According to a recent survey by Balihoo, 47.3% of national brands plan to invest more money in local search in 2013 than in 2012. Forty-four percent said they will invest the same amount in 2013 as they did in 2012.
The companies reported that most of that budget will go to mobile local marketing. In fact over 34% expect to use mobile as a major marketing technique in 2013, up 2% from last year.
Other interesting findings:
Companies that earn an average revenue of $100 million to $250 million are more likely to use social media more often
87% of national brands are not properly represented on local affiliate websites
Only 8.6% of companies said they will spend less on local marketing in 2013 than they did in 2012
Google recently made changes to its review interface to put less of a focus on the Zagat review system. The new interface allows review authors to choose words or phrases like “Excellent,” “Very Good,” “Good,” and “Poor-Fair” rather than Zagat’s 0-3 number system.
Zagat’s 0-3 numbering system may have been too confusing to users because it is a unique, unusual system compared to what many people are used to. Many ratings are based on a 1-5 scale, with 3 being the rating for an “okay” or “so-so” experience. However, on Zagat’s rating scale, 3 is the highest score you can give. Google has done away with this Zagat scale. The reviews interface now looks like this:
Google is still displaying the overall Zagat score on each business’s Google+ Local page. This score is a number between 0-30. However, the fact that Google has done away with the initial 0-3 Zagat scoring scale may show that it’s taking steps towards completely eliminating the Zagat scoring system. What do you think? Do you like Google’s Zagat scoring system or should Google do away with it?
A new study from Chitika showed that 43% of total Google search queries (both mobile and PC) have local intent. The study also showed that 25% of Yahoo and Bing searches are local. Two years ago, Google reported that 20% of all Google searches (on PC) were local. Since then, Google has improved its local search and Map applications, resulting in a 23% growth in local search queries.
According to Screenwerk, Google recently announced that 50% of mobile search is now local, an increase from 40% in 2011. However, Chitika’s breakdown of Mobile vs. Non-Mobile results shows that 74% of local search on Google is mobile and 26% is from a PC.
Consumers searching for local businesses from their mobile phones have clearly made an impact on the amount of local queries. It is more important now than ever for businesses to focus on getting ranked in the local search results.