Paid search traffic in US, mobile and tablets contribute more

It's already a known fact that businesses can generate more revenue and attract more customers by employing a local SEO strategy. However, based on new research, local businesses may not know just how much they stand to gain from local search marketing.

According to the recent Search Agency's State of Paid Search Report, click traffic had increased 27 percent year-over-year in the third quarter of 2012, with U.S. impressions rising by 21 percent.

Yahoo Bing Network shows Google up
One of the most interesting highlights from the report found that while Google's place atop the search engine realm is quite entrenched, the Yahoo Bing Network actually outperformed Google quarter-over-quarter from the second quarter of 2012 to the third quarter. Yahoo Bing's click traffic grew by 9.6 percent during the time period, while Google's click traffic showed an increase of 0.7 percent.

The notable growth of the Yahoo Bing Network and the consistent performance of Google led some to believe the search industry is booming.

"The search industry overall is continuing to thrive," said Keith Wilson, vice president at the Search Agency. "Over the last quarter we’ve seen higher quality traffic on Yahoo!-Bing, driving advertisers to invest more in the growing search engine."

Mobile drives growth, tablet picking up slack
Of particular interest to local SEO specialists is that mobile devices saw strong growth in the amount of search traffic they create. Mobile and local searches are found to be intertwined, as more consumers search for local products and services from smartphones and tablets than they do from computers.

Smartphone click traffic grew 105 percent year-over-year, with a 13 percent increase in cost per click. Smartphones also had the largest increase in click through rates at 27 percent year-over-year, while click traffic derived from tablet use increased a walloping 339 percent.

“Another area of rapid growth is on tablets and mobile—we expect this growth to continue to pick up pace, especially as we hit the holiday shopping season and new tablets are introduced into the market," Wilson said.

The increase in mobile-originated traffic in consumer goods and services, media and entertainment industries is also cause for celebration from some local businesses. Overall, click shares for mobile devices grew 4.9 percent in quarter-over-quarter to 21.1 percen. Consumer services particularly saw the strength of mobile in full force, as click traffic on smartphones and tablets jumped 117 percent year-over-year.