Out with the old, in with the new. Well, kind of.
Pay per call, which allows advertisers to pay a set price for each call generated by a certain ad or campaign, isn’t new to local search, but it’s making a big comeback in 2012 thanks to the mobile revolution.
Local search is shifting from PC-based to mobile-based as consumers become increasingly reliant on their mobile devices. As the number of smartphones and tablets grows, so does the personalization and localization of search. Once consumers have a “smart” mobile device their local mobile searching expands and becomes a natural extension of everything they do.
When pay per call entered the scene in 2005 or so, there was a lot of hype (I was and still am a believer), but it didn’t take off with quite the expected gusto. However, the mobile movement has revived the approach.
Mobile: the True Pay Per Call Platform
There is an immediacy about mobile local search that drives higher call response rates. The dominant response to mobile ads is a call – not a surprise given the primary use of the device is a phone and the need for quick information on the go. Mobile consumers are ready to make a purchase, go out to eat, buy movie tickets, and act on a variety of other local purchase-driven activities.
Just as consumers are comfortable with mobile, so are advertisers. They are consumers at heart so they also always have their mobile phone at hand to help with everyday life choices.
Bottom line: the mobile pay per call learning curve is much lower than that of online pay per call and this will help expedite the mainstreaming of pay per call.
Local Search Apps
These days it is hard to disconnect mobile and local. More than 50 percent of calls placed to local search ads through Telmetrics’ call measurement network are from mobile phones. To leverage this usage and interest, local search must include a mobile component – which means providers offering advertisers mobile expertise and mobile local search options, including local search apps.
App usage is likely to grow more quickly than mobile browser-based local searches as developers enhance and add helpful local apps. Mobile consumers are very loyal to apps that are customized for their lifestyle needs, as apps present a more direct and user-friendly way to get the information they need.
5 Local Mobile Recommendations
If you haven’t yet factored mobile into your local search activities, consider implementing these local mobile recommendations.
- Make your contact phone number easy to find and readily available within your mobile website/ads/listings without a secondary click. If not, mobile consumers will move on to the next business or ad.
- Optimize your mobile web presence to account for smaller screens and the user’s need for instant gratification. Ensure the most relevant information is presented concisely with compelling messages that drive the user toward an easy purchase decision.
- Offer actionable content, such as a phone number, address, hours of operation, and links to maps/directions. This type of action-oriented detail will help facilitate immediate action for consumers and measurability for you.
- Don’t repurpose your local search strategy for mobile. For the same reasons as No. 2 – small screens and immediacy – mobile requires a targeted creative strategy with content that is concise but well defined and targeted.
- Use mobile data to optimize your efforts. Even without pay per call (although you should also evaluate it) mobile provides instant data that marketers can use to further tailor their mobile marketing strategy and tactics for increased leads.
With ever-increasing mobile adoption among consumers and advertisers alike, advertisers and publishers have a renewed opportunity to leverage pay per call and ensure a sound local mobile strategy for attracting and retaining targeted mobile customers – who are ready to make a purchase immediately.