Local businesses are increasingly often searched for through the Internet
A study conducted by Pew Internet on the habits of English and Spanish-speaking consumers who visit local businesses (restaurants, bars or other businesses) shows that consumers increasingly often search for information on the web before going in store.
For bars and restaurants, 55% search for information in advance. To do this, 51% use the Internet (38% through search engines, 17% through specialised sites and 3% through social networks). However, the traditional print media still plays a major role (26% search for info in the print media; 5% in the digital media). 23% rely on word-of-mouth publicity, and 8% get their info from a local TV station.
For businesses other than bars and restaurants, percentages follow just about the same line: 60% search for information in advance; 47% of these people use the Internet, 30% use print media, 22% use word of mouth and 8% use regional TV stations.
In any case, the study proves the importance of the Internet for local businesses. Those who do not have their own website can – using tools such as Google Maps or the Yellow Pages – create a page online. But, of course, it is always better to have your own domain and your own website...