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Anyone who owns a small business or is involved in online marketing in any capacity has heard many statistics thrown around regarding the percentage of consumers who rely on the internet as a primary source of information in their search for a product, service or local business. These statistics can vary greatly depending upon the type of product or service being searched for, such as residential real estate or automotive.

It is not too far flung to accept that 82% of home buyers begin their search online, considering the ease and convenience in which you can shop for a potential home. Not to mention the wealth of images, video and information about area schools, neighborhoods and local conveniences. Makes perfect sense.

New and Used car buyers follow in a similar vein, with roughly 70% using the internet to perform research or shop for a new vehicle. There again…considering how easy and convenient it is…makes perfect sense.

These stats are great to know if you’re a realtor or a car dealer. But what if you’re a local hair salon, or a local plumber? Not to worry! Fortunately there is the “Pew Internet & American Life Project”. The Pew Research Center surveyed more than 1000 US adults that get information about local businesses. To Summarize:

Some 47% say they rely most on the internet to get news and information about local businesses, including:

  • Search Engines – 36% rely on them;
  • Specialty Websites – 16% rely on them;
  • Newspaper Websites – 2% rely on them;


  • 29% rely on Printed Newspapers;
  • 22% rely on word of mouth from family and friends;
  • 8% rely on local TV, either broadcasts or the websites of local stations;
  • 5% rely on local radio;

Additionally, people were asked if they got local news and information their cell phones and 47% of all adults said they did. Those mobile consumers were also more likely than others to get material about local businesses: 65% of mobile local news consumers got information about local businesses, compared with 55% of others…

Where do consumers get information about Local Businesses?

Thomas DiSanto

Thomas DiSanto

Thomas DiSanto is the CEO of Drive Customers, a Rhode Island based Digital Marketing Agency. He has more than 20+ years experience in creating and managing search engine marketing and enterprise level SEO programs. Call (855) 540-3300 today to learn why so many companies trust him.