72% of Consumers Who Did a Local Search Visited a Store within 5 Miles

I read this statement some time ago on www.wordstream.com and reflected on how it could impact the design of a digital marketing strategy, particularly for small and medium businesses.

The 72% figure (which I think is amazingly high) applies to the US market but it is probably fair to apply similar conclusions to Sweden. Sweden, a market where 95% consumers use the Internet, 44% use mobile devices and 77% google to find information about local business.
(Sources: The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/15, The Consumer Barometer Survey 2017)

Your digital presence is important

First thing that one can conclude from all the statistics above is how important it is for local businesses, regardless of their size, to have a digital presence. Customers expect to find your business online before they visit you so you need to be there, starting with an attractive website.

A website that is not only quick-to-download and easy-to-navigate (so that visitors don’t leave your page even before they start to read) but that includes useful information for your customers.

Digital Marketing Strategy Insights | What Swedish consumers are looking for online

Table 1 | What Swedish consumers are looking for online

It may sound very obvious but it is essential that you focus on what your customers want to know about you and your products/services when you write the content for your website and for the rest of your digital channels. Including up-to-date information about your prices, opening hours or product availability could be decisive to attract new customers better than your competition. Check table 1 for more information on what Swedish consumers are looking for online.

Geo-targeted marketing as part of your digital strategy

Another conclusion: Distance matters and consumers are interested in buying close to where they are. So you need to consider using geo-targeted marketing as part of your digital marketing strategy. This will allow you not only to reach those that you want (the ones that are willing to buy from you that are nearby) but also to optimize your marketing spending.

There are different options/channels that you can use to promote your products and services online focusing on your geographical area, like Google My Business, Social Media ads, Display ads or SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

Also interesting for the design of your digital marketing strategy is to know which are the online sources that customers use the most when they look for information about local businesses. Check table 2 to get some insights on where to focus. The figures are three years old and channels like Social Media may have been growing considerably; but they are still interesting.
Digital Marketing Strategy Insights | Online source used to find information about local companies

Table 2 | Online source used to find information about local companies

Influence your search ranking with optimization

And last but not least, search is a key channel used by customers to chose where to buy and so it should be a key channel for you to market your products. If a considerable amount of consumers do a local search before visiting a business, you need to be part of their search results and be shown as high as possible in their list. Therefore you need to prioritize search as part of your digital marketing strategy using methods such as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or SEM (Search Engine Marketing).

Let me summarize

So summarizing, if you owe a small/medium business and want to attract customers to visit your store, office or physical place where you sell your products and/or services, here are three important things to consider as part of your digital marketing efforts based on the statement above:

  1. As a solid base for your digital presence, make sure you have an attractive website that includes useful and up-to-date information for your customers
  2. Use geo-targeted marketing to attract customers in your surroundings while you optimize the use of your marketing budget
  3. Utilize search optimization techniques to improve your chances of ranking good in the results of the most popular search engines.

Take care//Andreas