Mobile Search: Now Is The Time

By Mike Scotto, Account Supervisor, Client Solutions

This is the year of mobile.
How many times have you heard that before? Were they right? Wrong? If so, when is going to be the year of mobile? I think the answers to all of those questions are relative. It’s relative to you, your target market, and your objectives. In any case, this is definitely the decade of mobile, and as strategic forward thinkers, it is imperative for us to leverage this powerful channel and proactively lead our clients approach to mobile.

Why now? Let me provide you with some prospective.

According to recent forecasts compiled by The Kelsey Group, U.S. mobile advertising revenues (search and display) will grow to $3.1 billion in 2013, from $160 million in 2008, representing a compound annual growth rate of 81%. During the same period, mobile local search advertising revenues will increase from $20 million to $1.3 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 130%. The percentage of mobile searches with local intent will increase from 28% in 2008 to 35% in 2013. Sound familiar? Let me refresh your memory: U.S. spending on paid search advertising rose to about $2.06 billion in 2003, up 123% from $923 million in 2002. Similar to 2003, mobile search advertising is experiencing another explosive growth spurt.

Beyond the incremental growth of search volume, what impact will the growth of mobile search have on ongoing paid search campaigns?

The answer is:

1. Shorter search queries
2. Queries more local in nature. According to a 2009 report by The Kelsey Group, 15% of queries have a local modifier.
3. A greater impact of online marketing on offline sales: Over 30% of clicks are looking for a local office/store.

This increased search volume is an additional amount of data that should be monitored. It will help determine how to manage the results and provide insights in setting the proper expectations and objectives for your clients.

How should you suggest getting started?

First and foremost, set a clear objective. Then outline a strategy to achieve it and the metrics by which to measure performance.

Mobile marketing should revolve around:

1. Driving in-store traffic
2. Lead generation
3. Branding

Driving in-store traffic starts by setting up campaigns and ad groups with geo-modified keywords revolving around the brand and the services/products offered by the advertiser. For example, a mobile campaign for a copy & print office supplier should include “office nyc,” “office manhattan,” “printing store nyc,” etc. and include their brand name.

Although the user may find a local listing already present in the organic search results, an ad will allow the advertiser to communicate particular brand attributes, promotions, special events, etc., and provide a clear advantage over the competition.

Mobile can also be leveraged to generate leads in a cost effective manner. Depending on the goals set, one choice would be click-to-call ads. Google provides the means to insert an 800 number within your ad so mobile users can easily call to get more information. The cost of the call would be the same as the cost per click.

An alternative choice would be to drive users to a simple mobile-optimized landing page where the user can easily provide his or her email or phone number. To maximize lead generation it is recommended that the advertiser provide an incentive for signing up, such as a one-time coupon or the opportunity to continuously receive promotions and special offers. The benefits of mobile lead generation will spill over to other marketing channels the advertiser may be using – i.e. traditional email marketing – and provide the opportunity to cross-sell and up-sell services and products.

If the objective is pure branding, the best strategy would be to maximize exposure on mobile search results related to the advertiser’s services and products. Best practices also call for implementing a branded mobile landing page where the user would be able to garner further information and possibly interact with the brand.

Once the strategic direction has been defined, communicated and approved, campaign parameters and launching is as easy as setting up and launching a traditional paid search campaign. Prior to implementing on all engines, I advise starting with a one month test campaign on Google alone, since they currently own 65% of the mobile search market share.

Work with your advertising team on setting up the campaigns, ad groups, keywords and ads in AdWords. Under settings, select “iPhones and other mobile devices with full Internet browsers” in “Networks, devices and extensions.” Make sure to de-select “Desktop and laptop computers.” Depending on your campaign goals, set up the rest as you would for a traditional paid search campaign.

Optimize Your Results
Within AdWords, segment campaign performance metrics by device to identify opportunities for optimization.

What You Can Do to Get Started This Week:

• Consider separating your desktop and mobile ad campaigns to enable more refined optimizations.
• Look at your website traffic to see what percentage is already coming from mobile devices.
• Define a mobile conversion for your business.
• Do you want to drive local phone calls? Visits to your store locator page?
• Do you want to drive downloads of your mobile app? Video views?
• Gather information from your customers about how they are engaging with your business on mobile devices.
• Which search terms are over- or under-indexing on mobile devices?
• Which pages are people visiting on your website?
• How does the conversion funnel look on mobile?

What You Can Do to Take Your Campaign to the Next Level This Week:

• Visit your website from different mobile phones, especially those driving the most traffic, to understand your user’s experience.
• Look at what your competitors are doing on mobile. Search for their businesses, visit their websites, and learn from how they drive conversions.
• Define the ideal experience for a mobile customer. Assess your proximity.
• Test and optimize your online ad campaigns.
• Which landing page drives mobile conversions?
• Identify your highest performing keywords and ad text on mobile.



Thank you for the mention on Twitter: 3 Things To Focus your Mobile Marketing strategy around. RT @TextHamster Mobile Search: Now Is The Time" TextHamster | Mobile Marketing

Nice blog you have here. I will come back to visit. We need to get your ratings up. I really like your writing style and interesting perspectives - Ron aka LANWANMAN, Ocala, Florida USA.

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