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Mobile Search Marketing

Mobile Search Turns Prospects into Buyers Faster

Unlike the more casual surfing that desktop encourages, Mobile Search offers immediate access to information that prompts spontaneous buying decisions. Big ticket items like hotels bookings, for example, used to be scheduled weeks ahead of time. These days, many hotel bookings are made within 24 hours of a stay, thanks to the ease of mobile search. Cars are another high ticket item that consumers frequently search on their phones. Airline tickets, as well, are increasingly price shopped and booked via mobile devices.

The fact is, mobile search has become a huge percentage of overall search. It’s reported that 20% of telecom, 30% of restaurant and 25% of movie searches now come from mobile devices. A fivefold growth in mobile search reported by Google over the last two years demonstrates clearly that mobile search is an emphatic answer to a growing consumer need.

But here’s the truth. Mobile search is only as good as your navigation and your mobile site. Google research shows that 57% of users won’t recommend a business if its mobile site is poorly designed. Worse still, 40% will turn to a competitor’s site after having a bad experience. Such stats encourage marketers to be absolutely certain that both their organic and paid search advertising is driving users to a mobile enabled site, rather than to desktop. Brandon Kraham, team manager of Google’s global mobile sales and product strategy groups says this, “Irrespective of all other things that you think about and other tactics, the site is the most critical thing.”

The advantage of mobile search is immediate access to information and the subsequent spontaneous buying decisions it allows. Recent enhancements have made brand investments in mobile SEM even more advantageous. Google’s enhanced search formats and infrastructure, for instance, make it easier than ever for consumers to get the information they need. Incorporating location extensions into ad formats, click-to-call extensions that allow direct dial to the service they are searching, and expanded “deep link” functions where search drives application downloads are among the latest enhancements. “The opportunity,” says Catherine Schenquerman, digital advertising manager at JetBlue, “lies in being accessible and relevant through mobile channels.”

Sometimes it takes a bit of trial and error to find the right mix of mobile strategies.
Schenquerman notes that along with apps and a mobile-enabled site, JetBlue is utilizing paid search and mobile display adveritising to drive traffic. In the absence of a perfect science, experimentation is often the best method for finding the “ ideal mobile mix”.

What used to be an afterthought in a company’s advertising plan, mobile search has now become a pivotal element in a comprehensive marketing strategy. Agencies now dedicate entire departments and teams to paid search and organic search. Google team manager, Brandon Kraham feels that companies leading the way are investing more of their resources on mobile.

Advances in mobile search are undeniably impressive. But big challenges remain in tracking and metrics. Measurement and reporting options haven’t advanced as swiftly as they have in other areas of traditional search marketing, and marketing teams are left with uncertainty about the correlation between spend and results. At this point in time, good ROI analysis is lacking, but as mobile becomes more critical to companies’ marketing strategies, the expectation is that good measurements will follow, as it has over the past several years in digital and social arenas.