Commentary

Mobile Will Generate Up To 30% Of Web Site Traffic

Samsung-Tablet

Search remains at the core of most mobile activities. Marketers must learn best practices. In an AMA-sponsored webinar, Google and The Search Agency on Wednesday presented stats and best practices for mobile search. The group ran through building support for mobile landing pages, differences between mobile and tablet campaigns, and hyperlocal and sitelink ads, as well as call-to-action and click-to-call enabled ads.

Local companies can capitalize most on mobile. One in three mobile searches is local, according to the BIA/Kelsey Group. After looking up a local business on a smartphone, 61% of users call the business and 59% visit the location, the analyst firm estimates.

Google estimates that between 15% and 30% of site traffic will come from mobile devices within 18 months. Mobile-only campaigns generate 11.5% higher click-through rates.

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When it comes to tablets, users spend 50% more time with the ad compared with PC Web users. Tablet conversion rates are equal or higher to the rate of PCs. They have a higher average order value, lower cost per click, and more time on-site. The desktop site will render on a tablet as long as it doesn't include Flash technology.

Still, it's important to think about separate mobile campaigns. When mobile campaigns are separated from desktop campaigns, advertisers gain more control and better visibility into bids, for example. Optimizing bids for mobile devices means setting them a bit higher in the early weeks to establish a good Quality Score because only two paid-search ads serve up.

Marketers should optimize keyword lists as well. Keeping in mind that many mobile users have local intent, marketers may want to include more local keywords. And when putting together ad creatives, remember to add "shop on your iPhone or Android," reminding the consumer that it's safe to make transactions on the phone.

Advertisers who break out mobile campaigns can see significant gains. On average, the click-through rates rise 11.5%, according to Google.

Mike Solomon -- VP of marketing strategy at The Search Agency, a search engine marketing agency -- walked through ways to implement mobile strategies, beginning with data from 13 clients across numerous verticals. The data suggests mobile CPCs generate 30% less than those on desktop search. And CTRs are five times higher than desktop search.

While 85% of advertisers don't have a mobile Web site, Solomon believes now is a good time to get started. Similar to a paid-search campaign on the Web, begin by determining the end goal such as sales, leads, site visits, apps downloads or foot traffic. Then advertisers should access their mobile footprint, creating a copy of existing campaigns and adjusting them for mobile to maintain continuity.

In Google's ad platform, Solomon says to segment campaigns per carriers and devices. When choosing keywords, remember that mobile searches are done at the moment consumers need the information. So, searches occur in real-time. Mobile supports search-driven tasks focusing mostly on location. Those looking for information on mobile devices use a shorter set of keyword strings, compared with desktop searches. Solomon suggests taking part of the budget to test specific words.

When it comes to optimizing ad copy, take into consideration whether consumers are using a mobile phone. Mobile phone users have a shorter attention span and have less time to find information, which makes click-to-call an important feature. Advertisers also can use sitelinks to drive consumers deeper into the Web site.

It really comes back to knowing the end goal, tracking data across all channels and optimizing conversions. Don't forget to collect and measure the data. Solomon suggests some data points that some marketers may not think of such as measuring map data, driving directions and mobile coupon codes.

2 comments about "Mobile Will Generate Up To 30% Of Web Site Traffic".
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  1. Ron Stitt from Fox Television Stations, March 31, 2011 at 2:09 p.m.

    15-30% sounds conservative for anyone with a reasonably robust mobile (web + app) presence.

  2. Susan Breidenbach from Broadbrook Associates, March 31, 2011 at 3:02 p.m.

    Gartner predicted some time ago (2009, I think) that by 2013, smartphones would be the primary web access device, accounting for more than half the traffic. Looks like we're on schedule, if not ahead of it. I'm wondering about demographics, though. Will this be CONSUMER traffic, or does it include business access (e.g., employees of big companies, etc.)?

    Thanks for another great article.

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