This is a guest post by Pavel Webb, the affiliate manager at TextMagic, a UK based SMS gateway that develops software which enables businesses and individuals to text from a computer.
By 2013, more people are expected to use a mobile device than a PC to go online.*
Combine this with Google’s own internal data that mobile searches have increased by 4 times since 2010 (available on their mobile initiative website www.howtogomo.com) and you have a pretty strong case for why you need to be optimizing your campaigns for mobile. Like, today. Some facts to guide your optimization:
1. Mobile-optimisation now counts toward Google Quality Score for mobile PPC ads
Perhaps the most important factor to understand about search optimization today is that mobile optimization is now a critical factor in Google’s Quality Score factor in its AdWords ranking algorithm.
The AdWords system now visits your website and determines the quality of the mobile (smartphone) experience. Google admits that an optimized website tends “to perform better in AdWords – they generally drive more mobile traffic at a lower cost.” (emphasis mine)
Why is this important to marketers? Well, improving your Quality Score lets you improve your ad rank without increasing your bid costs (thus saving you money).
2. Mobile PPC ads have a higher conversion rate
At first, this might seem counter-intuitive. People using mobiles are ‘busy’ and task-oriented. Yet, when you properly target behavior with a good PPC ad that is served to them at the right time, mobile users are more likely than their desktop counterparts to click the ad. More importantly, they convert more.
According to Google’s HowToGoMo.com, 95% of smartphone users surveyed have searched for local information. 61% of them call a business after searching and an amazing 59% actually visit the physical location.2
Google has a stake in the mobile advertising game, so you might be compelled to take their stats with a grain of salt. But consider these facts from Search Engine Watch: mobile cost-per-click is around 30% lower than desktop, and mobile click-through rates are around 5 times higher.
3. Adding an SMS component increases conversion
In my experience, SMS marketing campaigns have a tremendously successful track record. When used as a component of a marketing campaign in much the same way people used to run email campaigns, SMS offers the marketer the ability to speak directly to his or her target customers.
Understanding what your target audience likes and what they DO is an important factor in creating a solid SMS campaign. Coupons and voucher codes are the obvious use-cases for generating an active SMS marketing list, and by advertising the SMS program in a PPC ad, marketers are seeing a large increase in click-through and conversion from their PPC ads.
For instance, in a case outlined by Mobile Marketing Institute, when the business added a ‘text’ option to PPC ads (effectively telling the ad viewer about the SMS text message version of their product) they saw a striking increase in the number of responses compared to the desktop version of the PPC ads.
More searchers are using mobile devices, and the effect this has on SEO and PPC is rising with each passing month. Ignore mobile in your optimization strategy and pay-per-click campaigns at your peril.
** Google “The Mobile Movement: Understanding Smartphone Users,” 2011; howtogomo.com