UK based SEO firm BrightLocal reported the results of two online surveys about local consumer behavior and local SEO. The surveys were conducted in Q1 2011. There were more than 600 SEO survey respondents and 1,250 US consumer survey respondents respectively.
The findings are not a surprise. Google dominates as a traffic source to local business websites, though in this survey not as much as some other surveys. Mobile was not a part of the results reported.
Here’s how the SEO respondents ranked the top sources of traffic to their clients’ sites:
That ranking is further unpacked in the chart below, showing that Google Places and Google.com drive a combined 58 percent of visits to local websites. Yahoo, Bing, Facebook were are minor players in local traffic referrals. The degree to which these SEOs said Facebook was a kind of non-entity in local traffic referrals might also be considered a surprise.
Data from the consumer survey reflect strong use of local search with 31 percent of consumers reporting they use Google daily or weekly to find local businesses.
Perhaps the single “surprise” of the consumer findings is the degree to which images seem to matter to consumers. Sixty percent of the consumer respondents to the BrightLocal survey said that images associated with local business results made them more likely to consider/contact that business.
The full survey results can be found here.