New Study Reveals How Consumers Choose Local Businesses in 2020

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Premier Digital Marketing Agency Ignite Visibility Asked 500+ Local Searchers What They Look for Online. Here’s What They Found Out.

Local searchers like positive reviews (but don’t love to leave them), still rely heavily on informative business descriptions, and prefer to communicate with businesses the old fashioned way.

That’s according to a brand new study by digital marketing agency Ignite Visibility, who surveyed over 500 searchers to gain insight into local search habits and the factors that most influence consumers’ decision to visit a store.

Some answers were unsurprising; yes, reviews matter. And yes, a high-quality website is crucial to bringing customers in the door.

But others they didn’t quite see coming.

For example, even with the rise of Yelp, TripAdvisor, and a myriad of other local review sites, many still rely on old standbys like Yahoo and White Pages when it comes to finding information and reviews on local businesses.

Similarly, despite advances in technology, traditional means of communication still hold strong.

Sixty-six percent of those surveyed prefer to call a business over any other means of communication, and when it comes to finding businesses online, the majority (59%) still prefer to use a desktop search over a mobile device or voice-enabled assistant.

“The results of this survey show us just how important it is for consumers to be able to connect to actual people, not bots or talking heads,” says John Lincoln, CEO of Ignite Visibility. “Customers love the phone. It is important that this is still an option and that there’s a friendly rep on the other line. While we all like the idea and ease of appointment booking automation, don’t underestimate the effect of a friendly, knowledgeable service rep.”

Additionally, as most local marketers know, positive reviews still have the power to make or break a brand online - but searchers aren’t spending as much time on them as you think. While 58% responded that a negative review would stop them from calling a local business, most only read between 1 and 3 reviews before deciding to visit a store.

Even more surprising, an overwhelming majority (81%) disclosed that while they do read reviews, they do not leave online reviews themselves.

But businesses can rest easy when it comes to Glassdoor; 89% of respondents do not check the site for reviews when considering a purchase from a local business.

“Despite the importance placed on positive reviews, most people do not want to tarnish a business's reputation or take the time to build them up. If a business wants reviews, it really needs to have a review generation strategy in place to collect them,” says Lincoln. “In terms of Glassdoor, we can see that a searcher’s primary concern continues to be overall service, not employee opinion.”

For more insights on these results and more, download the full study here!

About Ignite Visibility
Ignite Visibility is a premier Internet marketing company based in San Diego dedicated to providing the highest level of customer service in the industry. By establishing mutually beneficial, long-term relationships with our clients, we create custom solutions uniquely tailored to meet the specialized business objectives of each client. Because a company is only as good as the promises it keeps that were made during the sales process, Ignite Visibility holds itself accountable to clearly defined key performance indicators established at the outset of every campaign. We are committed to the Ignite Visibility motto pertaining to the three “R’s of customer satisfaction: relationships, responsiveness and results”. To learn more about Ignite Visibility, visit

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John Lincoln
since: 08/2011
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