Mobile search’s moment has arrived, according to experts at ad:tech. By December of 2012, 25 percent of Google’s U.S. paid search clicks will come from mobile devices, and Google has reported that mobile search (unlike desktop search) never stops.
For marketers, this should be an indication that it’s time to think about the devices prospects use to access your content and web campaigns. “Half of U.S. consumers now own smartphones: You want to be where your customers are,” said Rhonda Hanson, director of search engine marketing for Getty Images.
Matt Lawson, vice president of marketing at Marin Software, says his clients’ share of paid search clicks from mobile has increased from 5.3 percent to 12.3 percent in the past year. He also said smartphone traffic has a lower than average cost-per-click rate, and tablet traffic is proven to have lower cost-per-conversion rates. Similarly, Hanson shared that her brand name visibility has increased by about 300 percent on mobile devices, since she allocates more of Getty’s paid search spend to mobile, and she and the other ad:tech panelists were quick to point out that it’s important to create specific campaigns that cater to on-the-go searchers.
Here are four tips from ad:tech on how to prepare for the rise of mobile search – with an emphasis on paid initiatives, but valuable takeaways for building mobile organic traffic:
1. Create separate mobile campaign content.
Lawson was quick to point out that his clients see better results with mobile-specific campaigns. “You have better targeting options if you don’t use the same paid search across devices.” When creating mobile campaigns, he said marketers should focus on content.
Copy that speaks to portable device users will increase clicks. He also suggested that calls to action reflect location and incorporate language that invites users to “Call us now.” This shows on-the-go searchers that businesses have taken care to create ads relevant to them.
Overall, mobile users should be targeted differently, and creating content that emphasizes click-to-call features is a good way to get an edge.
2. Target users with device-specific copy.
To show an even more thorough consideration of mobile audiences, Lawson advocates putting device names in content. By adding iPhone or Android to the text, users trust that a click will bring them to a page compatible with their phones or tablets.
3. Prioritize ad space.
Mobile screens are smaller than desktop screens. By investing more in search ad placement, the experts all agreed that companies build their chances of being seen by (and catching clicks from) users.
4. Optimize the user experience.
As with any organic search campaign, the ad:tech panelists said that relevant, quality content is key to creating an optimal user experience. The landing pages for mobile search ads should be held to the same editorial standards as any other website pages. They also suggested that marketers evaluate and test the navigability of conversion paths on landing pages.
Click paths or contact fields should cater to mobile users with small screens. Moreover, Lawson encouraged marketers to rethink conversion altogether for mobile audiences. “Mobile lends itself to calls as conversions or accessing a store locator page as a conversion,” he said.
These insights should come in handy for marketers looking to boost their mobile search efforts (both organic and paid) this year. As Brafton has reported, businesses are investing more in content marketing aimed at mobile internet users, as on-the-go audiences prefer visiting business’ websites to using branded apps.