WHY. SEARCH MATTERS to LOCAL BUSINESS

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1 WHY Search SEARCH MATTERS to LOCAL BUSINESS Find out why search engines are now the #1 choice among consumers for finding local businesses from which to buy. Presented by with Nielsen//NetRatings

2 ABOUT WEBVISIBLE, INC. Established in 2001, WebVisible is the leading name in local interactive advertising and recipient of the 2007 Emerging Software Company of the Year award by the Technology Council of Southern California. Our business philosophy is local business owners are too busy minding their stores to successfully navigate the complexities of creating and managing their own online advertising, whether pay-per-click, banner ads, call-based products, or ROI measurement tools. WebVisible solves this problem by offering turn-key, fully managed local interactive advertising solutions with predictable pricing and guaranteed results. By employing a world-class software platform and creative services, we provide the local business owner with the value of a focused team and the experience of over 50,000 small business marketing campaigns. WebVisible has captured the attention of the Internet s biggest companies (Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Ask, etc.) and brought them together with some of the largest media companies (international yellow pages, newspapers, and online service providers), enabling them to package and sell local Internet advertising in a meaningful, scalable way. By providing this exchange we have become experts in bringing the Internet as an advertising and customer acquisition medium to small businesses around the world. Our Internet advertising solutions are offered by the leading list of partners in the yellow pages, newspaper and online marketing industries, including AT&T, British Telecom, MediaNews Group, Earthlink, The McClatchy Company, Homestead, Yellow Pages Group of Canada, and more. For more info, contact us at , or visit ABOUT NIELSEN//NETRATINGS A Global Leader in Internet Media and Market Research Nielsen//NetRatings, a service of The Nielsen Company, delivers leading Internet media and market research solutions. With high quality, technology-driven products and services, Nielsen//NetRatings is the global standard for Internet audience measurement and premier source for online advertising intelligence, enabling clients to make informed business decisions regarding their Internet and digital strategies. The Nielsen//NetRatings portfolio includes panel-based and site-centric Internet audience measurement services, online advertising intelligence, user lifestyle and demographic data, e-commerce and transaction metrics, and custom data, research, and analysis. 1

3 Introduction... Today s consumers want to be in control. They are inundated with advertising messages and often turn to the Internet and search engines as an alternative to the unsolicited advertisements that litter their mailboxes and doorsteps. In today s Web 2.0 advertising landscape, consumers use search engines to research, review, and more closely interact with advertising and the businesses represented by it. While the Web s influence continues to grow, consumers determine what local is to them by how they search, the information they seek, and the distance they will travel to do business. Business owners know there are multiple places they should be found - online and offline - and they need help to understand and incorporate it all. As the small business advocate, we are committed to finding and creating the most effective and relevant online marketing solutions for small businesses to interact with their potential customers attracting, acquiring, converting, and retaining them in a Web 2.0 world. A new bike in Boston Search Kirsten Mangers Founder & CEO WebVisible, Inc. 2

4 Search engines are now the #1 resource used by consumers looking for products and services from local businesses. Nearly 9 out of 10 people use search engines to find local businesses from which to shop - more than 1 billion local searches every month. Local business owners who market themselves on search engines are in the best position to sustain and grow their companies. An entire generation has now grown up in the Internet age, rarely considering traditional offline advertising resources for their local information needs. 85% of year olds in this survey rely on search engines, and even 67% of those over the age of 65 look to search engines. No matter the age of your business clientele, search engines are the primary resource used to find your business. When shopping for a product or service, consumers say they use the following sources to find a local business from which to buy:* Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or MSN 73% Yellow pages telephone directory 65% Internet yellow pages 50% Your local newspaper 44% White pages telephone directory 33% Television 29% Direct mail 20% Consumer review Web sites 18% Radio 15% golf clubs Palm Springs Search * Participants could give more than one answer. Entertainment coupon book 10% 3

5 Traditional advertising loses ground as Internet use surges ahead. The popularity of the Internet as a resource for business information and marketing influence has surged ahead of traditional advertising resources such as yellow pages, newspapers, and television because of the speed, convenience, depth, and objectivity that it offers to the people who use it. With anytime/anywhere access to Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and others, increasing numbers of consumers look to the Internet, creating tremendous opportunities for the businesses that advertise there. When finding a local business today, do you use the following sources more, less, or the same as you did 2 years ago? Internet Use it more now 78% Use it the same now 19% Use it less now 2% Telephone Directories Those surveyed prefer Internet yellow pages over the telephone directory.* 67% prefer to use an Internet yellow pages Web site over the telephone directory. Most common reasons include: 84% say it is faster. 63% say it is more current. 45% say they prefer the search tools and navigation. 43% say it is easier to find in their home or office. 28% say it is more comprehensive. 11% say it is more mobile than the telephone directory. 4% say they don t own a telephone directory. Use it more now 6% Use it the same now 43% Use it less now 52% * Participants could give more than one answer. 4

6 Consumers use the Web to research purchases then buy from local businesses. The Internet is the great locator. A few minutes on the Web and most consumers can find what they need in fact, over 80% of them do. But for many consumers, the convenience of getting in the car and driving to the business they found on the Web is commonplace. The data below proves false the common misconception, I don t advertise on the Internet because I don t sell anything over the Internet! If you re in business, the Internet is for you. I prefer to seek my own information and then visit the store or Web site depending on what I m looking for, wrote Diane from Maryland. Consumers use the Internet to research a product or service online......then make the purchase offline by finding a business less than 20 minutes from home. 4% strongly disagree The Web isn t just for ecommerce. 78% have researched a product or service online only to make the purchase offline from a local business. 18% somewhat disagree 23% strongly agree 55% somewhat agree Although Internet usage continues to increase, over 72% of survey participants prefer to stay within a 20-minute drive of their homes to reach a business. 72% will travel up to 20 minutes. 5% will travel 25 minutes to a local business. 18% will travel 30 minutes to a local business. 5% will travel more than 30 minutes to a local business. 5

7 While search engines top the list, consumers look for local business in many sources. Search engines are primarily used to start the journey, but Web 2.0 consumers rely upon a myriad of sources for local business information. Whether community sites, local news sites, Internet yellow pages, entertainment or consumer review sites, all add value to consumers lives and the information they seek. It is vital that a local business owner employ a broad advertising strategy to be found by the largest potential audience, both online and in traditional forms of advertising. I look at consumer ratings and reviews, but then I also do my homework through yellow pages and phone calls, said Sue from Florida. Those surveyed see or hear advertisements for goods or services that they actually need or want with the following frequency: INTERNET Once or more per week 25% A few times a month 31% Once a month 13% A few times a year 20% Once a year 4% Never 7% 76% of people rely on a variety of trusted sources to find local businesses. Only 6% reported using a single trusted source. Yellow Pages Direct Mail Television Once or more per week 6% A few times a month 12% Once a month 15% A few times a year 31% Once a year 13% Never 24% Radio Once or more per week 12% A few times a month 19% Once a month 16% A few times a year 25% Once a year 10% Never 18% Once or more per week 12% A few times a month 20% Once a month 17% A few times a year 31% Once a year 10% Never 11% Magazines Once or more per week 9% A few times a month 19% Once a month 17% A few times a year 29% Once a year 10% Never 17% Once or more per week 27% A few times a month 27% Once a month 15% A few times a year 22% Once a year 4% Never 5% 6

8 Consumers prefer to find products and services using search engines rather than having advertisements sent to them. BJ from Michigan wrote, I really do try hard to ignore stuff that I haven t asked for, searched for, or am ready to look at. In a world where we are inundated with advertising messages, control and relevance are valued. For a business owner, directional marketing messages that respond to specific searches (or needs) made by consumers create the the most highly valued leads. Business owners prefer to market their businesses on search engines because they know that their ads will only appear to interested consumers searching for what they sell. 73% would prefer to find products and services using search engines than have an advertisement sent to them. 73% feel they are over-exposed to advertising. 81% find what they need when shopping on the Internet. 63% have used the Internet to find coupons for local businesses. 49% are more comfortable shopping on the Internet than in person. Search engines show a higher frequency of use over other advertising sources used to find local businesses. 86% have used search engines to find local businesses from which to shop. Search Engines Internet Yellow Pages Telephone Directories Local Newspapers Once or more Once per week or more per week 28% 12% 6% 14% A few times a month A few times a month 32% 25% 21% 22% Once a month Once a month 12% 16% 18% 13% A few times a year A few times a year 17% 28% 34% 23% Once a year Once a year 4% 6% 10% 9% Never Never 7% 14% 11% 18% 7

9 Consumer opinions influence shopping behaviors online and offline. The Web 2.0 crowd is not only writing reviews, but their shopping habits are being influenced by them too. As a virtual online marketplace, this survey shows how the Web influences consumer opinions about everything from retail to comfortable hotel rooms. As an advertising resource, the Web isn t just about paid advertising it s a place where business reputations can be made or broken, ranked and reviewed, or simply reduced to 4 out of 5 stars. With blogs, a credible source is everything. 93% say a consumer review from a familiar, trusted online source could influence them to buy a product or service. Only 7% may be influenced by an unfamiliar online source. 69% use blogs as a source for consumer product reviews, yet only 23% have ever posted a consumer review on a blog. 45% of the posted reviews were negative, while 15% were mixed. 40% were positive. 76% say they read product and/or service reviews on the Internet, although younger people do it less than older. 60% of year olds read online reviews. Ages saw an average of 80% reading online consumer reviews. 67% said they would probably avoid a restaurant rated 2 out of 5 stars in a review posted on the Internet. 28% may hesitate at the poor review but would probably eat there anyway. Likewise, 90% would avoid a hotel with a consumer-posted review stating, noisy with uncomfortable beds. 7% would probably avoid the hotel. 8

10 Consumers say a quality Web site is fundamental to earning their trust. On the Web, perception is usually reality. Like a storefront, a Web site can be indicative of a business s professionalism, sophistication, and attention to detail. The survey revealed that consumers are constantly evaluating the Web sites that they visit and shopping only with the ones that they trust. In fact, consumers will often shop from an unknown business with a great Web site over a familiar business. 85% of people agreed the quality of a business owner s Web site is an important factor in earning the consumer s trust. 91% of business owners and marketers agreed the quality of a business owner s Web site is an important factor in earning the consumer s trust. Over 77% of people said they were more likely to make a purchase from an unfamiliar business with a quality Web site than a poor Web site from a known business. carpet cleaning El Paso Search 9

11 The mobile Internet is vital to the online consumer s lifestyle and it s going local. For certain categories of small business, mobile user adoption of search engines and advertising will have an impact. When a consumer s current location and/or time is important and relevant, access to information on cell phones and other mobile devices will drive local commerce. Consumers will still demand control and relevance, however. A consumer may tolerate advertisements for lunch specials in the area around her office received on her cell phone, but she will demand control over the frequency and content of the offers. In emergency situations such as, I need a tow truck right now, consumers will welcome the ease of access to location-relevant businesses. 86% said the Internet was vital to their lifestyle. Among this group, 90% had used the Internet to search for a local business from which to shop. 53% feel that using their cell phone to locate a nearby coffee shop would be a convenience. 82% would find it a convenience using a car s GPS system to find a local business such as a gas station. 92% believe that receiving local business ads on their cell phones would be irritating. The cell phone is another instance where searching is the preferred activity as opposed to receiving unsolicited ads. 86% consider the Internet to be vital to their lifestyle. Search 10

12 Local consumers react to key influences along the purchase continuum. As this survey shows, there are many points of influence along the purchase continuum that can turn a shopper into a buyer. While the points of influence for your business may differ, it can be said that most customers simply desire a good product at a fair price where and when they need it. Given this fact, it s important to harness the reach and influence of the Web to your best opportunities. When consumers are ready to buy, they are most available to you. They re searching for you. Are they finding you? 76% feel that their shopping habits are influenced by the advertising that they encounter at least once a year. 65% find sales people helpful. 37% feel their shopping habits are influenced by advertising at least once a month. 85% will often purchase a desired item offered at a fair price. 42% make impulsive buying decisions. 23% open and read spam 27% say they have been convinced by a sales at least once a month. person to purchase something they did not need or want. 16% have purchased a product or service advertised in spam or 83% unsolicited . have decided to buy a product or service before knowing where they will buy it from. What has the largest impact on your decision to purchase a product or service from a local business? 1. Personal need 34% 2. Prices/value 27% 3. Quality of merchandise 20% 4. Friendly customer service 11% 5. Location of business 5% 6. Web site 3% 11

13 Highlights from our 2006 survey I searched, I clicked, I contacted...i transacted - Measuring a Website s Ability to Drive Offline Conversion Local service advertisers such as doctors, florists, plumbers and other professionals who make up the service industry are benefiting from offline conversion. This act of shopping online and purchasing offline is a behavior that is not tracked through convenient Internet means. During the month of August 2006, WebVisible in partnership with Nielsen//NetRatings, asked nearly 3,000 U.S. Internet users about their experiences in searching for local service providers. Data was finely tuned by Nielsen//NetRatings weighting procedures to ensure maximum accuracy in reporting. Responses were gathered from randomly selected individuals in the Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel. For the purposes of this document, all percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number. When consumers are ready to transact, they use sponsored links. A good doctor in LA Search Of those who have searched for a local service vendor in the last 90 days: 36% searched for medical services. 32% searched for automotive services. 26% searched for home or office repair services. 23% searched for financial services. 11% searched for legal services. 9% searched for landscaping services. An average 50% of individuals were likely to click sponsored link ads in these instances. An average 72% of those who clicked a sponsored link also called the advertiser. An average 70% of those who clicked and called also made a purchase. Consumers use search engines because they work for them. 70% of Internet users report using search to find a local service. 46% of Internet users report using search to find a local service in just the last 90 days. When searching for a local service Web site online, searchers find what they want quickly - averaging less than 3 searches. Nearly 90% are happy with the results they get when they search locally for services. 12

14 Demographics During the month of September 2007, WebVisible in partnership with Nielsen//NetRatings, asked 1,971 U.S. Internet users how they were influenced by local business advertising. Data was finely tuned by Nielsen//NetRatings weighting procedures to ensure maximum accuracy in reporting. Responses were gathered from randomly selected individuals in the Nielsen//NetRatings MegaPanel. Age % % % % % % Household income Under $25, % $25,000 - $34, % $35,000 - $49, % $50,000 - $74, % $75,000 - $99, % $100,000 - $149, % $150, % Prefer not to answer 7.0% Gender Male 43.6% Female 56.4% Living environment Downtown 4.4% Urban 20.0% Suburb 53.5% Rural 22.1% State Alabama 1.3% Alaska 0.1% Arizona 2.0% Arkansas 0.8% California 8.0% Colorado 1.9% Connecticut 1.2% Delaware 0.3% District of Columbia 0.3% Florida 8.6% Georgia 3.8% Hawaii 0.4% Idaho 0.7% Illinois 4.7% Indiana 1.8% Iowa 0.7% Kansas 0.7% Kentucky 1.6% Louisiana 1.2% Maine 0.4% Maryland 1.8% Massachusetts 1.6% Michigan 5.2% Minnesota 2.2% Mississippi 0.5% Missouri 1.3% Montana 0.2% Nebraska 0.5% Nevada 1.1% New Hampshire 0.6% New Jersey 3.6% New Mexico 0.6% New York 7.1% North Carolina 3.4% North Dakota 0.3% Ohio 4.1% Oklahoma 1.4% Oregon 1.7% Pennsylvania 4.4% Rhode Island 0.4% South Carolina 1.2% South Dakota 0.1% Tennessee 1.5% Texas 6.7% Utah 0.8% Vermont 0.1% Virginia 2.2% Washington 2.0% West Virginia 0.4% Wisconsin 1.9% Wyoming 0.1% Non U.S. 0.4% 13

15 Definitions: For the purpose of this survey, the term local business refers to any service or retail business in your local area, including restaurants, entertainment venues, and places of recreation. The term search engines refers to Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, ASK.com, and a variety of online tools used to search the Internet for information. The term telephone directories refer to yellow pages and white pages directories. The term Internet yellow pages refers to online yellow pages Web sites such as yellowpages.com, judysbook.com, superpages.com, etc. Citation: When citing this data, please source the material as A WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings survey, September For the purposes of this document, all percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number. Copyright: Copyright 2007 by WebVisible, Inc. Notice of Rights: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher. For information on getting permission for reprints and excerpts, contact David Reeve at Trademarks: Many of the designations used by manufacturers and sellers to distinguish their products are claimed as trademarks. Where those designations appear in this publication, and WebVisible was aware of the trademark claim, the designations appear as requested by the owner of the trademark. All other product names and services identified throughout the publication are used in an editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies with no intention of infringement of the trademark. No such use, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with this publication. 14

16 Interested in learning more about WebVisible, Inc.? Sales and marketing: Publicity: Web site: Carey Ransom David Reeve

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