YP: Our Users More Valuable than General Searchers per comScore
June 14, 2017 | Contributed by: Greg Sterling
YP released a new report, relying on comScore data, that argues its audience is more valuable and more qualified than the general search audience. Here’s the general audience overview provided by the report:
Compared to all searchers, YP users tend to be over 35 years old, and 42% have kids in the household. Females outpace males in using YP (55% vs. 45%). YP users are more likely to own a home, a vehicle, and a pet. They are also more likely to have recently experienced a life event, moved to a new city, or relocated within a city. YP users are at an age where they are established in their careers, pressed for time, and making family life and household buying decisions on a regular basis.
What’s interesting is that the data show that despite a very high degree of purchase intent YP users are less likely to have a business name in mind that general searchers. This is something of a surprise.
The operating assumption among many people reading this is likely to be: many YP pages are discovered via SEO and thus users are lower in the funnel than general searchers. This data says the opposite; YP searchers are somewhat higher in the funnel.
What the report doesn’t make clear is what percentage of YP searchers are going directly to YP and initiating searches there (PC and mobile) vs. discovering YP pages in SERPs via a general search engine. The report says that multiple devices are used by YP searchers but it doesn’t break down what percentage of the audience PC-centric vs. mobile-first. A higher mobile-centric percentage would argue for higher YP brand affinity.
Once on the site, YP searchers are more likely to make contact with a business and carry out a transaction. The report presents a range of data that argue YP users spend more than general searchers and are generally more tech savvy than the overall search population.
Another interesting finding: YP searchers are using both print and online sources. The report says, “during their search, YP users reference an average of 44% more online and print resources than all searchers (5.6 vs. 3.9).”
There’s a general perception that print and online are now almost mutually exclusive and that print users are less likely to rely on the internet and vice versa. The data in the report present a more complex picture of multi-channel search behavior.
The chart below says that YP searchers are more likely to consult traditional media (in various forms) in addition to digital vs. general search engine users. All YP print users are searching online and a majority of YP digital users are also consulting print.
Much of the data in the report will be used by sales reps in presentations to local advertisers and that was undoubtedly one of the motivations in commissioning the study. But some of the findings are counter-intuitive and surprising. I would encourage people to take a look at the full report and draw their own conclusions.
To me it argues that a lot of the common assumptions and stereotypes we hold about media usage are contradicted by a more complex reality. Whether you take the data at face value or not, what it shows is that consumer behavior is more nuanced and varied than we often believe