Every Web site owner needs to clearly understand the importance of search engine traffic – and for those who do business in a specific geographic location – especially Local Search traffic.
Seventeen months of data for Texas Gazebo Manufacturer Golden Rule Gazebo was captured to illustrate clearly that Google has a monopoly on traffic and the importance of using Universal Business Listings to get your small business into all the tiny Local Search Directories to which you would never have manually identified and submitted.
This first screen capture shows overall search traffic for this very small business from October 29, 2009 (when analytics were first installed on their new blog) through March 20, 2010.
Over that time Google sent 1,412 visitors
Yahoo sent only 11 and Bing sent only 7
Google sent over 98% of their search engine traffic!
During that same period of time Golden Rule Gazebo used Google AdWords to send 1,293 visitors so of the above traffic, only 765 visits were from organic searches. Note that the time period shown above does not include the most recent year.
This next information adds the most recent full year, expanding the time from October 29,2009 to March 20, 2011. You can see a screen capture of that data full size here.
Google sent a total of 4,769 visitors
Yahoo sent only 96 and Bing sent only 71
Search (search who?) sent 45, aol 34, ask 10 and altavista 1.
Google sent just under 95% of all their search engine traffic.
In spite of such low search numbers their business – which would be expected to be as hard hit as other construction related businesses such as Millwork Companies and Contractors have in this economy – enjoyed a very good year last year and traffic is already picking up for spring which is their traditional strongest demand time.
Their sales are strong because of their many Local Search Directory Listings that send only a handful – or even one – new buyer at a time. This traffic converts much higher than traffic from a regular search engine because these types of sites are used by buyers when they are ready to hire someone or buy something.
Their Top Referring Local Search Directory Sites:
You can click on the image below to see this screen capture data full size or just check out the list below the image of the referral sites and number of visitors each has sent.
None of these are major local search directories! I don’t recognize any as being on the previous list of Local Search Directories I found when I did a similar Case Study on incoming links generating by using UBL for Good Millwork.
All of these are sites we would not have manually listed with and none are among the Top Ten Local Search Directories by Importance.
Notice that Google does not break out traffic that comes from their Google Maps site separately so there is no way to know how much of the traffic they send comes from Local Search but it is likely to be a significant percentage.
LOCAL SEARCH DIRECTORY URLs – Number of Visitors
This list is from Oct 29, 2009 to March 20, 2010:
- localfindonline.com 92
- foundnearby.com 39
- easylocalonline.com 36
- easyshoplocal.com 34
- mydailylocal.com 34
- yourgreatlocal.com 33
- easylocalfind.com 32
- ad.yieldmanager.com 29
- ilocalnet.com 28
- localpages.com 28
- click.zipcodez.com 26
- alltruelocal.com 25
- click.entertainmentdirectory.com 25
- localonlysearch.com 23
- click.salondirectory.com 21
- click.ultimateyellowpage.com 20
- federalyellowpage.com 19
- finddozens.com 19
- click.yellowpageonline.com 18
- findcitylocal.com 17
Compare the first list above to the list for Oct 29, 2009 to March 30, 2011:
- localfindonline.com 105
- definitelylocal.com 90
- amazinglocal.com 89
- guidetolocal.net 88
- superpages.com 83
- foundnearby.com 75
- localsearchlive.com 72
- yourlocalticket.com 71
- tradecrawler.com 68
- local-md.com 63
- ilocalnet.com 61
- searchyourzip.com 58
- localpages.com 57
- backroadhome.net 47
- easyshoplocal.com 46
- switchboard.com 46
- click.localsearchguides.com 45
- easylocalfind.com 42
- easylocalonline.com 42
- yourgreatlocal.com 42
The sites listed in bold at positions #5 and #16 are major local search directories and the 10 sites shown in italics were not even on the list of top 20 referrers the year before. Notice that the top referrer has slowed, probably because they have either lost search engine position or have stopped promoting themselves as well.
As new niche directories and geo-targeted directories are created, their site is automatically added because they are in the databases distributed through UBL. Small businesses with listings in as many local directories as possible are less affected by Google’s changes because as one local directory loses traction in the search engines, others you are also listed in will rise to page one.
332 tiny Local Search Directories referred 3,430 visits
Compare that to Google sending 4,769
Like them, you can protect your business from dropping Google traffic!
For those who want to see all the other little Local Search sites that sent this Texas Gazebo Builder traffic and buyers, here are screen captures of the data from their Google Analytics:
- Local Search Referring Sites 1-20
- Local Search Directory Sites 21-55
- Local Search Directories Sites 56-90
- Local Search Directory Referrals Sites 91-126
- Local Search Directories Referring Sites 127-162
- Local Search Directories Referrals Sites 163-197
Besides all of the referring sites shown above, Google Analytics captured 135 more sites that sent one visitor each. No business is going to manually list on all these sites – and it isn’t necessary because there is a fast, easy way to make sure your business gets listed on existing sites and included in new niche and geo-targeted sites.
I encourage bloggers to create niche geo-targeted blogs and that post explains why that is important for both small businesses and bloggers. It also explains why some small businesses especially need to get the Local Listings explained in this post because their location makes them harder to locate in Google Maps or Yahoo! Local.
We offer Local Search Directory Listing Services for Businesses.
If you prefer, see our do it yourself Local Search Directory Listings instructions.
We will also teach others how to offer these services.
Focus on These Priorities for Small Business Internet Marketing!