Local Search Drives more Clicks & Calls
Bright Local, a marketing company specializing in local search and directory citation tools, runs an annual “Clicks & Calls” survey “in which [they] ask local business owners and local search marketers about which digital marketing channels drive leads to their businesses and deliver the best ROI.”
This year’s survey collated the responses of 477 search agencies, small business owners/managers, search consultants and web designers, spread over 8200 website locations during the past 12 months. The author of the survey results, Myles Anderson, notes that the giant standard, Google, with its powerful Google Analytics still has insufficient data to accurately track ROI – especially given that many consumers convert offline. They leave no trail to follow.
After measuring the amount of time spent in various channels, the heart of the survey was the level of effectiveness in each of the channels. Local and organic search came out on top as delivering the greatest ROI, with the following familiar channels trailing behind in this order: direct traffic, Google AdWords, email marketing, referral traffic, mobile marketing, Facebook, Bing ads, display advertising and Twitter.
Three key conclusions can be made:
- Best ROI over other significant digital marketing channels comes from Local and Organic search efforts.
- Local & Organic search delivers more clicks & calls and highest quality leads.
- Social Media, display ads and Bing ads deliver the lowest ROI.
An interesting sidelight forms a fitting conclusion. Direct Traffic and Referral Traffic are generally both seen as providing excellent ROI with high quality leads. However, these two strong marketing channels were not favored by the respondents. Driven by brand awareness, word of mouth, reputation and returning visitors, direct and referral traffic are still less definable and so not as easy to control. In other words, the more manageable, more direct response-to-effort channels of Local Search and Organic Search are seen as more worthy of the investment of effort because the return is more direct, more predictable.