What is that, a doorstop?
A comScore study sponsored by TMP Directional Marketing finds that search engines have become primary sources for seeking local services (31%) — followed by Yellow/White Pages (30%), online Yellow Page-type sites (19%) and then local search sites (11%).
These results, from the second annual Local Search Consumer Usage Study, represent a marked difference from last year's findings, in which print Yellow pages ranked first by 33%, followed by search engines at 30%.
30% of local business queries are conducted online now, versus offline. In 2007, the figure was 26%. What's more, 90% of survey respondents say print Yellow Pages remain a valuable source of business information, even as they steadily lose ground to search engines.
Mobile web search for local services has also gone mainstream. One in five shoppers with a standard mobile phone have conducted a local search from their handhelds; meanwhile, two-thirds of users with wifi-enabled devices conducted a search.
"As consumer local search grows with online and offline resources, national advertisers must develop strategic plans for integrating the various mediums into their national programs," said SVP Gregg Stewart of TMP Directional Marketing.
"Our 2008 study again confirms that consumers do a majority of research online, but continue to make purchases offline with a phone call or in-store visit. In addition, marketers need to pay close attention to mobile search and sites that offer consumer user reviews, as they are growing in popularity."