Robert_Charlton - 1:14 am on Jun 20, 2012 (gmt 0)
Sorry for the delay, Edwin. I've meant to get back to this sooner.
In other words, is traffic as a result of "placename business-type" searches worth much less, less, about the same, more or much more than traffic from "placename business-name" searches?
I think this is oversimplifying it. Assigning value with much precision in the abstract would be almost impossible to do. It would depend a lot on the type of business and the nature of its "buying cycle." The length of a buying cycle and the complexity of the product also enter into it. Marketers often attach different types of searches to different points or phases in the cycle.
In local, factors like the importance of brand, individual business reputation, location, price, business hours, how fussy the customer is likely to be about a given type of purchase, etc are all involved.
There's a whole area in marketing now called attribution modeling or attribution marketing which tries to evaluate all marketing exposures rather than just what produced the last click.
I think I understand where you're coming from with regard to your question. In the early days of SEO, I was frustrated by businesses that felt that they had nothing further to do once they ranked for their business name. I always felt that this suggested a lack of imagination. My sense of it was that once potential buyers were aware of the business name, most of the job had already been done, and that the most valuable clicks were earlier in the chain.
They were clearly thinking of the final click at the end of the chain, which put customers directly in touch, whereas I was thinking of all the possible earlier clicks that might produce awareness of who they were. It's not possible to do without any one of these clicks, of course... but some of them are harder to achieve than others.