is the preferred method for information about local businesses.
The majority of local-business searches are conducted online, with 70 percent of consumers citing online sites as their primary sources. That is up seven percentage points from 2009. Furthermore, more than half of local-business searchers spend the majority of their time searching online.

Trend 2: Search engines are most popular, but they’re not growing as fast as other media.
While search engines comprise more than 60 percent of the online-search market share, non-search engines’ (e.g., social networks, mobile media, online directories, etc.) 22-percent surge is outperforming search engines’ nine-percent growth since 2009.

Trend 3: Local searchers possess more potential in terms of post-search activities.
More sales happen among local searchers looking for nearby businesses: Following their online searches, local searchers are more likely than general searchers to contact businesses or to purchase from them.

Trend 4: An incomplete search presence won’t complete the sale.

Second, I wanted to repeat the following statements, which I think are very telling of where we are.

Social media:
“Social media offers companies a unique opportunity to actively participate in the conversations surrounding their brands. Our research shows that active participation is key: Eighty-one percent of social networkers believe that it is important for local businesses to respond to questions and complaints on social sites”

Online searches:
“Did you know that 45 percent of consumers don’t have specific businesses in mind when conducting local searches? In fact, more local-business searchers overall are beginning with general terms in their search queries, rather than categorical or business-name terms. They have products/services in mind, but they aren’t sure where to purchase”

Mobile:
As of June 2010, 46.5 million mobile subscribers have accessed local-mobile content, a 36-percent increase over 2010.

Another study I found on their website: Local Business Listing: Myth versus Reality White Paper from February 2010 looked interesting so I got a copy of that one also. This is a realtively short paper on small business listings and I thought provided some nice insight on the ever important business profile listings.

“Recent innovations are empowering businesses to regain some of this control, but, at the same time, assuming control of this information is still a challenging and confusing process that can baffle even the smartest business owners.”

In the white paper, TMP Directional goes on to comment or deal with “myths” in:

  • Claiming a listing
  • Ranking and search results
  • Location vs. service based
  • About my listing

Since this study is an easy read, you will need to head over to TMP to download a copy to read. I definitely recommend reading this study (even though it is a number of months old). Let me know what you think of it. Thanks.