Search-Based Mobile Advertising
Mobile devices work in a different way than desktop computers. Smartphones implement physical location technologies that can be used to learn more about the area where the user is (local businesses, services, etc.).
64% of US smartphone users search for local businesses using location technology. And 1 in 3 users have at least one mobile app downloaded for the purpose of searching local businesses.
Top mobile search categories include restaurants, travel (gas stations, hotels and transportation) and health and beauty. But these categories did not necessarily attract the most ad spend in 2012. In fact, only travel was among the top three in advertising spend, with telecom and financial services completing the podium.
Telecom and financial services are usually among the categories for which the online ad spending is highest, not only on mobile, but on desktop too. But categories such as entertainment (bars, clubs and theaters) and health and beauty (salons and spas, gyms, hospitals, etc.) were the two categories with a faster growth path: campaigns for these grew 184% and 50% respectively.
According to mobile ad network xAd, the fastest growing advertising method last year was the targeting of display ads based on mobile search, with an increase of 400% on the number of campaigns using it. Geo-fencing was used by 55% of campaigns, while standard geotargeting came down from 64% to 13% in 2013.
The category that grew the most was search-based behavioural targeting, which boosted performance 60% on average, over the usual 0.5% click-through rate of the industry. Place-based targeting also saw a great lift, 55%, placing it on second place. The average click-through rate of locally targeted display ads in 2012 was of 0.8%, and targeted search of 8%.
Currently, location-based spend amounts to approximately an 8% of the total mobile ad spend worldwide. However, these figures are expected to go up, increasing 1126% by 2017, which will position location-based spend at 19% of total mobile ad spend worldwide. Not bad at all.
The importance of mobile-optimized websites
Mobile searches and desktop searches differ in 86% of the results. This is due mainly to the fact that Google gives priority to location, so if you’re looking for a restaurant on your mobile phone, and you happen to be near a restaurant of the characteristics you’re looking for, Google will give priority to that search result, putting it in a higher position than it would appear otherwise. Also, search results that include interactivity are also given priority on mobile searches. And Android users must be paid special attention here: since they’re always logged in, searches come back more personalized than for other platforms or desktop.
The rise of digital geolocation is therefore something that can be very useful for businesses or companies providing local services. But it can also be a double-edged sword if they don’t have a mobile-friendly website. Mobile users who get back a search result with a non-optimized website may get frustrated and turn to the competition. This includes content adaptability, media and general loading time, input optimization, and other aspects that must be taken into account when designing a mobile website. So make sure your mobile site is SEO optimized, and avoid losing potential visits to your website, plus obtain a better positioning in search engines with a mobile-optimized website.