BrightLocal recently did a survey that examines traffic and lead sources to local businesses and Myles published the results at Search Engine Land on Friday.

Survey Finds Organic Search Delivers The Best ROI For Local Businesses

Organic search dominates again, driving the greatest amount of traffic to local websites. Respondents also attributed the greatest volume of “calls” to organic, so it’s no surprise that it showed the best ROI of all channels.

Google Places/+Local came in second, driving 3x more traffic than Bing Local or Yahoo Local, therefore justifying the focus and effort that is lavished on it.

Interestingly, “direct traffic” came in third, behind both organic and local. This shows that many local customers either don’t have a specific business in mind when searching for a local business, or they don’t remember the URL/business details so can’t go directly.
So it's no surprise that organic and G+ Local came out on top since there were a lot of Internet marketing agencies in the survey. But I bet if it was a pure survey of SMBs email marketing would have come out on top as 1 or 2 in terms of ROI and higher on the other questions as well. SMBs still like email, it's just not where most of us marketers invest our time/energy.

But any way, good info. What do you think?