We're excited to be hosting the International Digital Marketing Summit @YourDesk (#IDMS) next tuesday 8th October, and as an appetiser to this event, Rob Thurner of Burner Mobile has kindly shared with us below some of this thoughts on mobile search. To register for this and our other sessions on the day please go to http://events.plantoengage.com/digital-summit.html
“Truly great search
is all about turning intentions into actions, lightning fast. In the early days
of Google, users would type in a query, we’d return ten blue links, and they’d
move on happy”, says Google in its AdWords blog.
That’s not enough
today’s mobile users. 50 per cent of
mobile interactions start with a search, and users want more from that
search. “When searching for great local
restaurants, they want places to eat right there on the results page, not
another click or two away. It’s the same with hotels, flight options,
directions and shopping”, the blog continues.
self-proclaimed ‘mobile first’ company, has invested heavily in technology,
slick marketing and an extensive suite of search tools to drive consumer demand
and assist marketers in taking advantage of the opportunity to delivered
personalised, time and location sensitive results. Google estimates that mobile search is
growing 8 times faster than PC search, and has grown 500% in the past 2
years. Mobile search growth is projected to out-strip
mobile display advertising for the
not be reasonable to attribute 100% of the Mobile search business to Google,
since Bing and Yahoo! deliver competing mobile search platforms. But let’s not underestimate the role Google
has played in defining the mobile search market, and its impact in realising
one of mobile marketing’s greatest consumer and business achievements through
its proprietary products and service, notably:
- Android, its open-source Android operating system, which now attracts
over 1 million new customers daily, and is the clear market leader
- Search tools: including the Google
mobile browsing widget which combines text, voice and visual search
functionality (particularly relevant for location-based searches)
- Insights and
intelligence: watch out for The Mobile playbook, Our Mobile Planet, the “Small
screen, big opportunity” ads blog.
5 tips to
getting the most from mobile search
1: Start by reviewing search
so many other aspects of marketing our advice is to start by reviewing people’s
search activity and the volume of demand.
Google’s free Keyword Tool lets you assess the number of searches by
entering a phrase and then choose ‘mobile’ against ‘desktop’ volumes in the box
“Show ideas and statistics for”. Don’t forget to set a Match Type, where you
can limit searches to those including the word in a Phrase or an Exact Match.
worth researching how behaviour varies through the day. There are variations by
daypart which will impact how and where you should allocate your mobile search
The IAB’s study into connected device usage highlights that all three
screens (desktop, tablet and mobile) complement each other. The three screens allow for constant
connectivity in and out of home, in the evenings and weekends. Mobile can be used most effectively in
driving enquiries, via search working alongside banner ads or in-app push
notifications, to deliver product information.
2: Making sure your mobile site is
optimised for SEO
As with desktop search, the majority of
searchers still click on the natural or organic listing, so it’s important to
maximize your visibility here.
Gaining good visibility in the natural
listings on mobile relies on solid SEO principles that you will be familiar
with, which rely on a similar algorithm to desktop search, but
there are some key features to gain visibility.
To adapt for mobile users’ task-oriented
behaviour, brands should identify and prioritise the search terms used most
commonly on mobile, including ‘deals, offers, sales’ with a local qualifier
Consider how search engine crawlers function,
and optimise your visibility. If you have a mobile-specific site with dedicated
content then you should create mobile site specific site maps. But if you’re
using a design technique like progressive enhancement aka responsive web design
with common content for all screen resolutions then this isn’t necessary.
Mobile users want ease, speed, and a
frictionless user experience. Always try
to reduce load times by optimizing content, images and code. Google recommends
page load times less than 5 seconds and can penalize slower sites. You can gain an
idea of how Google evaluates your site using the “Test Your Site” on Google Get
Mo: http://www.howtogomo.com .
3: In-home: cater for high-spending
The IAB’s research highlights that most people with
Tablets are dual screening, with 51% of all Tablet usage occurring in front of
the TV. Tablet owners are 50% more
likely to use their tablet to dual screen than their mobile (35%) or their PC
have changed the way consumers seek product information. Tablet users claim to
spend over 4 hours shopping on their devices each week, with 43% saying
they prefer search on tablet compared with PC or mobile. This can be explained by the superior browsing
experience, the touchscreen interface, the location and mindset of tablet
usage, where browsing is a more relaxed, less time pressured “lean-back”
experience than PC browsing allows.
browsers also tend to spend more. Based
on its analysis of 16.3 billion visits to websites of more than 150 retailers,
Adobe Digital Marketing Insights revealed that tablet visitors spend over 50%
more per purchase than smartphone visitors, and over 20% more than
‘traditional’ visitors using desktop PCs.
can use the search targeting capabilities of AdWords to reach tablet users during the evening, and drive them to
tablet-oriented landing pages to maximize engagement and conversion:
delivers geo-location based results
ads and ad extensions (on Search) to tablet focused landing pages
separate budgets for tablet campaigns. In search campaigns: bid
for 1st-3rd position above the fold
a clear value proposition for tablet
customers in your ad creative, such as “view our selection of iPad cases
campaigns to match when consumers are using tablets (evenings,
- Review Google Analytics for tablet traffic patterns, and allocate
bids and budgets based on peak times.
large, touch friendly screens! Utilize new tablet rich media ad units in
one of the greatest differences between desktop and mobile search and one of
the greatest opportunities. 85 per cent
of mobile search has a local intent, says Google, and 81% of searchers act upon
the patient based information they find. This
explains why the retail, travel and entertainment top the list for most
popular search queries.
Your search returns should match shoppers’
demands for quick, easy, simple
responses to task-oriented searches. Typically they enter no more than two to
three words per query, and want to find directions to your address (with zip
code), a link to a your (mobile-optimised) site, and button to call your number
(with correct dialing code).
5: PPC on mobile: bid aggressively
Space constraints on
a mobile screen mean paid ads are more prominent relative to natural search
returns, with two paid ads appearing on the top and three on the bottom.
Google Adwords enables specific targeting of
mobile searchers which is not possible in natural search, so even if you don’t
advertise in Adwords for desktop searches you should consider how you can
target mobile searchers. More limited inventory and specific targeting options may make it
worthwhile to bid higher on mobile, although many compilations show that mobile
CPC are currently lower than desktop CPC.
Be prepared to bid 2x higher to get on the
first page of search results. You will
be competing to have your ad served on 5 ad spots vs 10 for desktop, and add a
click-to-call feature when possible.
Select mobile ad formats to meet user demand
Google Adwords isn’t just about text ads and
blue links, you can choose a number of ad extensions to provide the most useful
search returns. These include
- Click to Call - Extend my ads with a phone number
Click to Call is one of the most effective
ways to connect to your consumers. We have seen URLs CTR increase by 30% by
using the CTC feature. Google AdWord’s
‘Call Extensions’ and Bing adCentre’s Click-to-Call drive call traffic directly
for search results. In addition to
click-to-call functionality, retailers can also give mobile users the option to
click through to the website.
- Location - Extend my ads with location information
presents a significant opportunity for retailers aiming to drive footfall who
should use location extensions to promote local details within Google Places
and adCenter, which should
result in a reallocation of retailers’ mobile search budgets in today’s
cut-throat business climate.
- Sitelinks - Extend
my ads with links to sections on my site
are an effective way for brands to provide mobile users with additional options
or offers to direct their click into site.
This option would take more real estate on the site results page,
thereby increasing the chance of click through.
- Mobile App - Extend
my ads with a link to a mobile/tablet app
retailers with apps to promote, Google’s click-to-download feature allows you
to download links to iTunes or Google Play.
Handset detection software plays a critical role here, filtering iOS /
Android traffic to the right appstore automatically. Users simply click the link for the correct
app, which elegantly sidesteps the major challenge of saving a timely trawl
through the 500,000 apps in each appstore
After realizing that mobile traffic was
outperforming desktop traffic in CTR and CPCs, Roy’s Restaurants created a
separate mobile-only campaign to maximize number of calls and clicks.
The search solution
was based on hyperlocal location extensions to better target on-the-go
customers searching nearby one of their local restaurants
“Mobile searchers looking for dining options could
effortlessly see how close they were to a nearby Roy's Restaurant and the click
to call function allowed for instant reservations. Our hyperlocal mobile-only
campaign drove a 40% increase in calls with a CPC 67% less than desktop ads.
The numbers are impossible to ignore. We have to invest in hyperlocal mobile
advertising as part of our long-term growth strategy”.
Jason Maloney, Vice President of Marketing for
- Achieved 800%
ROI on mobile-only campaigns
- Drove 40%
mobile ads had a 539% higher CTR and 67% cheaper CPC compared to
previous desktop campaigns
Author: Rob Thurner, Burner Mobile