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20 2012

Are You Optimized For Mobile Search?

Posted in Mobile Search | 0 comments
mobile search

Are You Optimized For Mobile Search?

Most people nowadays simply ignore the importance of mobile search.  I don’t quite ‘get’ it.  Why would you ignore the one method that over 50% of the people in the world are searching for your site?

How people search on their mobile phones is dramatically different than how they search on their computers.

Here are the differences in a nutshell:

Mobile searchers have a higher tendency to be doing searches with a local intent.

Exactly how much higher is up for debate. Last May, Google’s Marissa Mayer was quoted saying that 40% of all mobile searches are local. Microsoft has said that 53% of mobile searches on Bing have a local intent. An earlier estimate of 33% local was frequently repeated throughout 2010.

Whatever figure we choose to cite, we know that people on mobile devices are seeking things around them. After all, mobile gives us a unique opportunity to be simultaneously online and out in the world.

We use our devices to navigate throughout the physical world: Where’s the closest parking garage? What’s the best breakfast place around here? Where can I post this package for my nephew?

If you’ve got local content or content that can be localized, optimize it for mobile.

It may seem counter-intuitive at first glance, but the average mobile search on Android and iPhone has roughly double the keywords than the average desktop search.

The interface is smaller on mobile but mobile searchers are more task focused and highly specific in what they’re seeking.

Consider the following data from Microsoft: 70% of PC search tasks are completed in one week, while 70% of mobile search tasks are done in one hour.

While someone shopping on their desktop computer takes on average a week to take action while someone on their mobile takes on average an hour. Talk about acceleration!

This difference in time to purchase has very real implications in retail. Mobile users are looking for information or assistance to help them make buying decisions literally right at the point of sale.

Consumers searching on a mobile device will make a purchase within 24 hours, while desktop searchers will buy over a longer period of time.

As a result, marketers need to employ specific search tactics for each platform. For example, on mobile search landing pages, offer very specific information about products and create clear calls to action on the web and on the phone.

Implementing click-to-call functionality is a great option here. That mobile searcher is ready to act so harness their intent with a small number of clear actions

Over the course of a day, hourly usage trends vary based on device types. Google Mobile Ads analyzed searches from tablets, PCs and mobile devices and found that searches from computers broadly reflected time spent at work. Activity increases at 9 am and drops off at 5 pm.

In contrast, tablet searches happen after work with a sharp spike in the evening hours between 6:00 – 11:00 p.m.

And smartphones?

Searches on smartphones grow steadily throughout the day, rival desktop search in the early evening and peak around 9:00 p.m.

While both tablets and smartphones can be ‘lean back’ devices, used in combination with other media while sitting on the couch in the evening, smartphones alone are used on the go throughout the day and combine searches with both professional and personal intentions.

It’s not surprising that mobile searchers are more prone to misspellings than desktop searches. We’re not precise with touchscreen keyboards, small targets to hit and a variable location we’re typing from.

So make sure to include common misspellings in your campaigns and optimization efforts, this can be a great, untapped source of new traffic.

What misspelled words should you include? Turn off the auto-correcting spell checker on your mobile device and tap in each of your top 10-keyword phrases 10 times each. You’ll end up with 100 keyword phrases.

Which ones are misspellings? Collect the results and start your list.

Along these lines, many marketers running paid search campaigns are finding it more effective to manage separate sets of keywords for mobile and desktop platforms.

Is this right for you? Only you can decide and you can only decide once you’ve got some experience. So get started.

Computers, tablets, and smartphones all fill a different need that consumers have for finding information at various points throughout the day.

While marketers should look to all three devices for reaching potential customers, lumping the devices together without understanding differences in intent and behavior can lead to costly mistakes and missed opportunities.”

You need to optimize for your mobile site to make sure that you are attracting all the purchase-prone mobile user.  Keep in mind the above 4 tips when you look to optimize and don’t forget to have a mobile site created.  The small amount of time and money required is well worth the investment.

For the complete article on mobile search.

Click here to learn more about  Mobile Marketing!

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