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Mobile search is unique – the sheer size alone of the keyboard on a mobile device results in queries shorter than their online counterparts

Mobile search is unique – the sheer size alone of the keyboard on a mobile device results in queries shorter than their online counterparts

It’s an industry predicted to reach $3.3 billion in revenue by the year 2013, the reason you chose the bed-and-breakfast over the boutique hotel when your original hotel lost your reservation, and top of mind for marketers looking to capitalize on the growing number of consumers using the mobile web to make decisions on how to spend their money and time.

It’s mobile advertising, and its mere existence, along with that of PDAs and smart phones, is changing the way consumers make decisions. As marketers realize the value of mobile advertising to influence brand awareness, word-of-mouth, and offline consumer behavior, many allocate their first mobile spend to paid search, or “pay-per-click” advertising, largely due to its track record as an accountable, highly-targeted way to market online.

However, while it retains the built-in accountability that makes online search so attractive, mobile search is unique and requires a slightly different approach. To help you understand the value and place of mobile search in your marketing mix, last month we identified three significant ways mobile differs from online search. For this month’s feature, we tapped one of the top mobile advertising networks to give you straight-from-the-horses-mouth advice on how to leverage mobile search for maximum ROI.

Read on for three tactical tips to change the way you think about mobile search and help you get more out of your next campaign.

1 – Create a custom mobile landing page

Mobile search is unique – the sheer size alone of the keyboard on a mobile device results in queries shorter than their online counterparts

Mobile users need quick and easy access to information - send users to a custom landing page that highlights actionable data and minimizes the rest

Not only is it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to view an entire website on a mobile device, asking users to do so is selling your search campaign short. Once you accept mobile search as time-bound and action-oriented, you realize most mobile users have a clear goal they want to achieve when performing a search and are looking for very specific information to help them do so – if you give mobile users all the information you have, you are holding them back, and when the goal is to spend money on your product or service, holding them back is the last thing you want to do.

Instead of relying on your regular website or landing page to receive mobile search traffic, create a landing page tailored to mobile users that delivers information they need to make a quick decision. If you’re a new restaurant, for example, looking to capitalize on the buzz created when US Weekly published a photo of Hollywood’s latest power couple dining on your patio, placing a mobile search ad is savvy, but you have to take the next step. Mobile users making on-the-fly decisions about where to dine don’t want to be wooed by your graphic designer’s clever use of color and form; they want to know your address and hours, see your menu, and find out how to make a reservation. Make it easy for mobile users to locate this information quickly and you’re more likely to find them seated at one of your tables, which brings us to our next tip – optimizing the mobile conversion funnel.

2 – Streamline the mobile conversion funnel for speed

Just as the unique needs of mobile users inform your mobile landing page design, they should also inform the conversion funnel, or in other words, the steps a user must take to perform a desired action as a direct result of visiting your site.

Possible actions include making a purchase, completing a form, or making a call, although walking into an advertiser’s brick-and-mortar location also counts. Your job as a mobile marketer is to make it easy for users to perform these actions by conceptualizing the conversion funnel on mobile terms.

Make it easy for mobile users to connect with a live person using click-to-call technology on your landing page and ads

Make it easy for mobile users to connect with a live person using click-to-call technology on your landing page and ads

While online conversion funnels have more time to engage and sell, mobile funnels should be built around two things: ease-of-use and speed. If you are a sporting goods store and a mobile user on looking for a new tennis racket has landed on your website, they probably aren’t interested in signing-up for your newsletter. Most likely, the user wants directions to your store and information about the rackets you have in-stock. Anticipate these wants and deliver.

Make your phone number and address prominent, and enable click-to-call functionality on mobile landing pages (and text ads if you prefer) so a user can connect with you instantly. Avoid long contact forms and minimize the number of steps required to make a purchase. All in all, make it as easy as possible for a user to become a customer by highlighting logical essentials and minimizing the rest.

3 – Leverage complementary keywords to capitalize on mobile demand

When building your first few mobile search campaigns, you may be tempted to advertise under a few competitive keywords and avoid the rest until you have enough data to better optimize your list. This is not recommended. While long-tail keywords are thought to indicate a greater purchase intent than shorter, more generic keywords, the latter indicate the same, if not greater intent, when searched on a mobile device.

Use mobile keyword research tools, like the one offered by Google AdWords to examine mobile traffic for competitive terms and get suggestions for complementary keywords to add to your list. Watch how complementary keywords perform and optimize your campaign for ones that convert, but never assume terms will perform in a mobile campaign as they do online; experiment until you know.

If you aren’t experimenting with complementary keywords, the competition likely will, and you’ll be missing out on a significant piece of the mobile pie.

We hope these strategic tips help you optimize your mobile search campaign for maximum ROI. For more information on paid search or help advertising online, please contact sales@wpromote.com.

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