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Internet Marketing 101: Why mobile search is different than typical search
Although still quite different a new whitepaper from the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) indicates that the gap between mobile searchers and Internet searchers is lessening. Meaning that marketers should begin to see some overlap between mobile and Internet campaigns; however, this is not an indicator that a 'one size fits all' approach to search marketing is in order.
Perhaps of highest news value is that optimizing search campaigns is relatively the same in both the online and mobile space. Plus, in the mobile marketplace, mobile sites don't currently have an advantage as far as search placement. This could change in the future, but for now online and mobile sites are ranked equally.
The paper further finds that:
• 64 million US wireless subscribers surfed the mobile web in May 2009
• iPhone and iPod Touch users represent just over half (60%) of the mobile consumer base
• Mobile click-throughs are between 5% and 15%, whereas Internet click-throughs average 2%
The 2% click-through versus mobile's potential 15% click-through will likely cause some search marketers to consider doing more in the mobile marketplace, but you must remember that although the click-through rate is lower on the Internet there are more consumers there than in the mobile marketplace. Meaning that mobile clicks, while very important, should not overshadow online clicks.
"We have seen that the mobile industry is on a fast-track, with massive growth in mobile marketing, advertising and paid-content for users. But what is really leading this growth is the increase in quality devices and fast, affordable data. While smartphone ownership was once just a business tool, more consumers than ever are using smartphones in their everyday lives," writes Chris Quick, Client Services Manager, Mobile Media (via the Nielsen Online blog).
According to recent data from Nielsen Online, 26 million consumers are now smartphone users, an increase of 72% quarter-over-quarter. The bad news? Smartphone penetration is still under 20% of the total mobile consumer base. More men have smartphones than women, especially in the under-35 demographic and most smartphone users have smartphones for work purposes - catching up on email, staying in touch on business trips, etc.
The biggest obstacle for mobile search is the specificity of some devices. Some browsers are device specific, meaning that if a site opens for an iPhone user it may not open for a Blackberry user and so on. Because of this many marketers are staying away from mobile search. This is likely to change as the processing power of different phones and PDAs change.
Perhaps the biggest benefit to mobile, whether looking at search or mobile display, is the potential for targeting. A recent OgilvyOne report indicates that mobile may overtake other forms of advertising as quickly as the year 2020 because of the ability to personalize ads in the space. By using personal, albeit anonymous, information to better target ads marketers have a better chance to engage consumers and convert shoppers. Using not only geographic and demographic information but also past behaviors and even the context of mobile content, marketers in the space have huge potential as the mobile marketplace continues to open.
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