Optimizing For An Influx Of Mobile Search

As the proliferation of smartphones continue, we’re seeing a shift in user behavior that mimics that of the traditional Web in terms of how we access it, what we do Online and especially how we search.  As more people access the Web and perform searches using mobile devices, we’re slowly seeing how paid search and other traditional …   Read More

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Optimizing Campaigns For An Influx Of Mobile SearchAs the proliferation of smartphones continue, we’re seeing a shift in user behavior that mimics that of the traditional Web in terms of how we access it, what we do Online and especially how we search.  As more people access the Web and perform searches using mobile devices, we’re slowly seeing how paid search and other traditional campaigns are being effected by the key differences in getting users via mobile as opposed to the desktop.

I came across an excellent article over at Search Engine Watch that outlines what it means to your paid search campaigns when more and more users are searching from their phones instead of the desktop.  Beyond simply getting more search volume, the article suggests it also means that;

  1. Mobile search queries are shorter in nature from mobile devices.  While many reports state that the number of keywords in a user’s search query is growing, it’s actually the opposite on a mobile phone whereby the user is much more likely to type a shorter query due to the keyboard, nature of the user and other various mobile limitations.
  2. Mobile search queries are more local in nature.  It’s estimated that 15 percent of mobile search queries have a local modifier, according to a survey by the Kelsey Group.
  3. Mobile users are consumers that you want your message in front of, but e-commerce sales are far and few between.  Data shows approximately 0.6 percent of clicks actually turn into sales.  However, more than 30 percent of clicks are looking for a local office/store, which has benefits of its own.

If you’ve long been a user of paid search campaigns, you’ve likely grown accustom to how to target your traditional search volume.  Adding mobile search users to the mix however, can change the results of your campaign dramatically if you haven’t taken the necessary steps to optimize your campaign for both traditional and mobile search traffic combined.

Google’s AdWords and other search-based ad-networks are starting to offer targeting capabilities within the platform that allow you to separate high-end mobile devices, for example, much like you would for search traffic opposed to content-based traffic within the same campaign.  Without optimizing settings like this, you could find yourself doing well with traditional search and content traffic, but poorly with mobile traffic and vice versa.

The article at Search Engine Watch outlined some interesting data points they’ve noticed from using mobile device targeting within paid search campaigns to optimize their outcome.  They discovered that:

  • High-end mobile device search volume was up 60 percent, and clicks were up 84 percent in November when compared to October.  This is primarily due to the seasonal lift, but is indicative of user behavior during the season and using their phones while out shopping.
  • High-end mobile search volume typically mimics desktop search volume by day with the exception of Saturday.  On Saturday, search volume is 40 percent higher than the indexed amount.  These may seem obvious, but it’s important to note, especially if your campaigns aren’t broken out, and you’re noticing a dip in conversion rates.
  • Desktop search volume peaks at 10 a.m., and begins to decrease by 3 p.m., while high-end device traffic doesn’t reach its peak until 4 p.m.

Utilizing metrics like these can have a profound effect on your paid search campaigns, and proves how mobile search and mobile marketing & advertising in general are effecting other forms of marketing.  Marketers who continue to deny the rise of mobile marketing and advertising will be left in dust when thinking that mobile could never effect the marketing channel they’re using.

Sooner or later mobile will effect almost all forms of marketing, and those who have taken the necessary steps to identify the impacts and optimize for the future will have the upper hand over those who continue to deny the immense impact mobile will have.

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