Mobile search

For those who didn’t get a chance to listen in on comScore’s mobile search webcast last week, Mike Solomon, VP of marketing strategy at The Search Agency, presented basic techniques and tactics for running mobile search campaigns.

The cost per click (CPC) for keywords in mobile search campaigns is 30% lower compared with desktop search, allowing marketers to build and test campaigns at a lower cost. Click-through rates are five times higher on mobile search compared with desktop. There are a few reasons why. For starters, two ads can just about take up all the real estate above the fold on a mobile screen, Solomon says. The mobile search product is very different than tablets and desktops.

Mobile campaigns should begin by setting goals for sales, leads, site visits, video, app downloads, and foot traffic, and then identify mobile assets. Some marketers may want to start small and build a mobile landing page, rather than a mobile Web site. Click-to-call ads can direct the flow of inquiries into call centers.

Determine the company’s mobile footprint by analyzing the percentage of mobile traffic that generates revenue. Solomon says Google and Bing, by default, run new campaigns for marketers on mobile devices. They opt in marketers who run campaigns on the regular computers.

Assuming the query volume allows marketers to separate mobile and desktop, in Google, target by specific devices, operating systems and carriers. Solomon suggests separating iPad traffic from mobile because tablet traffic renders similar to desktops. The campaign setup allows marketers to target mobile users by smartphone.

Mobile searches differ from desktop searches. They are based on real-time and task-driven searches, locally and geographically modified, and shorter keyword strings. It is also important to consider that search engines geographically modify most mobile searches automatically. Broad generic terms may not have worked on the desktop, but they could work on mobile. Selecting keywords in the campaign setup requires marketers to open advanced settings and filter for mobile traffic.

Optimizing ad copy means creating a call to action that speaks to searchers on mobile devices. They typically have a shorter attention span and less time to search. So test a variety of ad extensions. Ad Sitelinks, for example, provides links to more specific pages on the site to get searchers to the information they seek more rapidly. Set up the AdWords campaign with an extension to display a clickable telephone number, and think about promoting the location by driving searchers to a map. Marketers without a mobile Web site can use click-to-call ads, where only the phone number is clickable.

Start with click-to-call ads for those who don’t have mobile strategies. The clicks should lead consumers to landing pages that line up with conversion goals and collectible data points. Solomon suggests that conversion paths should lead to click-to-call, mobile landing pages, download apps, video, interstitial, and lead form. The consumer must take the desired action within 15 seconds. Solomon suggests using unique 800 numbers for high-value keywords or specific campaigns. Google Call Metrics allows marketers to track the duration and the area code of all calls.

Define conversion metrics and cost per acquisition goals. When optimizing for bids, Solomon says, bid aggressively on general keywords. Mobile searches still tend to be short. Launch new mobile keywords with aggressive bids. Establish a strong quality store, and secure the top two positions. And marketers who manage mobile and desktop ads in the same campaign are likely to under- or overbid on both.

Via Search Blog