Local search ad spending to hit $8.2B by 2015: BIA/Kelsey

Local search advertising spending will grow to $8.2 billion in 2015, a 60.7% increase from 2010, according to a report from local media advisory firm BIA/Kelsey. However, the firm also predicted that local search’s share of local ad budgets will decrease.

The “US Local Media Annual Forecast (2010-2015)” report also predicted that the share of local searches, compared to general searches, will nearly double from 17.5% in 2010 to 30% in 2015.

Neal Polachek, president of BIA/Kelsey, said it’s “not inconceivable” that local search could account for 50% of queries by 2015, because consumers will increasingly use local-related terms because of their added relevance.

“Increasingly, people understand that if they put in ‘tires Queens,’ they’re going to get a better set of results than just putting in ‘tires,’” said Polachek.

Despite local search’s forecasted growth, BIA/Kelsey also predicted that the category’s share of overall local digital advertising budgets will fall 5% to 21.6% by 2015. Local digital spending will grow from $19.2 billion in 2010 to $37.9 billion in 2015, the firm forecasted.

Polachek said mobile’s growth could boost local search’s increasing popularity since mobile devices are generally more conducive to local searches and more focused than desktop or tablet searches.

“I don’t know if a consumer is going to search about Britney Spears on his or her mobile phone,” he said. “Maybe he or she will do it on a tablet because they are sitting around, but a phone is pretty utilitarian.”

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