Image, coupon potential still unrealized for local marketers

An April 2011 survey by internet marketing resource MarketingSherpa revealed that including a phone number in a local search listing was the most popular tactic to drive business, eMarketer reports.

Of the 37 percent of respondents who had a local business listed online, 81 percent noted that they included a business phone number in their listing. This figure is unsurprising, as most local businesses make their profits off of in-store transactions as opposed to online.

The survey also found that just 48 percent admitted to adding images into their listings, despite their beneficial implications on local search results. BrightLocal reports that 37 percent of local searchers on Google paid more attention to companies that have a business image or company logo in the search result. Furthermore, 23 percent were more likely to contact a business with an image.

In addition, eMarketer estimated that 47 percent of U.S. internet users will use online coupons this year. However, only 16 percent of respondents stated that they offer discounts on their sites.

BizMarketing notes that despite social media becoming the primary way users interact with businesses, Google remains the initial search option for potential customers, as nearly 33 percent of local business website visits were the result of Google Places.