comScore has released the results of a study on locally targeted online display ads in the US, which focused on four major markets: Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. In these areas, the results indicate that about 10% of all display ads are locally targeted.

"Locally targeted ads are an increasingly important component of the digital ad landscape because they represent a more efficient allocation of ad dollars," said comScore vice president Brian Jurutka. Here’s a look at some additional numbers:

comScore says that advertisers were deemed to be locally-targeting ads in a particular market if their relative share of display ads was substantially higher than that market’s share of display ads nationally. According to the study, between 9 and 11 percent of display ads in the four markets among all publisher sites were locally targeted. In the regional/local site category, which includes sites like Yahoo Local, CitySearch, and Yelp, the share of display ads that were locally targeted was substantially higher.

"Our research indicates that advertisers understand the value of locally targeted ads and are willing to pay a premium for them – anywhere from 20 to 100 percent – depending on the geography and vertical," said Matt Booth, senior vice president and program director, Interactive Local Media, BIA/Kelsey. "Identifying and quantifying which advertisers are purchasing local ads in particular markets is critical to helping publishers efficiently target potential prospects for these high value ad placements."

Google’s latest local advertising offering is bound to be quite popular among small businesses looking to reach local customers. The company introduced Local Listing Ads earlier this week.

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