Search vs. social
A report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project has found that people turn to search engines rather than social media for local business details.
The study found that 51 per cent of adults will use the internet when looking for information on local bars, restaurants and clubs. While 38 per cent make use of search engines to find details on their surrounding businesses, 17 per cent will look at specialist sites. However, only 3 per cent will turn to social networking sites.
The popularity of search engines suggests that consumers have higher levels of trust in company websites as well as online reviews from both industry experts and visitors than in a social media presence.
The online presence of local businesses
The results of the Pew Internet and American Life Project report suggests that local businesses should pay particular attention to their website. A well-designed site with easy user navigation will showcase the quality and professionalism of a company. Also gaining quality reviews and links on specialist local sites will help to drive relevant traffic to the site, leading to an increase in consumer interest.
Daniel Nolan, managing director at theEword, said: "Search engines allow consumers to gain direct access to a wide selection of information. Companies must ensure that their site is optimised for search engines as well as users so that it appears high in the rankings. This will prevent consumers from reading reviews first, which could affect their decisions."