Marketers Lagging Consumers In Mobile Search, Google Teases Data On Optimizing Sites


LOS ANGELES -- Consumers, on average, now spend $300 per purchase via mobile devices, as people become more comfortable purchasing higher-priced items, according to Bon Mercado, mobile ads product specialist at Google.  

Presenting at the Search Engine Marketers Professional Association (SEMPO) L.A. meeting here Thursday night, Mercado said Google's mobile group expects a "huge" fourth quarter as a result of new products set to hit the market, such as phones running Android and Apple iOS. He also mentioned that Google is working with Apple to help track mobile content on iOS devices.

Despite increasing consumer acceptance and better industry collaboration, Mercado said, 79% of large online brands do not have a mobile optimized site. He added that a Google study scheduled for release within two weeks intends to show that an optimized mobile site increases sales.



One in three searches on mobile devices show local intent. After locating a local business on their smartphone, 61% of users call the business. When it comes to travel, 82% of people booked with a day of arrival vs. 45% on their desktop.

Industry consultant Gartner expects worldwide mobile search advertising revenue to reach $20.6 billion by 2015, up from $3.3 billion this year, and $1.6 billion in 2010. Search and maps will deliver the highest revenue, while video and audio will experience the fastest growth. North America and Western Europe will experience the highest growth in budgets -- representing 28% and 25%, respectively, by 2015, according to Gartner. Asia-Pacific and Japan remain the leading market, accounting for 49.2% of mobile advertising in 2011, and 33.6% of the global market in 2015.

By the end of 2011 more than half of Americans will have these devices because the user interface has become easier to use and processing and download speeds have increased, Mercado said. Tablets are growing at a faster rate than mobile, he said -- adding that tablet users spend 50% more time on the device and conversions are higher.

Social optimization drives traffic too, according to Gideon Rubin, COO at Lenco Mobile USA. The latest push by radio broadcasters is creating downloadable apps. It allows consumers to listen to live broadcasts, but it becomes more challenging to optimize local programming for a global audience.

Similar stories were told by Corey McMahon, senior business manager at AT&T Interactive; John Cole, director of search engine optimization at AT&T Interactive; Stephanie Schipper, technology and digital strategy at TakePart/Participant Media; and Lenco Mobile's Rubin. The group discussed topics ranging from mobile movie content to local information about businesses and local radio stations broadcasting live music.

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