Understanding the Customer Makes Mobile Search Meaningful #SESAtlanta

Since “mobilegeddon” recently had brands scrambling to meet new “mobile-friendly” requirements, mobile search has become de rigueur for most SEOs. During a session at SES Atlanta yesterday, Kristina Smith, director of search engine marketing for Adam and Eve, and Jonathan Kagan, senior director of search and biddable media for MARC USA, explained how truly understanding a customers’ search journey can lead to more meaningful mobile search.

Adam and Eve is a mail-order company that discreetly delivers adult personal pleasure products. In the 1970s, Adam and Eve started out as a catalog-only company, but has since blossomed into a successful digital operation. Recently, Smith has noticed an even greater shift in the types of consumers using the site and how they’re using it.

“We’ve gotten away from a 40- to 50-year-old male audience and moved to 30- and 40-year-old females,” Smith said. “Sex and the City and 50 Shades of Grey have soccer moms coming to the site looking for things they saw on television or in the book.”

And the company’s newfound female audience is searching the site primarily on mobile. In fact, 56 percent of the company’s June orders came from mobile. Smith believes that mobile offers customers more privacy than desktop.

“It’s the nature of the product we sell. It’s not something you want your family to know about,” Smith said. “The one thing that is truly yours is your smartphone, and it’s always with you. There’s no reason not to be selling to our customer 24 hours a day.”

And one way to sell to those clients 24 hours a day is to tailor ads to mobile, according to Kagan, whose agency works with brands like Rite Aid. Even though 75 percent of brands he works with are brick-and-mortar, they’ve all seen a boost in sales through the rise of mobile.

The secret to mobile search ads, according to Kagan, is the language of the ad. One of his clients wasn’t seeing the boost in mobile sales they were hoping for and just by adding the word “mobile” to the ad, the company saw a 62 percent improvement in click through rates, a 43 percent improvement in CPC and a 50 percent improvement in CPA.screen-shot-2015-07-10-at-12

Coupled with time of day-specific ad tailoring – for example, showcasing lunch specials in afternoon ads and happy hour specials later in the day – mobile-specific ads will result in better conversion rates.

“Mobile is very much about local,” Kagan said. “We focus on time and day in our ad copy, and make adjustments for consumers in the right place at the right time.”

The most important part of mobile advertising, according to both panelists, is getting in the game and figuring out what clients need from mobile before it’s too late. The rate at which consumers are flocking to mobile is astounding. Paid search clicks are predicted to break 50 percent of overall paid search in the coming years, and companies who aren’t anticipating the mobile needs of their audiences will be hit hard.

“Mobile is here,” Smith said. “It’s not going away, and the rapid rise is nothing short of astonishing.”  

Story image via Jonathan Kagan 

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