Thursday, September 2, 2010

Local content is a key element of mobile searches

One in three mobile searches show local intent: Efficient Frontier

Advertisers should consider creating search campaigns by device, according to a new insight guide to mobile search from performance marketing company Efficient Frontier.
The guide examines the differences in consumer search behavior on mobile as compared to static searches on computers. Efficient Frontier advises brands on how to incorporate these differences to their search campaigns.
“Apple now describes itself as a mobile devices company, not because it doesn’t make computers, but because computers are becoming mobile,” said Charlotte Rogers, client services director of Efficient Frontier, San Francisco. “The iPad and arguably the iPod Touch blur the lines of distinction between a mobile device and a static computer, and so are shifting the way consumers consume mobile data.
“We’re seeing a clear pattern emerging of a different kind of search behavior on mobile,” she said. “When on the move, consumers don’t want to browse, they want to find.
“Searches are more specific, more action-based and more localized."
Mobile matters
Although mobile search is still a small percentage of search campaigns, this is – finally, and after many false starts – about to change, according to Efficient Frontier.
Every year for the past three years or so, mobile content providers have predicted that this is the year of mobile. There are two factors that will contribute to a significant increase in consumer mobile Internet use: speed and usability. 
These are finally getting to the point of mass mobile Internet adoption, and so, mass adoption of mobile search.
Mobile verses PC
Certain types of search are a natural fit with mobile, particularly specific, localized searches.
Google reports that one in three mobile searches show local intent.
For example, searching for a specific restaurant location, rather than browsing through a list of restaurants or searching for the nearest café on a map.
There is an opportunity for an advertiser to serve up very specific search results, and even give directions on how to get to its shop or restaurant. 
OpportunityA more natural fit with mobile user intent would be the use of click-to-call within the ad, allowing the consumer to call that business directly. 
Mobile is better placed than any other media channel to drive this offline direct response.
The key is understanding that consumers use mobile Internet differently from desktop Web, so marketers should develop campaigns specifically for mobile and test those campaigns for effectiveness.
“The differences in consumer behavior between static desktop searches and mobile searches mean that advertisers mustn’t simply transfer a search campaign to mobile,” Ms. Rogers said. “They have to play by a different set of rules and understand that their target audience is looking for different results from mobile searches.
“If your tour operator goes bust while you’re on holiday, and you’re searching for ‘availability flights to London’ on your mobile, you’re probably not interested in a set of search results that suggest things to do while you’re in London,” she said.
“There is an argument to say advertisers should create campaigns by device: separate campaigns for desktop searches and for mobile phone searches.”
Final take
Giselle Tsirulnik is senior editor of Mobile Marketer and Mobile Commerce Daily

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