58% of Mobile-Local Search Click Actions Were Calls in Q1

May 16, 2012

xad-secondary-actions-post-search-in-q12012-may2012.jpgPlacing a call to a local business was the leading secondary action after a mobile-local search ad click on the xAd network in Q1 2012, according to a report released by xAd in May 2012. 58% of secondary actions post-search click led to calls, ahead of maps and directions (36%), description (5%), and more info (1%). Overall, the secondary action rate (SAR – the percentage of users who took action after the initial ad click) stood at a healthy 36%, while the click-through rate (CTR) on search campaigns rose from 7% in Q4 2011 to 8.13% in Q1. Once again, search CTR far outpaced display ad CTR, which was 0.72%.

Secondary Actions Differ Significantly for Travel Sub-Categories

The report looks into the travel industry in detail, finding some interesting discrepancies in secondary actions among the different sub-categories. For example, for car rental search, which sported a 60.22% SAR, the top secondary action was calls (73%), while for hotels and lodging search, which had a lower SAR of 28.38%, the leading secondary action was access to maps and directions (76%). Airline search boasted the best SAR, of 65.85%, with 89% of secondary actions being calls. This means that 59% of all airline search clicks led to calls in Q1.

The sub-categories all had better-than-average search CTRs: airlines led at 17.8%, followed by car rental (17.06%) and hotels and lodging (9.71%).

According to a May 2012 report from Jumptap, 2011 mobile ad CTRs for the travel channel peaked in June at 3.55%, with September (3.37%) also demonstrating strong engagement.

Restaurants the Most-Searched Category

Data from xAd’s “Mobile-Local Performance Stats” indicates that based on the top-searched keywords in Q1, most mobile users entered queries related to specific local needs, with restaurants leading, ahead of gas stations. Health and medical and home and garden both saw increases, moving into the #3 and #4 spots, respectively, with shopping rounding out the top 5 most-searched categories.

In the travel category, which appeared at #8 on the list, the top keywords were: car rental; travel agencies; limousine services; airline; and tours.

Other Findings:

  • Mobile application search access in Q1 grew at a higher rate (4% points) than access via a mobile browser (3% points), continuing a trend apparent since xAd began tracking this in Q3 2011.
  • Among both iOS and Android users, mobile search access was preferred in-app rather than in-browser.
  • For mobile users accessing travel content, though, search access via browser was preferred. When breaking the data down by smartphone user, iOS users slightly preferred access through an app, while Android users preferred access via browser.
  • Looking at US regions, the South (35%) was again the originator of the most search activity, followed by the West (26%), the Northeast (21%), and the Midwest (18%). This pattern held true for travel activity, too: the South led with 31%, followed by the West (26%), Northeast (25%), and Midwest (18%).
  • Examining the profiles of travel-interested mobile users, the report finds them to be in line with overall local-mobile user profiles, skewing male, and from higher income households.

About the Data: For the purpose of the xAd report, the local-search audience is defined as mobile-phone owners who access the following content categories, either through their mobile browsers or applications: business directories; classifieds; maps; movie and restaurant information; news; real-estate listings; traffic reports; and weather.

Metrics and insights provided are a combination of xAd’s network and campaign data (January 2012-March 2012), as well as the comScore MobiLens Audience Profile Report (three-month average ending March 2012) and the comScore MobiLens Trend Report (three-month average, March 2011-March 2012). The xAd network aggregates and manages more than a billion location-specific ad requests per month, billions of business listings, and over one million national and local advertisers.

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