What Is The Best Digital Channel For Local Businesses?

Local search display on ipad

When it comes to local businesses, generating leads is a case of “work smarter, not harder.” There is very little time or money available to waste on avenues that do not generate any return on investment (ROI). That being said, which digital channels generate the most traffic and provide the most ROI for local businesses?

BrightLocal, a SEO software company, ran a survey with the objective of better understanding which digital channels take the most time and effort, and which ones deliver the greatest return, with hope that these findings could help local businesses make better-informed decisions about where to allocate their marketing time and budget.

Quality Leads
According to the survey, Organic and Local Search deliver the highest quality leads, followed by Direct Traffic and Google AdWords, which has seen an increase in quality leads from 2014. It isn’t much of a surprise that Search—Organic or Local—holds the number one spot, since they both have the advantage of attracting customers who are considered “high intent” and are already engaged in the purchase process, which means they are more likely to convert to a sale.

Direct Traffic also brings in high-quality leads because it is often comprised of returning customers or consumers who are already familiar with the business. This signifies appreciation or trust, which improves conversions drastically.

Social channels, though business owners are spending a reasonable amount of time optimizing them, aren’t delivering high-quality leads. However, social channels have proven valuable as engagement and communication tools used ideally to build brand affinity.

ROI
The survey’s findings for ROI are very similar to the findings for quality leads; Local and Organic Search prove to have the highest ROI compared to all other digital marketing channels. Though it does take time and money to develop a well-established, long-lasting presence in Local and Organic Search, businesses are getting out of it what they put in.

Website Traffic
Aside from quality leads and ROI, the survey took website traffic into consideration, as well, and according to the survey, Local Search was the leading traffic source. Local Search beat out Organic Search in the amount of website traffic by 6 percent, which is a 4 percent increase over last year. Local Search gives small and midsize businesses the opportunity to compete against larger brands and websites on the search engine results pages, however, the Local Search real estate is much smaller than the organic listings, especially since Google’s recent switch from seven local results to three.

Local Search has proved to be the winner of the title ‘Best Digital Channel for a Local Business’ with Organic Search as a close runner-up. Local Search drives traffic to your website, develops quality leads, and gives you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to return on investment.

Robmark Web has experienced SEO specialists on staff who are able to work with local businesses on developing their Local and Organic Search presence. If you are interested in a local SEO consultation, call (912) 921-1040.