YP recently released its Q2 2013 Local Insights Digital Report, which tracks more than 600 million searches and over 10.6 billion impressions in Q1 2013 across the YP Local Ad Network’s 300+ online, mobile and tablet publishers. The report showed that mobile search on the YP Local Ad Network is growing fast (9% increase from Q4 2012, 35% year-on-year increase from Q1 2012), and now represents 35% of all searches on the platform.
As it has in earlier reports, YP provides a snapshot of the most popular local search categories. Several categories showed greater than 100% year-on-year growth in Q2. The travel industry was a clear leader in growth, showing a staggering 711% increase in air travel searches and a 414% increase in transportation searches between Q2 2012 and Q2 2013.
By increasingly turning to mobile devices to search categories like travel and transportation, consumers are demonstrating that they are becoming more comfortable using smartphones and other connected devices to make complex searches for everything from vacation planning to real estate listings.
The Q2 report also provides some interesting insights into advertiser behavior on the YP network. According to YP internal data on Q1 2013 ad revenue, there is a large discrepancy between spending and exposure for YP advertisers. As the above charts show, building contractors spend the most on local advertising, yet rank tenth in consumer searches. The legal services category shows a similar relationship, ranking second in spending and eighth in searches. And on the other end of the spectrum, restaurants receive the most searches, yet they don’t even break the top 10 in ad spending.
It may look like a case of misappropriated local marketing budgets, but I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to conclusions. Consider that consumers have different motivations for different searches. In some verticals, particularly restaurants, consumers will be constantly searching for new things to try. In other verticals, such as home repair, a single search can establish a relationship that provides years of continual business. Even though they seem to be gaining relatively few searches for their ad expenditure, service providers like dentists and general contractors can get huge return-on-investment from a local ad spend.