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With a noticeable rise in tablets and smartphones being used to get information on local businesses, this trend must be matched by fine-tuning advertising strategies by local businesses. Figures provided from a study conducted by Burke, Inc. reveals upcoming search trends that should be leveraged by local businesses.

Burke, Inc. conducts their yearly Local Media Tracking Study and their study based on over 8,000 adults in the USA throughout the year 2012 reveals surprising facts. Those surveyed revealed that they used a wide range of online as well as offline media to locate information on local businesses that included new methods such as Review/Rating websites and Daily Deals.

Various media sources used by the respondents in the entire year on their order of highest to lowest included Search Engines (74%), Yellow Pages (73%), Store Circulars including Email Promotions and Coupons (68%), Newspapers and Magazines (53%), Daily Deals (36%), Internet Social Networks (35%), and Ratings and Review Websites (35%).

Tablets and smartphones are increasingly being used to conduct local searches, and have overtaken desktops and laptops by a large margin in 2012. In addition, there was an increase in the number of respondents that used online Yellow Pages in 2012 as compared to the earlier year. The two new avenues of traffic, namely Daily Deals and Ratings/Reviews Websites were also used more by smartphone and tablet users during 2012.

Most respondents stated that they used desktops and laptops to first get the desired information and these were also their first preference while making purchases. However, the first as well as fourth quarter of 2012 revealed an increasing number of respondents that used smartphones/mobiles and tablets/netbooks to do the same.

Since smartphones and tablets are eating into the share of desktops and laptops for searching local businesses, web owners and webmasters need to optimize their sites to cater to this fast-growing market to attract new visitors and remain competitive in their markets. Both tablet and smartphone owners stated that they preferred browsing and shopping on mobile sites over mobile apps. Local businesses should thus try to fine tune their strategy in a way that works for both mobile web and mobile apps to get the best of both worlds.

Internet or online Yellow Pages that included sites such as,, and have witnessed a marked rise in users searching for local businesses. With 47% of the respondents using Internet Yellow Pages during 2012, this translates into around 5 billion references.

Other figures from the study revealed that 65% of purchases made through Internet Yellow Pages ended in a purchase on the very same day, while 79% of searches done via Internet Yellow Pages ended in a contact with a local business on the same day. The study also found that online as well as offline local advertising on Yellow Pages provide excellent reach by reaching more potential customers as compared to other media.

Local businesses should hence explore all the above avenues to reach out to customers that use a variety of devices including an increasing number that use smartphones and tablets. They must try to utilize a complete package in their advertising strategy to get the best possible ROI in their bid to reach their intended audience.

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