SEMPO Examines Relationship Between Mobile & Search

logo_sempoSEMPO, the “Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization,” has published a new white paper outlining its point of view in regards to the interrelationship of the mobile channel and search.

According to Sara Holoubek, SEMPO President, the gap between mobile and desktop searchers is getting much narrower, and SEMPO felt it was important to examine this powerful shift in how consumers are searching and present some ideas, for not only marketing via mobile, but also creating compelling content that works optimally for the mobile search medium.  Some key questions SEMPO wanted to discuss included the following:

  1. What mobile channels are available to search marketers and which show the most promise?
  2. What are the prospects for search, particularly local search, on mobile devices, and how is the landscape changing?
  3. What steps can marketers take to effectively target and reach consumers using mobile?

With mobile Internet access growing at an accelerated rate, eMarketer expects the gap between desktop and mobile Internet users to narrow by the early part of the next decade.  What’s more, these users are searching- according to a recent study from ABI Research, over 70% of US respondents used their devices to conduct some kind of search in 2008, a 14% increase over 2007, and similarly high figures pertain to Japanese mobile users as well.  Mobile search is on the rise across the globe as well- comScore found that weekly mobile search activity jumped by 50% across Western Europe from June 2007 to June 2008, and by 104% in the US during the same time period.  The Kelsey Group predicts that US mobile search users will expand to 56.2 million by 2013, up from 5.2 million in 2008.

In conclusion, from SEMPO’s point of view, the complexity of the mobile Web ecosystem puts the desktop environment to shame- disparate hardware and software platforms, competing app stores and rival search engines make for a marketer’s headache.  However, putting key steps in place has the potential to yield better visibility, more accurate targeting and more successful conversion than ever before.  Some steps that can be taken include creating usable mobile content, catering to your users only and making it worth while for them, redirecting mobile users to mobile content, extending paid search to mobile and simply experimenting and constantly refining your strategy.

As more and more people begin searching from mobile devices, those providing the content, search engines who organize the content, and marketers who advertise alongside the content will all have to redefine their strategy to remain constant as the ecosystem changes- it happened when traditional search was expanding and evolving, and the same is true as the shift to mobile continues.