Local Search Survey: Search Engines Still Most Popular Source for Information

Social media platforms like Facebook and Foursquare are trying to get more into the local search market. Local businesses have the ability to set up a presence on these sites, allowing for increased discoverability. But many consumers still turn to more traditional search methods like Google and Yelp before looking for local businesses on such social platforms. How would consumers describe their local search habits? And have many of them used social platforms to find local businesses?

local search

Local Search

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 38% of respondents said they often search for local businesses using Google or other search engines. 19% often search for local businesses using their phone or mobile device. 15% often use social platforms like Facebook or Foursquare to find information about local businesses. And just 8% said they often search for local businesses using reviews sites like Yelp.

First Choices

But more specifically, 60% said that if they were looking for information about a local business, Google would be the first place they would go. 16% said they would go directly to the business’s website. 9% said they would call the business or just go there in person. 5% said they would search on Facebook or Foursquare first. 4% said they would search using their mobile device or mobile apps. 2% said they would use Yelp or similar sites. And 5% said they would use other methods, such as the phone book or asking a friend.

Social Platforms

But even though social platforms aren’t the most popular sources for information about local businesses, nearly half have used them to find new businesses at some point. 10% said they have found many new local businesses on social platforms like Facebook and Foursquare. And 30% have found one or two new businesses on social platforms.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: FourSquare from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on May 10 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.