YP Sees 'Skyrocketing' Mobile Search Growth

Mobile searches grew by 25% over the past year and now account for 30% of all searches on YP's Local Ad Network, according to the company's new "Local Insights Digital Report" released today. “It really is skyrocketing,” YP's CMO Ken Ray said. “People are using mobile devices for all of their searching needs.”

Mobile searches now account for 30% of all searches on YP’s Local Ad Network, and the company has seen its daily overall searches climb by over 350,000 over the last year, the company said in a report on Monday.

Searches on mobile grew by 25% over last year. “It really is skyrocketing,” said Ken Ray, chief marketing officer for YP. “You can see it growing month over month, quarter over quarter. People are using mobile devices for all of their searching needs.”

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YP’s “Local Insights Digital Report” was compiled based on internal company data from more than 2.2 billion searches and 39 billion impressions from over 300 online and mobile publishers in the YP Local Ad Network.

Among the mobile findings was that searches on iPads and Android devices are outpacing searches on iPhone. Searches on the iPad were up 233% over last year and Android searches jumped 205% in that same period, while iPhone searches comparatively climbed by only 58%

“There’s just a huge install base of Android that we’ve had,” Ray said, “but the growth rates across all [mobile devices] are really encouraging.”

Unsurprisingly, the study found that restaurants dominate the local search space, comprising 17% of mobile searches on the YP Local Ad Network and 10% of searches overall, climbing 13% over last year.

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Restaurants are followed by financial services, auto repair and service, beauty services and physician and surgeon searches, rounding out the top five categories of overall searches.

The most searched states of the year were California, followed by Texas, Florida, New York and Illinois, the report found.

The top ad categories of 2012 based on ad spend were building contractors, legal services, dentists, physicians and surgeons and auto repair and service.

The top growth advertiser categories in 2012 based on a change in the number of advertisers were antiques (up 59%), gift shops (up 35%), art (up 25%), exercise and fitness programs (up 24%) and tobacco stores (up 23%).

Grocery stores led the highest click per call ratio at 19:1, followed by real estate (17:1), health resorts and spas (16:1), child care (15:1) and wedding supplies and services (15:1).

“An emphatic takeaway is you really need to be well-positioned with a mobile product,” Ray said. “You’d better have an app or a mobile search experience that meets the needs of consumers. They want it fast, they want it intuitive and it needs to be easy to use.”

Looking ahead to 2013, Ray said to anticipate more mobile growth. “I think the next report is going to read that this trend continues to accelerate,” he said. “From everything I see, there is a huge wave of new tablets that are going to go out as Christmas gifts.”


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