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BrightLocal-Most-Important-Info-Local-Biz-Websites-Feb20142 in 3 American and Canadian consumers indicate that a local business having a website affects their opinion of the business and whether or not to use it, according to survey results from BrightLocal. So which types of information are most important to consumers to find on local business websites? The study finds that the inclusion of basic information is paramount, while other factors such as site speed or mobile optimization are low on the list.

It probably doesn’t need repeating, but local business website success is very much based on simple pieces of information that consumers need to see in order to judge whether or not it’s one they’ll frequent. To wit, the most commonly-cited top-3 important pieces of information, per the study, are:

  • List of products (12%);
  • Price list (11%);
  • Phone number (11%);
  • Physical address (10%); and
  • Opening hours (10%).

By contrast, few care as much about pictures of staff, mobile sites, and blog/FAQ content (1% each).

That’s not to suggest that those are irrelevant – mobile optimization in particular is important, as a significant portion of local business searches are conducted on mobile devices. Instead, the results serve as a reminder that there’s little point in having a mobile optimized site if it doesn’t contain basic information about the business.

The results also make more sense in light of other data concerning consumers’ most important local business selection criteria: business proximity (18%), clear contact details (16%), and company information (16%). In other words, consumers want to know how close the business is, how to contact it, and what it’s offering. Factors such as attractive websites (8%) and fast speeds (5%) presumably become more important once those initial information needs have been satisfied.

In terms of the factors that are most likely to stop consumers from using a local business, the lack of a phone number (15%) and pricing (13.4%) are atop the list. Of note, poor content (13%) is a bigger factor here than a business not being local (13%), a curious result. Again, the quality of the website matters less in this instance, though is likely a competitive differentiator if other criteria have been met.

Other Findings:

  • Women were slightly more likely than men to indicate that price list and contact email are important information types on local business websites, while being less likely to consider company images and fast website speed important.
  • Older Americans are more likely to find list of products and price lists to be important information on local business websites, and less likely to see attractive websites as influential. Similarly, older Americans are most likely to determine if they want to frequent a business based on proximity and company info, and least likely to make that call based on the attractiveness of the website.

About the Data: The data is based on 811 responses from BrightLocal’s local consumer panel, with all respondents based in the US and Canada.

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