SOURCE: WebVisible

November 30, 2006 12:57 ET

Holiday Shoppers Look to the Web for More Than Retail

IRVINE, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 30, 2006 -- As the online holiday shopping season kicked off with great deals from Wal-Mart, Best Buy and other national retailers, one company is advising the local service sector, an often overlooked segment of local businesses, to stand up and be counted this holiday season. WebVisible, a leading software and technology provider that produces interactive advertising for local businesses, is reporting that the service industry is also benefiting from a seasonal increase in holiday shoppers.

Through their broad local advertising software platform, WebVisible can identify commerce trends in the popular keywords that consumers search for and the websites they visit.

WebVisible cites a rise in searches for health and fitness services, likely due to New Year's resolutions, and for holiday party essentials such as limousine rentals, musicians and photographers. In addition, WebVisible points to a dramatic rise in searches for heating repair as winter sets in across the country, plus vacation searches -- particularly cruises -- among snowbird vacationers seeking warmer climates.

"We mine this data to chart consumer behavior throughout the year," said Kirsten Mangers, CEO of WebVisible, "giving local merchants greater insight into how potential customers may search for them during high retail periods, such as the holiday season. The data adds to the artificial intelligence in our technology, making our keyword buys more effective and efficient at driving the right traffic to our advertisers' websites."

According to a recent Nielsen//NetRatings and WebVisible study of how consumers use search engines to find local service vendors from which to shop, 20% of all Internet users searched recently for a local service vendor in the "personal services" category, which includes florists, electronics repair, party planning and vehicle rentals. Of those who searched, more than 50% clicked on a sponsored link, or ad, in the search results.

"With the rise in retail gift certificates, we've also seen an increase in inquiries of gift cards or certificates from local service businesses -- spas, salons, landscapers, even contractors and painters," said Mangers.

WebVisible recommends that their service advertisers follow 3 simple rules in marketing their websites during the holidays:

1)    Use keywords that reflect the season. A fitness instructor should
      swap fitness keyword "bikini" for "new year's resolution."

2)    Update websites to echo the season. If a merchant rents boats in the
      summer and snowmobiles in the winter, the merchant can boost
      snowmobile rentals now by featuring the vehicles on their home page.

3)    Advertise seasonal incentives. An electrician could market "free
      heater inspection" instead of "free air conditioner inspection."

About WebVisible™

Established in 2001, WebVisible is a leading software and technology provider to the local online advertising industry.

Our proprietary software, Geneva, is a scalable platform for creating and managing local interactive advertising products. We integrate directly with a network of over 30 top search engines including Google and Yahoo!. WebVisible provides an exchange between private label resellers of our local advertising products, search engines, and other online media providers, creating one of the largest independent exchanges of its kind. WebVisible's technology automates the account management, media provisioning, bid, budget, and reporting processes, allowing an affordable, turn-key online advertising solution for local businesses all over the world.

WebVisible's service suite includes local search marketing, locally-targeted banner advertising, fixed placement ads, profile and landing page technologies, and call-related services packages. All products are privately branded and sold by a growing list of resellers in the yellow pages, newspaper and online marketing industries.

For more information, please visit www.webvisible.com or call (949) 502-5757. Subscribe to a blog feed at www.webvisible.com/blog

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:

    David Reeve
    WebVisible
    (949) 502-5766
    Email Contact

    WunderMarx Inc. for WebVisible
    George Pappas
    714-862-1112
    Email Contact