Study: Restaurants, Autos Are Top Local Search Categories

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AT&T Interactive has released its Local Insights Report, which offers some interesting observations about the state of mobile search. The study includes data from 528 million searches and more than 10 billion impressions.

In both mobile and online searches, restaurants and automotive took the No. 1 and No. 2 spots, respectively. However, while movie theaters, beauty services, and hotels filled out the 3rd through 5th slot for mobile, finance, real estate, and legal figure 3-5 in all local online searches. Those differing results speaks to the on-the-go nature of mobile searches, which now comprise 30% of total searches on the YP Local Ad Network.

When users look for more information about businesses, more than half (54%) of all mobile clicks are to the click-to-call button while a little more than a quarter (27%) are for maps or directions and just 10% are to visit the website. This suggests that while searches are useful for finding information, the information a searcher finds is either insufficient and requires a call or the person is simply searching for a phone number. As users become more comfortable doing tasks online — and websites become sophisticated enough to allow them to achieve their goals without calling — these numbers will shift. The transition will occur slowly, however.

Additionally, the study found that 43% of all local mobile searches result in a visit to a store. That is a remarkably high number, especially considering the high percentage of people who call as a direct result of a search.

Atlanta, which boasts just the 40th largest population in the United States, ranked as the 5th largest search city behind New York, Los Angeles, Houston, and Chicago. The number of searches in Atlanta grew 108% year-over-year, showing how new the category still is.

Noah Davis is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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