How often do you search with Google or Bing on the go with your smartphone? It might be more often than you think as recent research done by Marin reported that Google earned $2.5 billion in revenue from mobile platforms in 2011. In fact, early estimates indicate that this number will grow exponentially to $20 billion by 2016. Evidently, the ubiquity of portable devices is making it easier for consumers to search for products and services anywhere in the world and marketing professionals need to embrace the technology before they get left behind.
Smartphone and Tablet Usage is on the Rise
By June 2013, it’s expected that over one billion mobile devices will be used globally, indicating that smartphone and tablet technology will dominate the market over the next couple of years. The rapid adoption of smartphones has made traditional ‘dumbphones’ obsolete due to the advanced features provided on the former, ranging from interactive apps to high-speed Internet access. Tablet usage has increased considerably because its relatively light weight and high-resolution screen provides consumers with an alternative to the desktop experience.
Opportunities for Paid Search Advertising
According to the Marin study, average click-through rates in 2011 were significantly higher on smartphone and tablet devices compared to desktop computers. In addition, the average cost-per-click on mobile devices was lower than on desktop computers. The combination of higher click-through rates and lower cost-per-clicks provide marketers with ample opportunities to generate leads and sales through Pay-Per-Click Advertising.
Customized ‘Click-to-Call’ Search Ads
Search Engine Marketing campaigns have become more robust with the integration of click-to-call ads. Unlike traditional ads, this format integrates a unique phone number in the ad copy that can be clicked on by smartphone users to initiate a call. Marketing professionals can use this to their advantage to create targeted ads for mobile and desktop users respectively.
Future of Mobile Marketing
While the data thus far indicates that mobile Pay-Per-Click Advertising may be cost effective, conversion rates seem to be lacking compared to their desktop counterparts. Increasing conversion rates begins with building mobile-friendly websites to enhance the overall user experience. Evidently, the rise of mobile users means that PPC campaigns built for smartphones and tablets should no longer be considered an option, but rather a necessity of any Internet marketing campaign.