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How Will Mobile Search Impact Your Paid Campaigns?

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You've heard a lot about the popularity of the iPhone, and the new release of Motorola's Droid. These phones, as well as many others on the market and even more to come, have changed the way that people use their phones and browse the Internet. Because the Internet experience on these phones is similar to the desktop, the user behavior is becoming similar, which includes search.

So people are searching more using phones, but what does that mean for your paid search campaigns? Beyond just continued growth of search volume, it means:

  1. Mobile search queries are shorter in nature. Many reports state that the number of keywords in a user's search query is growing. While this may be true, on a mobile phone the user is much more likely to type a shorter query due to the keyboard and nature of the user.

  2. Mobile search queries are more local in nature. According to a 2009 report by The Kelsey Group, 15 percent of queries have a local modifier.

  3. Mobile users are consumers that you want to be in front of, but don't expect e-commerce sales just yet. Data shows approximately 0.6 percent of clicks turning into sales. However, more than 30 percent of clicks are looking for a local office/store.

You could certainly argue each of these points, but we're focusing on how to manage this traffic specifically. This search volume is an extra cut of data that you should monitor to determine how to manage the results.

Google, and to some extent MSN, offers the ability to target high-end devices in their own campaign the same way you would separate a content campaign from a search campaign. The same should be done for some important search campaigns.

Here are a few high-level data points we've noticed from this type of targeting:

  • 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.

    Indexed Search Volume by Day

  • 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.

    Click Volume By Hour

These basic stats are just the tip of the iceberg. There are all sorts of optimizations that should come from this data, and as the volume increase so will the targeting capabilities. Better to be ahead of the curve, and make the available targeting work for you.


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