Report: Mobile Traffic To Local Sites Growing Faster Than To Total Internet, Now At 27 Percent

The Local Search Association has released a new Local Mobile Search report, which affirms many of the big themes and trends in the market now: PC traffic is flat, mobile is gaining rapidly and mobile is heavily used for local search. The Q4 2012 data in the report are from comScore. And because the data are from Q4, the trends and traffic figures in the report are probably slightly higher now.

The data argue that there has been zero-percent growth in PC Internet traffic since 2011. The PC Internet has plateaued (see our Marketing Land story: PC Free: 46% Used Only Mobile Devices In Purchase Process According To New Study.)

PC traffic flat vs. mobile

At the same time mobile is growing as a percentage of overall traffic to websites. As of Q4, on average, mobile traffic stood at 15 percent. However in particular categories it’s much higher: local for example. In its Q1 earnings call this week Yelp said that 55 percent of all its searches are now from mobile (45 percent from apps).

Mobile traffic now 15%

Traffic to local sites is growing faster than mobile traffic generally across the internet. The average percentage of mobile traffic (traffic from “non-PC” devices) to local sites grew to 27 percent in Q4 vs. the broader internet average of 15 percent.

As indicated above, particular local sites may be seeing even greater traffic from mobile devices. Another example: real estate site Zillow announced in January that more than half of its visits are now coming from mobile.

Mobile traffic to internet sites growing faster in local

Consistent with other data, mobile apps are more often used to access local content than the mobile browser according to the report. However, as a practical matter, it really depends heavily on the category. In some categories the mobile browser may be used more often and in others apps dominate.

local apps vs. mobile web

For example in the following slide based on data from Nielsen-xAd-Telmetrics’ 2012 mobile path to purchase study, apps were the primary way to access content in the travel category but not for automotive.

app vs. mobile web usage xAd study

The report argues, quite correctly, that everyone operating in the local market needs to quickly shift budget and attention to mobile given how fast everything is changing.

Related Topics: Channel: Consumer | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | Top News


About The Author: is a Contributing Editor at Search Engine Land. He writes a personal blog Screenwerk, about SoLoMo issues and connecting the dots between online and offline. He also posts at Internet2Go, which is focused on the mobile Internet. Follow him @gsterling.

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  • Stacey Mayer

    This is amazing, to see such a sea-change in how we use our computers and hand held devices. However humble, businesses need their own app.

  • misschievous

    This is great and believable given how tablets and mobiles play a huge part of the daily lives of almost everyone. The busy people would most likely use gadgets with data, making them browse things using apps. I am glad that I am able to track these visits (mobile, PCs, etc) through the tool I am using Colibri Tool. Glad to be on track!

  • Sunday

    The details highlighted in this post means one thing: More and better marketing strategies should be adopted by companies for mobile.

    For sure mobile is wining and it will take the best of companies quick decisions to tap into the huge local traffic this is generating!

    The above comment has been shared in where this post was “kingged”.

    Sunday – contributor

  • Jame Mimi

    More amazing changes


  • HireAWiz

    Great post, according to market scenario every movement has change our technology and people also require everything in their hand at a small time. Therefore we need to grow up similarly. People want to use those things which have involves more multiple jobs. Mobile is one of them most essential things in this business and if we focus on that technology then we needs to do according to design and develop our website as like as user interface.

  • Ishwor Singh

    All of us wants internet access wherever we go, therefore tablets and phones have made it easy for us. In near future the usage of these handy devices will increase tremendously :)

  • Dan Leibson

    Another reason why people saying mobile is the future are missing what is happening right here, right now.

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