Get Your Mobile Search in Order!

Get Your Mobile Search in Order!

19th October 2012

My highlight talks from day one at A4U were during the session ‘Consumers are Socially Mobile: Get Your Mobile Search in Order’, with State of Search’s very own Bas van den Beld and Shri Sharma of Net Media Planet.

Bas opened the session explaining that we should no longer be talking about ‘the year of mobile’ – we’ve been talking about that since 2007, and mobile is something we should have focused on for years. Smart phone usage has become so ubiquitous, that apparently 36% of young people check social media on a mobile device after sex (a statistic that has existed since 2009!). Mobiles have become a social media enabler – with multi-player apps and games, along with increased access to social networks.

Bas van der Velde speaking at A4U expo

The growth in mobile has inevitably seen a rise in mobile search, which has quadrupled in the last year and now accounts for 1/3 of all mobile activity. Even so, this doesn’t make search quite as highly used on mobile as it is on desktop, but mobile searchers are more task focused and highly specific – asking ‘where can I have it now?’

Bearing this in mind, mobile strategy should be focused on the three key components of social, search and local:

social-search-local-mobile78% of consumers want deals or promotions on their phones. FourSquare really started off as a game, but has since become more focused on the offers. Additionally, mobile users search with local and immediate intent, and up to 60% of phone users visit a local business out of this searching.

So with this convergence of social, search and local on a mobile, there is a new process:

  • Step One: Think about how people think. They want action, so give them something actionable.
  • Step Two: Multi Device – have to cater for multi-screen.
  • Step Three: Mix it all up – mobile is not just one channel, it’s about all channels at once.

Harnessing Mobile Search

Shri’s talk opened with more tasty statistics around mobile’s growth – the most interesting of these was that purchasing has increased 53% YoY. However, conversions on mobiles are nearly twice as costly as those on computers and tablets.

Shri Sharma presenting at a4u expo

Three tactics you can use to improve mobile conversions:

  • Communicate more effectively with mobile customers.
  • Drive more measurable in store sales.
  • Make mobile search work harder.

Mobile customers are either on the move (transport), on the high street or at home. But you can still address what consumers want through considering:

  • Simplicity
  • Immediacy
  • Context

Amit gave an example of Papa John’s. Rather than give customers another offer, such as buy one get one free, the copy was changed to appeal to customers that were hungry through persuasive copy about how good the pizza was to eat. Combined with click to call, leads increased by 26x!

He also noted that consumers are more likely to click mobile PPC ads if they know they are being taken to a mobile site, so you should refer to the mobile site to increase CTR.

For driving measurable instore sales, it’s possible for users to find an offer online through Google Offers, and then go instore to redeem it. With near field communications it will be possible to use your mobile device as a payment system, but it is about two years from becoming ubiquitous. However, there are methods to forerun NFC through geo targeting urban areas using Google Offers to encourage footfall instore, and offer affiliate trackable vouchers to drive instore sales.

5 tips to make mobile search work harder for you

  1. SERP positioning needs to be different by device – CTR by average position is different per device (drops quickly after position 1 on a tablet).
  2. Manage your mobile adspend effectively this Christmas.
  3. Keep refining keywords – 40% of PPC searches are local.
  4. Target by device to improve ROI – 55% of tablet sales happen in the home. Tablet users are going to be different from the
  5. Drive brand awareness cost effectively using mobile generics. Mobile generic terms are 70% cheaper than generic terms. Driving brand awareness via generic search (3 months activity leads to branded rise)


Written By
James Carson is a freelance Content Strategy consultant based in London. Having previously worked for Bauer Media on major lifestyle brands such as FHM, heat and Grazia, he now offers consultancy services in Content Marketing and digital publishing.
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