New Study: Nearly 80% Conversions! And Yelp Keeps Growing

Man using Windows Mobile device keypad outsideLocal SEO has taken a while to come into its own.  There are still a lot of local businesses owners, local schools, and local churches who don’t do anything make sure they have a strong presence in the search engines.  Many people still see the search engines as a place people go for non-geographic information, but that just isn’t the case anymore.

More and more people use search for finding local information and businesses, especially with the proliferation of smartphones.  These people aren’t just looking for information for the sake of knowing stuff either.  They are looking to buy things, attend meetings, find a school, etc.

A new study shows that a huge percentage of people who search locally from mobile phones convert.  I’ll tell you all about that and about what Yelp, Bing, and Google have been up to in the past month in this month’s SEO Update video.

Full Transcript:

Hi, I’m Kurt Steinbrueck with and this is your monthly SEO update keeping you informed on what’s going on in the search engines.  There’s been several update in the local market, so we’re gonna start there.

Local SEO

The first is with Yelp has been making a lot of deals with a lot of different companies lately to try to get their content out in as many places as possible and enhance their performance in the local search market.  And their latest one is a partnership with YP, which is formerly Yellow Pages.  YP is also trying to build up their share of the local market and so it’s kind of a good deal for the both of them to work together and try to compete, especially with big ol’ Google who is still the king of local right now.

So what is this deal?  Well, right now YP advertisers are having all of their local data imported into Yelp, so they’re getting listing and not just listings, but enhanced listings.  So they get extra features in their listings and of course that also makes the Yelp experience a little more robust because the more enhanced listings that they have the better their listings look.

So they’ve said that they’re probably gonna have other features that are coming along and one of the ones that I would watch for is that Yelp reviews would start showing up in YP results.  So that’s kind of a deal that Yelp has been making with a lot of different companies and I think that’s probably what they’ll push for with YP as well.  Can’t guarantee it, but I’d say it’s a pretty good chance of that.

Yelp’s Big Partnerships
Now, speaking of which, what other companies are they getting a partnership with?  ‘Cause it’s important that we keep in mind what Yelp has been up to.  They’ve been doing a lot of big moves here and right now they have partnershipped with Bing, with Apple, with Yahoo and now with YP.  So you can see they’re really making some big moves to try to gain some market share there in the local search.

Map Quest:
And another company that they’ve done a partnership with is Map Quest who’s gonna be the next person we talk about.  Map Quest has announced that they are revamping Map Quest and they’re really trying to put a focus on enhancing the experience that people have with Map Quest.  Now over the years Map Quest has kind of just coasted on their laurels.  They were one of the first map options out there and they gained a lot of popularity and then they just didn’t do that much with it.  They kind of rested on that.  But now they’ve said, No, we’re gonna refocus on this AOL who owns Map Quest and we’re gonna make this a priority for us.

So one of the ways that they’ve done this is to partner with Yelp to bring Yelp reviews in, but they’re also adding a lot of new features and they said they’re trying to innovate new things into the map experience that maybe you won’t find in some of the other maps out there.  So it’s another one to keep an eye on and you definitely want to be showing up in Map Quest as well as Yelp and making sure that you have those good reviews in Yelp.

Local Search Study:
The last thing that I’ll mention with local, and this is really significant, there was a study that was done, and you can find a link in the text below there, but there was a study that was done that showed that 80% of all local searches done on mobile devices ended in sales.  Now hear that,

80% of all searches done on mobile devices, all local searches done on mobile devices, ended in sales.  That’s huge!

That’s a huge conversion rate!

So if you are a company and you are wondering how important is it that I have a good presence in the local market, it’s huge.  It’s absolutely huge.  Eighty percent of local searches are ending in sales there.

Not just businesses
So you definitely want to have a big presence in that and that goes for churches and schools, too.  People, they are also searching for churches, they’re also searching for schools, and you’re gonna have conversion rates that are very high there as well.  A lot of them are just trying to find you, right?  So they may already intend to go visit you.  If they can’t find you when they do that search, then there’s a chance that they end up not showing up.  So you definitely want to have a really high presence in the local search.


Bing Enhances Snapshot:
Moving on to Bing.  Bing had a couple of announcements this month.  The first was that they enhanced Snapshot.  Snapshot is that column over on the right side of the results where they give just general information about things that you might be searching for.  So if you search for an actor, you’ll find biographical information, pictures, and a lot of other things on there.

So they’ve been working to enhance the information that they have there and they said that they kind of built out doctors, lawyers, dentists, real estate properties, and several others.  And in the past they’ve done a lot of work on historical figures and actors and famous people and things like that.

This is all part of their attempt to gain as much knowledge as possible to not only understand how things connect and what entities are and things like that, but also just to be able to provide just a huge amount of information right there in the search results, not necessarily taking you to other sites, but where you can find that information right there in that Snapshot column.  So it’s not just biographical information, but it’s links to movies for actors and audio of speeches by historical people and things like that.  So they’ve just been adding a lot of information and a lot of content to that Snapshot.

Bing launches Cortana.
And the other announcement that they made is that they launched Cortana and Cortana is Bing’s response to Siri and Google Now, a kind of voice interactive personal assistant search engine thing.  Basically you’re able to talk to it, it can give you responses, you can ask questions, you can do phone functions, you can do searches in Bing, set up appointments, all these different kinds of things that you can do just by using your voice.  And so they have launched that on all Windows phones, so if you have a Windows phone, you might want to check that out.


Google Brings Back “Search Nearby”.
Lastly, Google, you can’t have one of these updates without talking about Google it would seem, Google Maps has announced that they have brought back the search nearby feature.  Search nearby was a feature where, basically if you search for something in an area, you could click on search nearby and it would bring up different results of things that you might be interested in and things like that.  Well, when they moved over to the new Google Maps, that feature was not included and due to popular demand, they have now brought that back.  So if that’s something that you like to use, it’s back.

So that’s our updates for this month and keep in mind that we live in this Internet age and it is crucial.  Remember 80% of all local search results in mobile phones ended in sales.  It is important that you stay strong in the search engines so that you can achieve your mission online.  And we’re here to help you do that.

God bless.

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  5. Such a true study it is! Nearly 80% conversition is very much handy statistics and I am sure that day by day it will increase a lot because the user of mobile device is increasing and everybody love to use for accessing online. So definitely the percentage of Conversion will increase more very soon:)

  6. Either it is a local study or a national, maybe international one, I believe that Yelp is doing a pretty good and impressive job while never letting down its customers in terms of its good service and providing them with and best results and searches.

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  8. I'll admit, we at are not big fans of Yelp, however we do respect their ability to keep moving forward. In the restaurant niche, they are a definitely a good source of review info.
    *It seems like MapQuest has really slipped since this article was first published.
    Thanks Kurt 🙂

  9. Hey Kurt, great article! Here at my company Alberta SEO, we take full advantage of the power of sites like Yelp and YP, Mapquest not so much thought, I will have to look into them!

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  17. We at CanWest IM are definitely not big fans of Yelp, but it seems to be a necessary evil.

    Thanks for the post