PPC and the mobile opportunity.

The latter half of 2010 saw mobile ;:;:err.e: sti:z:~. take off. with remarkable growth stimulated by not only the iconic iPhone 4 and iPad releases during last summer, but also a wave of new Android devices hitting the market at ever more affordable price points. Research carried

bv Latitude c:g::ai agency has seen this trend continue in 2011. The first quarter of 2011 saw mobile paid search impressions level out at approximately 6% of total ad impressions, falling slightly from a peak :: : ~:: in December 2010. This statistic in isolation might imply mobile search is nearing saturation, however, mobile dick volumes have continued to increase, reaching 6.7% of total paid search click volume in March.

This trend reflects rising click through — CTR) resulting from refined targeting :v marke:ers. arid increased consumer engagement with mobile as a search medium. Mobile ads continue to see significantly higher click through rates than desktop, rising to 4.9% in March compared :c 3.5-c for desktop.

So what does this all mean? Well, if you are in charge of a sizeable online marketing budget then it would be wise to have a mobile marketing strategy in place. As mentioned above, consumer engagement with mobile ads appears to be improving, demonstrated bv increases in CTR. Below are some of the key considerations for advertisers to bear in mind for paid search marketing on mobile.

Develop a mobile site

The majority of users will engage with your product/service by landing on your website as opposed to purchasing a mobile commerce app. If landing on a non-mobile friendly site, advertisers risk losing potential customers through poor user experience. Quick page loading time is vital for mobile devices, hence:

• If using a standard HTML landing page, avoid Flash.
• Use a page with minimal JavaScript (although this is required for Analytics).
• Large buttons and hyperlinks to make it easier for users to click.
• On page simplicity - make sure content is to the point, and calls-to-action are prominent and high on the page.

Optimise your Google AdWords account

Google currently dominates approximately 98% of mobile paid search traffic in the UK. Through AdWords, you can setup a mobile targeted campaign to ensure maximum traffic is yielded within your target ROI. Here are some best practice guidelines:

• Create separate mobile campaigns, targeting mobile devices only.
• Target devices (iPhone, Android and iPad) separately as users are likely to respond different to your offering in different ways.
• Effective keyword strategy. Target one to three keyword search terms as queries tend to be shorter on mobile.
• Use mobile specific calls-to-action within ad copy; "call us now", "text for info", "click to download app".
• Implement click to call ads if possible and schedule ads to display when your call centre is open. Send traffic to an online conversion page when the call centre is closed.
• Aggressive bidding strategy. Position one/two on mobile is recommended as sponsored listings occupy the majority of the initial SERP real estate.
• For localised activity, make use of Google Places, location extensions and geo-targeted mobile campaigns. Geo-targeting is more accurate for mobile than it is for desktops.

Track and monitor effectively

It's a must to ensure effective analytics are in place to track mobile activity. Advertisers should be monitoring this activity constantly, with mobile activity growing and user behaviour constantly evolving and adapting to the channel. It requires regular testing and refining of campaigns to find the right keywords and messaging to drive relevant traffic to your site.

Whilst desktop searches may continue to dominate the overall search market share, it's becoming widely accepted that mobile Internet search activity will exceed desktop at some point over the next few years. The role for all online marketing mediums will be significant as search engines and marketers continue to adapt their search offerings. Some of the things that we can expect to see develop are more in-line with desktop marketing opportunities; behavioural and demographic targeting through both mobile web and applications. From a PPC perspective, now is a great opportunity for advertisers to take advantage of low cost CPCs, averaging 30 to 40% lower than desktop, depending on the sector. With increasing volumes on mobile, this will change and it won't be long before the increased competition across mobile search terms leads to CPCs more in-line with desktop. So the key message is, if you're not taking mobile marketing seriously now, get on it before the competition leaves you behind!
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