The Better Mobile Conversion Search Strategy: App vs. Web Site

Log in. Mobile apps drive branding, loyalty, retention, cross-channel and device measurement, and sales. The traffic on the app generates data, improves measurement for retargeting content and services, and qualifies consumers. The mobile Web promotes application downloads and generates leads.

I search via voice on a mobile engine more often then not. The query results typically return a paid-search ad at the top of the query list, so more often than not I click on the ad rather than scroll down to find the retailer's Web site.

During a panel at the MediaPost Search Insider Summit in Key Largo, Fla., Experian Senior Director of Digital Acquisition Jennifer Tan touched on the importance of apps ranking high in the stores like Google Play and Apple iTunes, where the
majority of apps get discovered.

Ensuring that the app ranks high in store queries should become one priority for marketers. Sometimes it requires a high volume of downloads. Ranking in the top 50 means 25,000 downloads daily, which may require running paid-search ads to drive brand awareness. 

Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have been pushing their respective mobile-first strategies to support retailers from Target to Neiman Marcus, as well as the move by consumers to use smartphones as their digital assistant. Even email messages drive consumers to a mobile app or app download page. The shift continues to occur worldwide.

Alibaba's U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission initial public offering (IPO) filing highlights the company making progress in attracting smartphone users to its ecommerce services. In the filing the company claims an annual gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $248 billion on 11.3 billion orders and 231 million active buyers and 8 million active sellers. In Q4 2013, mobile GMV accounted for 19.7% of its GMV, up from 7.4% in the same period in the previous year.

Marketers also should consider responsive design vs. specific mobile landing page. Thomas White, conversion optimization strategist at Performics, explores the pros and cons of responsive design and mobile landing pages to engage and convert site visitors once they click from mobile paid search ads and organic listings.

Since the launch of Google Enhanced Campaigns in summer 2013, White lays out numbers on smartphone and tablet ad impressions and clicks that demonstrate much better results. He tells us that smartphones and tablets, defined as mobile devices, for Performics' aggregate client base accounted for 44.7% of all paid-search clicks in Q1 2014 vs. only 33.9% in Q1 2013. Mobile device clicks rose 55.1% year-over-year. Smartphones contributed 91%; and tablets, about 27%.

Marketers also spent more on campaigns running on mobile devices, accounting for 36.8% of all paid search for Performics aggregate client base during Q1 2014 vs. 20.8% in Q1 2013. Smartphone spend rose 129.6% in Q1 2014, whereas tablet spend rose 24.4% year-over-year.

White defines responsive design, takes us through the pros and cons for developing responsive design on landing pages, and explains differences with mobile-specific landing pages.

"Girls looking at their smartphones" photo from Shutterstock.

Related articles and content:

25 Google Tactics To Build A Better Mobile Web Site

Why Apple needs to fix App Store Search

Yahoo Gemini vision and impact

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1 comment about "The Better Mobile Conversion Search Strategy: App vs. Web Site".
  1. Steve Plunkett from Rockfish , May 7, 2014 at 3:07 p.m.
    Have been shouting this internally for about a year... Paid seems to be the easiest way to make the transition from MWebsite to App.