According to the US Local Online Advertising Forecast – 2007 to 2012, local advertising will increase by 13 percent from 2007 to 2012, faster than online advertising as a whole, of which a 12 percent growth rate is anticipated during the same period. But it will be local display and search advertising that are poised to make the biggest impact. With compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) of 18 percent and 16 percent, respectively, during the next five years, the categories will gain lift from an ongoing strategic push by newspaper and yellow pages publishers as well as improved local performance by the major search engines. While this trend represents a shift from old media to new media, it in no way suggests tactics of the past are becoming extinct. (Business Wire)
As the local search space becomes less fragmented it will become easier for small businesses to reach an ever-growing number of consumers turning to the internet to find local businesses. A WebVisible and Nielsen//NetRatings survey released September 2007 found that search engines are now the number one source for consumers looking for local businesses. As this trend continues it will be critical for local businesses to have an optimized website and effective online ad campaigns to gain new customers.