Growth in Mobile Spurs Growth in Mobile Search

12 Jan

The expanding mobile device market has led to a dramatic increase in mobile search of web activity. According to Phil Harpur of Frost & Sullivan:

“Search results from mobile searches are becoming more distinct to fixed internet searches, with a high proportion of mobile searches optimized for location based material. Also, click-to-call features are becoming more prominent in mobile search advertising.”

Despite the growth in mobile-specific search, desktop searches have not decreased, which means search advertising as a whole is still booming. However, the search industry expects to continue leaving online directories for dust, and mobile search is increasingly coming to the fore, as mobile marketing strategies become more sophisticated and user-oriented. Google predicts that mobile search will overtake desktop during the next few years.

Countless studies and surveys support Google's prediction. Mobile search spending went up 132% year on year, according to a Covario report. On a global basis, mobile search advertising accounted for 16% of total spend in the second quarter of 2013, with 10% of that spending conducted on tablets, and 6% on smartphones.

Research from Telmetrics shows that 50% of mobile users in the United States use their device at the beginning of the search process, and 31% use it throughout the process. The same study found that one in three smartphone users search specifically for contact information, such as directions and phone numbers.

A comScore study found the total number of American searchers using mobile phones grew 26% between March 2012 and December 2012. One analytics company, BIA/Kelsey, echoed Google's prediction, claiming that mobile search queries will overtake desktop by 2015.

So what does it mean for the mobile advertising industry? Text message advertising  is harmonizing with mobile search to offer users a more localized, personalized experience. More than half of all conversions from mobile search take place within the hour, which suggests a more impulsive type of shopping experience, with users out and about, not prepared to mull over decisions in the same way they might on a desktop-only search.

Mobile marketing strategies have to adapt to this snap-decisive market by offering users an easy path to conversion. Marketers must use text message advertising to reach out to opted-in consumers with specialized, localized, time-sensitive offers. As the pace of consumer life quickens and becomes more mobile, marketing strategies must do the same in order to stay in touch with their audience.

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