Tomasz Banas

What YP Knows About Mobile Search & Why It Matters to Your Business

Yellow Pages has just released the results of its analysis of an entire year of search data, including over 2.25 billion searches and 39 billion impressions from over 300 of its local ad network online and mobile publishers. Titled, YP Local Insights Digital Report for the 2012 fourth quarter, it includes a “Local Search & Advertising Year in Review” analysis that revealed some fascinating information about local search consumer behavior.



We found especially interesting that around 30% of YP’s search queries are coming from>mobile devices. Of more than 65 million unique users per month, 20 million of them were using mobile devices to access 18 million YP listings in 4,600 business categories. This is an increase of 25% in the last year. Many of those searches were performed from various YPmobile® products, which experienced a 161% growth from last year as a result of an increasing number of consumers using smartphones and tablets.

Proximity and urgency are not always relevant to searches.

YP found that not everyone is using mobile devices to find businesses simply because they are in a particular area or immediately require a product or service (related to proximity or urgency). Don’t ignore proximity, though. The “sweet spot” for click-thru’s on mobile banner ads is around one to two miles for high engagement.

Use of mobile devices (other than iPhone) for mobile search is increasing.

While the iPhone dominated the mobile market for several years, and searches from iPhones increased from last year, search growth from Android devices and the iPad significantly outpaced the iPhone.

Restaurant searches dominate local search, but other business categories see significant growth patterns.

All told the restaurant category is still dominating local searches across the board (online, mobile devices, and tablets), growing 13% from last year. Other top search categories include financial services, auto repair and service, beauty services, and physicians and surgeons. The categories that grew the most in 2012 are pharmacies, grocery stores, bus lines, and funeral supplies and services.

There were several categories that showed significant mobile search growth from last year’s data:

  • Industrial manufacturing - 105%
  • Party planning - 95%
  • Medical services - 85%
  • Maintenance and cleaning services - 71%
  • Dentists - 71%
  • Building contractors - 62%

Seasonality is highly relevant to searches for particular business types and categories.

Seasonality data was analyzed and showed that searches are influenced by holidays, weather changes, and newsworthy events. Personal fitness trainers are sought by consumers more during the winter months, singles organizations have higher search rates during the spring, concert bureaus and camping equipment are popular searches during the summer, and fall is the season for home improvement, with wallpaper installation, tank cleaning, and plumbing contractors topping the list.

How does the YP report influence your local search marketing strategy?

We’re already on board with the need to give serious attention to the mobile customer when marketing local businesses, and this data just adds fuel to the fire we have under our feet to encourage you to make sure that your business is mobile-friendly.

The information in the YP study should help you to decide how to market your particular local business. The trends in proximity, urgency, categories, search terms, and seasonality are all worthy of your consideration so that you can adjust your local marketing strategy to optimally position your business and advertising dollars to get found by local customers who use mobile search to find the products and services that they needs. With proven results like these from the YP℠ Local Ad Network, you might want to think about including local advertising in your marketing strategy.

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An entrepreneur with an eye for good design and advocate of simplicity. He brings a fresh strategy and approach to every project and plays an integral role in clients’ accomplishments through collaboration and close integration. Through his hands-on experience in technology and marketing, he ensures user experiences and technology are on the leading edge.