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Restaurants led all categories in local online searches again in Q2 2012 on the YP Local Ad Network, per a September 2012 [download page] report from YP. Following were financial services and beauty services, with auto repair and services and real estate rounding out the top 5. These were the same top 5 categories as in Q1, though with some ranking shifts. Pool and spa services was the fastest-growing category for the quarter (+86%), followed by boats and boating (+80%). Also posting rapid growth in Q2 were outdoor recreation (+76%), home and garden (+59%), and book stores (+47%).

Outdoor recreation (+106%) was the fastest-growing mobile search category, ahead of landscape and lawn services (+100%) and home and garden (+90%).

Proximity Improves Mobile Ad CTR

Data from the YP report indicates that mobile search users tend to become more engaged with ads the closer they are to a business. Aggregating data from more than 1.5 billion monthly geo-targeted banner ad impressions, the report finds that the CTR of a mobile ad was 1.4 times higher when the user was located within 1-2 miles of the business than when the user was located more than 10 miles away. Mobile ad CTR was also higher when users were located within: less than a mile of the business (1.4x); 2-5 miles of the business (1.26x); and 5-10 miles of the business (1.05x); when compared to users located more than 10 miles away.

Building Contractors, Legal Services Top Local Advertisers

Building contractors topped the list of local advertiser categories based on advertising spend, followed by legal services, dentists, physicians and surgeons, and auto repair and service. Notably, auto repair and service was the only category from the top 5 spenders list to also appear on the top 5 most-searched list.

In terms of quarter-over-quarter spending growth, mental health services (+38%), antiques (+31%), and hardware stores (+24%) posted the largest increases.

Other Findings:

  • When grouping the 4,600 individual business categories into 14 verticals, YP found that business and professional services boasted the largest share of searches, followed by shopping, and food and dining.
  • On the East Coast, schools came in at 6th on the top 10 most-searched categories list, while on the West Coast, movie theaters took that spot. Neither category was on the overall top 10 list.
  • iOS in-application ads saw a 47% higher click-through rate (CTR) for the quarter than Android in-app ads. iPad ads saw a 9% higher CTR than iPhone in-app ads.
  • Mobile ad CTRs were highest for the healthcare and fitness and reference categories, and lowest for the communications category. Even so, one-third of those who clicked on banners in communications apps also clicked on the landing page.

About the Data: The YP report is based on internal data from 573 million searches and 10 billion impressions in Q2 2012 across the YP Local Ad Network’s 300+ online, mobile IPTV and directory assistance publishers.

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