7 posts categorized "Mobile"

5 tips to getting the most from mobile search

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.   

Google, a 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 foreseeable future. 


It would 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 behaviour

 As with 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.

It’s 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 budget

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.

Keyword targeting

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 appearing frequently.


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. 

Optimise UX

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 tablet users

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 (33%).

Touchscreens 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.   

Critically, tablet 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.


Marketers 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:

  • Point ads and ad extensions (on Search) to tablet focused landing pages
  • Designate separate budgets for tablet campaigns. In search campaigns: bid for 1st-3rd position above the fold
  • State a clear value proposition  for tablet customers in your ad creative, such as “view our selection of iPad cases today!”
  • Day-part campaigns to match when consumers are using tablets (evenings, weekends).
  • Review  Google Analytics  for tablet traffic patterns, and allocate bids and budgets based on peak times.
  • Leverage large, touch friendly screens! Utilize new tablet rich media ad units in your campaigns. 
4:  On-the-move: delivers geo-location based results

Geo-targeting is 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

Location 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

Site links 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

 For 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

Case study

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 Roy’s.


  • Achieved 800% ROI on mobile-only campaigns
  • Drove 40% more calls
  • Hyperlocal mobile ads had a 539% higher CTR and 67% cheaper CPC compared to previous desktop campaigns

 Author: Rob Thurner, Burner Mobile 




Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Email Marketing Design Guidelines for Mobile Devices

In her article "Email Marketing Design for Mobile Devices" Kristin Hersant shares somes tips and guidelines for designing email campaigns and newsletters that render well on a mobile device.

Conventional wisdom says that the standard layout width for an email is 600 pixels wide. In order for your email creative to render properly on a smart phone, you will need to design your layouts at approximately 480 pixels wide, or 80% of your original layout size. In order to be readable on a regular cell phone screen, your email will need to scale down to 50% of its original size, which is a tall order. According to the panel, 85% of the email delivered today is not readable when it’s scaled down to 50% of its size.


Here are some of the tips she shares:

  1. Make sure that you’re designing your emails using a grid system. This means that you need to layout your content in vertically and horizontally aligned blocks, with “streets and alleyways” in-between them. This will enable your design to shrink down without losing its integrity. 
  2. Make sure that your text is readable on a mobile device. Think about larger headlines and body size copy and use short, direct calls to action. A
  3. Consider a Single Column Layout.
  4. Always test rendering on mobile devices when creating master templates to ensure they accomplish your readability goals. 
  5. use background colors to visually separate topics instead of horizontal rule
  6. Instead of designing at 600 pixels wide, try reducing your layout to 450, 500 or 525 pixels. 
  7. Make sure your point is conveyed with or without images enabled.
  8. Use a Viewport Meta Tag. Using this piece of code will make email render properly on the iPhone, rather than shrinking the full email. It also makes the email render more quickly. View a code example here.

Source: StrongMail

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Five Tips to Get You Started With Mobile Marketing

I wrote the below article for the latest issue of Infobox, the UK DMA's email marketing newsletter: 

As mobile technology and devices become more advanced, we see more and more consumers using their mobile phones for a lot more than just making phone calls and sending text messages. Lots of people now read their emails on a mobile device, they look up information on a mobile version of Google, they update their Facebook and Twitter accounts through the use of mobile applications, they play mobile games to kill time, they use their mobile phone to pay for services they purchase, they buy ringtones and wallpapers and lots more.

Mobile marketing can be used for branding (eg. display advertising, search engine marketing, games, video, wallpapers…), direct response (eg. direct mail/sms messages, shortcodes), transaction and service alerts (eg. order confirmations, weather updates, account statuses, billing reminders), so in that way it is very much similar to online marketing.

Will 2008 be the year of mobile? Honestly, I don’t know. What I do know is that a number of smart marketers are already using mobile to connect with customers and prospects. Over the last couple of months I’ve seen cases of airlines that send text messages when flights are delayed or gates have changed, I’ve seen billboards with shortcodes that you can send by sms to get more information about a certain product, I’ve heard of companies using mobile coupons to drive traffic to their stores, I’ve seen banks using mobile website and applications to let customers handle their transactions from their mobile phones… 

However, if you are going to use it to send promotional text messages to consumers, you better make sure to get their permission first. Our mobile phone is our most personal device, one that some carry with them 24/7. If you send someone a promotional text message that is totally irrelevant to them AND without having their permission, you can seriously damage your brand. On the other hand, if a consumer signs up to receive promotional messages on their mobile phone, that is a BIG deal! These subscribers are very likely to be your most engaged customers, so treat them accordingly.

As more and more consumers start using mobile phones with internet access, you should start including mobile in your marketing mix where it makes sense. Here are five tips to get you started:

  1. Create a version of your website that is optimized for smaller screens
  2. When you buy keywords on Google, don’t forget to include the mobile channel
  3. Start asking your subscribers for permission to market to them on their mobile phones
  4. Use shortcodes on offline communications to drive subscribers to your email list
  5. Mobile alone doesn’t work: make it part of a bigger campaign

Source: Infobox

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Mobiles: The new inbox

The Email Insider's Summit was fantastic and one of the sessions held looked at all things mobile and in particular designing for the mobile.

But before we have a look at these facts and figures, I'd like to make a special note of Chip House of Exact Target's pertinent remark in his session of 'Subscriber Rules', which was that carrying mobile devices makes receiving an email more personal now...more so than receiving it on your computer.

This has always been the general feeling about SMS/text marketing and now it is also becoming applicable to mobile email users. Therefore the potential for annoyance increases as it affects their personal space. So, the key of course to this, is to engage with the subscriber and ensure they are receiving what they want, when they want it.

Deirdre Baird (Pivotal Veracity) and Morgan Stewart (Exact Target) brought forth some facts, including that 52% access same email account through mobile and computer and 48% maintain a unique mobile email address. so...how do we design for the 48% who are not going back to the office to veiw their emails in pretty HTML?

Here are design some tips:

  • Designing for images off is now the norm for inbox emails, this also needs to be the norm for designing for mobiles.
  • Calls to action need to be easily accessible at the top of the email.
  • Keeping in mind that according to Jupiter Research, 48% of recipients have 'add to address book' at the top of the email and 60% have 'click to view' up there as well, the downside to this is that mobile's window area is taken up with these links rather than call to action or branding or having something which compels readers to scroll down.
  • Important to check how email renders in variety of mobiles.
  • 640pi wide is the magic number.
  • B2B need to use a single column layout for mobiles otherwise, depending upon the mobile, you either scroll right or it places the right below the left column.
  • Weight should be a maximum 20kb with images.
  • Urls - Symbian doesn't recognise links -it needs the full url. The Blackberry however pulls both the image url and link url. So don't use unecessary images (which includes image spacers) and make urls shorter so they take up less screen space.

The bottom line is that it is an overwhelming task to get rendering correct for all mobiles out there at the moment, but if you follow the above tips, it should make for a better user experience.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

Basic Formatting Rules for Mobile Devices

MarketingProfs provides a few basic formatting rules for mobile devices:


  • Coding fonts may or may not work on the user's device. Most mobile devices allow the user to select a preferred default font. Although the link to the mobile communication is actually a web link, simple (default) font coding or basic fonts are best. Font size consideration: Keep it small. Work with your messaging provider on the appropriate size.
  • Screen size is limited. Design for easy word wrap. The list should be kept short (in regards to width), as odd wrapping will occur on the smallest of screens.
  • Keep the message short and keep your call to action in the top area of the communication. Being "front of mind" for users, even if they do not view the entire message, may prompt them to save the message and view the full HTML version when they get to their computer.
  • Simple black text with color action links work best on smaller screens and make it easy to view and navigate.
  • Images should be small and few. Depending on the connection speed of the device, images may take some time to render. Small logos for brand recognition or small but viewable images that support content should be used, if at all, sparingly.
  • Do not replicate your website navigation in email. Place it at the bottom of the message if at all.
  • Use full images, not sliced. Sliced images will wrap and appear jumbled.
  • Design in columns and plan for content to wrap after a couple of hundred pixels.
  • Include a click-to-view-online link and take users to a mobile-optimized landing page.
  • To test rendering across different handhelds, download a free tool at Opera.

Source: MarketingProfs.

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!

How To Make Your Email Campaigns Mobile-Friendly

In this article, Stefan Pollard explains how to make your email campaigns mobile-friendly:

1. Reformat text

You should always offer a text option as an alternative to HTML for all readers. You can send this version to your mobile readers, but you might also have to reformat it to make it show up better on the smaller screen.

Most text messages have 60 to 80 characters per line. Mobile platforms will show 20 to 40 characters in 12 to 15 lines per screen, depending on screen width and type style.

Desktop-friendly line lengths can create long paragraphs in the mobile reader. If you use typographic devices as copy separators that also run 60 characters, for example, you'll give up four to five lines on the screen for something that adds no value.

2. Rethink tracking URLs

Same goes for URLs. Tracking URLs can also consume four to five lines per screen. If you can, use a simpler URL even if it means sacrificing some tracking ability. These long URLs can result from automatically reformatting HTML copy into text, so your text version may need some hand-tweaking in order to render better on all platforms.

3. Be brief.

Message size must come down whether you send in text or HTML. Messages over a certain size -- even as small as 12KB -- risk being cut off halfway through. In many clients, your reader can opt to click a button that will call up the rest of the message, but do you want to throw up that obstacle?

Personally, I hate it when I open a message and find "message truncated" right at the top. I need more to make me want to click the button that will deliver the rest of the message.

Another message I get that frustrates me to no end is "This message contains a rich-text HTML portion. Consult your mail client's documentation for information on how to view it." Uh, I don't think so. Delete! That means it won't be there when I get to my desk.

Also, rethink the content itself. Long sentences in long paragraphs force more and more scrolling. This also can be a barrier to conversion or another source of frustration for readers.

4. Validate your Web site, too.

Is your Web site mobile-friendly too? Probably not, if you haven't had it redesigned specifically for mobile applications. If you have to send readers to your Web site to get the most value from your email marketing, better make sure it will also render on their devices. You can check it easily by using a new validator developed by the World Wide Web Consortium: http://validator.w3.org/mobile/.

Source: EmailLabs

Need help optimizing your email marketing results? Get in touch!