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Year in Review: YP℠ Local Insights Digital Report Reveals Consumer and Advertiser Local Search Trends

YP, North America’s largest local search, media and advertising company, today released its YP℠ Local Insights Digital Report: Year in Review. The end-of-year report uncovers trends across the rapidly-evolving local advertising ecosystem, including changing mobile search behavior, top search terms and top-growing local advertiser categories of the year. Published quarterly, the YP℠ Local Insights Digital Report focuses on data from the YP℠ Local Ad Network, which generated more than 2.2 billion searches over the past year and powers local for 300+ online and mobile publishers.i

“This year, more than ever, we witnessed the impact of how mobile lifestyles are changing the way consumers search for a merchant and when,” said Ken Ray, Chief Marketing Officer at YP. “Our findings reveal that consumers are relying on smartphones for more than just time-sensitive needs, which is a shift from traditional mobile search. This change in behavior is creating an intersection for YP and the rest of the search and advertising industry to connect consumers and local businesses in new ways.”

Key Findings from the Year in Review include:

Changing Mobile Search Behavior and Preferences

  • Mobile is Driving Local Search Growth: In the past year, users made an average of 350,000 more local searches every day across the YP℠ Local Ad Network compared to the prior year. This growth was primarily fueled by mobile searches, which grew 25 percent in the same time period, and now account for 30 percent of all searches on the YP℠ Local Ad Network. Many of these searches were made on YPmobile® products, the marquee mobile properties of the Network, where searches grew an impressive 161 percent vs. the prior year.ii
  • Mobile Lifestyles are Changing Search Behavior: Evidence of this can be seen in the growth of YP℠ searches in categories that are not related to proximity or urgency, which are factors that typically lead to a mobile search. Categories like industrial manufacturing and party planning have experienced a year-over-year mobile search growth rate of 105 and 90 percent respectivelyiii. This indicates that consumers are opting to make their mobile device their primary means of search whether their need is immediate or not.
  • iPad and Android Search Growth is Outpacing iPhone: Across YPmobile® apps, the number of iPad and Android device searches each grew more than 200 percent compared to the prior year while iPhone searches grew 58 percent compared to the same time periodiv.

What Consumers Are Searching For and When

  • Medical and healthcare-related searches outpace restaurant search growth: While restaurants, financial services and auto repair and services were the top-searched categories of the past year, the report found that medical and healthcare-related searches grew 61 percent year-over-year, led by pharmacies, the top-growing category across the YP℠ Local Ad Network (144 percent). This compares to 13 percent growth in restaurant searches during the same period. Restaurant searches, however, contributed 10 percent of total searches and were the most searched, clicked and called category online, on mobile devices and on tablets.v
  • Seasonality Drives Local Search: Consumer searches are influenced by a number of seasonal factors including holidays, events, weather changes and more. Out of the 4,600 YP℠ search categories, 39 percent experience some degree of seasonality impact, where their peak weeks of business see at least two to three times their usual search traffic, and 10 percent of categories experience a high degree of seasonality, with peaks greater than three times their averagevi.

Local Businesses Invest in Reaching their Communities

  • Local Businesses Invest in More Ways to Reach Customers: Top growing business categories based on number of advertisers were antiques (59 percent), gift shops (35 percent) and art (25 percent). Annual growth in the number of advertisers in a category may indicate that more of these businesses started up over the past year or that more of these businesses began to spend money on advertising to attract more customers.vii
  • Generating Leads for Local Businesses: Across the Network, for every 10 clicks on a business listing, an average of one call is also made to a business. The top-clicked categories of the year are restaurants, auto parts and building contractors.viii
  • Urgency Drives Calls to Businesses: Bus lines, car rental and auto parts are among the categories with the lowest clicks-to-call ratio over the past year. In general, the categories that convert clicks to calls the best (i.e., lowest clicks per call ratio) are those that service an urgent need.

Get access to these insights and the full report here:

About the YP Local Insights Digital Report

The YP℠ Local Insights Digital Report reflects on the rapidly-evolving online and mobile local advertising ecosystem, as mobile search emerges to provide additional ways of connecting consumers and local businesses. This Insights Report is based on internal data from more than 2.2 billion searches and 39 billion impressions from a full year across the YP℠ Local Ad Network’s 300+ online, mobile, IPTV and directory assistance publishers.

About YP

YP is North America's largest local search, media and advertising company. Its mission is to help small businesses and communities grow. Millions of searches occur daily using YP products to find, compare and select local merchants. The company's flagship consumer brands include the℠ site, a top 40 U.S. Web domain, the highly rated YP℠ app and the YP Real Yellow Pages directory, the largest Yellow Pages directory in the world by revenue.

The company's wide range of print and digital advertising products is designed to address the evolving local search needs of consumers and help advertisers grow their business. The YP℠ Local Ad Network provides advertisers with an opportunity to reach more than 180 million monthly users across over 300 affiliated online and mobile publishers. Through customized campaigns designed by media consultants, YP provides local businesses with one of the most cost effective sources for consumer leads.

YP products and services are backed by thousands of media consultants in local markets across the US with relationships spanning over 600,000 businesses. An affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management, L.P., one of the world's leading private investment firms, recently acquired a controlling interest in YP from AT&T.

Keep tabs on YP updates on Facebook: or by following @YP on Twitter.


i YP Internal sources, October 2011 - September 2012

ii YP internal data, October 2011 vs. October 2012.

iii YP internal data, based on category searches Q3 2011 vs. Q3 2012.

iv YP internal data, Q4 2010 - Q3 2011 vs. Q4 2011 - Q3 2012.

v YP internal data, Q4 2010 – Q3, 2012 unless otherwise noted. Numbers are averages across entire category and do not reflect individual performance. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance.

vi YP internal data, Q4 2011 – Q3 2012. Categories listed have peak seasons at least 6 weeks long. Numbers are averages across entire category and do not reflect individual performance. Past performance cannot be used to predict future performance.

vii YP internal data, based on number of advertisers, Q4 2010 - Q3 2011 vs. Q4 2011 – Q3 2012. Minimum 200 advertisers.

viii YP internal data, Q3 2011-Q2 2012. Categories with call tracking and minimum of 10,000 calls over 12 month period.

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