Mobile Search: The Next Frontier

According to a report from the xAd advertising network, there were big increases in mobile and local searches during Q4 2011. The stats are pretty incredible, and just go to show how much you need to start looking at mobile and local searches.

One amazing stat is the level that mobile searchers react to ads compared to desktop users. In the study, 52% of mobile-local searchers called the local businesses after the initial click. The leading secondary action was accessing maps or driving directions (50%), compared to 42% for search ads.

The click-through rate (CTR) for search ads was also strong last quarter as well. Average CTR for search ads was 7%. This is because mobile-local searchers are seeking information related to a specific action for a need or want that they want to fill.

Another enlightening statistic about mobile search is that mobile search requests grew 60% quarter-over-quarter. That’s a huge number, and shows just how many people have smartphones these days, and how many are searching for local businesses.

So do you have any local search game? Well if you don’t, you’re in luck – we do. As part of our search targeting, we make sure to create mobile-specific campaigns that target the mobile user with a special call to action and click-to-call ads.

But what good is mobile traffic if they get sent to your clunky desktop site? We also design mobile landing pages that deliver the things mobile users want. On our custom-designed sites, we include mapping options as well as a mobile-specific call to action with a prominent click-to-call button.

Have any more questions about mobile? Ask us in the comments.

3 things to help you optimize for local search

Local search is everywhere. Think about how many times you search for something nearby. By 2015, 30 percent of all searches will be local. Compare that with 12 percent in 2009.

One of the reasons for this growth is the emergence of smartphones. 80 percent of all searches conducted through a smartphone are for local products and services. Local search is ever-changing as the major search engines give more focus in that area, and if you aren’t showing up, you need to.

1. SEO your website.
Make sure your website is search engine optimized (SEO). This means targeting certain keywords on your website, and targeting long-tail, geo-specific keywords such as “Chicago pizza in Seattle”.

2. Set up your profiles
Sign up for several business directories and Google Places. The more directories you’re in, the better, as your business is seen as more credible by Google. To get listed automatically in more than 100 directories, check out Business Listings at Local AdsUpNow. Local AdsUpNow is a service that automatically submits your business information to almost 150 directories and more than 25 mobile networks.

3. Encourage customer reviews
Encouraging your customers to review your business on places like Google and Yelp can be a great tool to help bring more business. Studies show that people are more likely to visit a business if it’s been recommended by a peer, so having your customers rate your business is essential to bringing in more sales and new customers.

So there you have it. By following these steps, you can start to optimize your online presence to come up higher in the rankings. You will not only increase sales, but your business will be more respected by Google, so it’ll have better rankings in the search results.

For more tips on digital Marketing, check out our website. We’re a Seattle ad agency specializing in digital advertising and marketing.

Have any more questions about local SEO? Let us know in the comments.

3 Ways to Increase Your Revenue By Marketing Across All Purchase Paths

Every customer you have ever landed came through a purchase path. Some of the paths are clear-cut, such as getting customers from your website, TV ad, driving by your store, or the customer’s smartphone. Others aren’t as clear. For example, someone might see your TV ad, go search for you online, then come to your store. Some might see your ad on Facebook, go to your website and fill out a form for more information, and wait to be contacted by a salesperson.

The point is, you might have an idea of how purchase paths are laid out, but the truth is they are usually more convoluted than they seem at first.

Because of this convolution, you have to be prepared to remarket your products or services to your customers in many different ways. It’s not enough to do some local TV ads and have a website, you need to be actively targeting and communicating with your customers in order to get them to convert.

There are several ways you can make sure that you are targeting your customers in the right way. The first of which is search engine marketing (SEM). SEM is important because it places your ads at the top of the search results for the keywords you’ve selected, giving you the ability to reach more customers.

Another reason this is important is because your customers may not remember exactly what your business is called, but they just know what type of product you provide. For example, if they heard your radio ad, or saw your business and couldn’t remember what the name was, but could only remember that you sold heaters and air conditioning, they could type “heating and air conditioning Seattle” (or whatever their city was) and your ad would pop up at the top.

A second way you can help promote across purchase paths is through retargeting. Retargeting places a cookie in the user’s web browser when they visit your site, this causes your display ads to be displayed to them after they leave. This brings increased mindshare and brand awareness during the customer’s shopping cycle, which will result in more revenue.

A third way to promote your business across purchase paths is by using your social networks. Chances are, you have a Facebook page, and studies have shown that users who buy something from a business after going through its social channels spend more money per transaction. Leverage your social networks to get users to make purchases. Offer discounts to Facebook fans, or plan a giveaway on your fan page.

If you want to be able to promote your business in today’s changing digital landscape, check out our website for more information on what we do. We are a full-service Seattle ad agency specializing in the digital realm.

We can help you get more from the Internet.

The Car-buying Mobile Revolution

Mobile is transforming everything from shopping to searching. According to wireless statistics, wireless users logged 1.15 trillion minutes on mobile devices in the first half of 2011. That’s more than 6 billion minutes of usage every day.

Car Dealership Mobile App
More and more car dealerships are developing mobile apps

One place mobile is changing the world is in car sales. A recent survey noted that 78 percent of people who are planning to buy a vehicle during the next 12 months will use a mobile device at some point in the purchase process.

If you’re a car dealer and you don’t have a mobile campaign, well, you now have a reason to get one. You can’t alienate such a large percentage of your car shoppers by not having a mobile strategy.

Here are some more stats: 44 percent of mobile car buyers use their phones to compare prices at different dealerships, 32 percent will use them to locate a dealership and 23 percent will use them to contact a dealership.

Those are numbers that you can’t ignore. Mobile is the way of the future, and you need to start adapting your business to the wants of the mobile user.

That means mobile landing pages, mobile ads, mobile SEM, QR codes, SMS campaigns and more. Tailoring to as many different users as possible will ensure none of your customers fall through the cracks.

Call us today and see how we can help you with your mobile strategy.  We’ll get you started on the path to digital marketing success.

Small Businesses Moving Aggressively to Online Marketing

Digital marketing is continuing to grow compared to traditional forms of advertising among small and medium-sized companies (SMBs).

According to BIA/Kelsey, digital spending for US SMBs is expected to reach $16.6 billion annually by 2016.

That means 70 percent of SMB marketing budgets will be spent on digital. In 2010, SMBs spent 52 percent of their budgets on traditional marketing and advertising, but that number will shrink to 30 percent in 2015.

Digital marketing includes mobile, social, online directories, online display, retargeting, search, and more.

Neal Polachek, president of BIA/Kelsey, said SMBs are using digital practices to engage their customers for longer periods of time.

“With the advent of daily deals to drive customer acquisition, SMBs are now increasingly focused on leveraging technological solutions to engage, grow and retain a higher percentage of their customers,” said Polachek. “As this trend accelerates, these SMBs will turn to outside providers to harness simple tools, which will enable them to maximize the long-term value of each new customer they acquire.”

Marketing Spend by SMBs

Some of the other Key takeaways from the report are as follows:

  • Overall, U.S. SMB spending on media, marketing and business solutions will grow from $22.4 billion in 2010 to $40.2 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent.
  • SMB spending on traditional advertising will be essentially flat during the forecast period, experiencing a 0.6 percent CAGR, from $11.8 billion in 2010 to $12.1 billion in 2015.
  • SMB spending on digital/online media will grow from $5.4 billion in 2010 to $16.6 billion in 2015 (24.9 percent CAGR).
  • SMBs will also increase spending on performance-based commerce and transaction platforms, from $1.7 billion in 2010 to $4.6 billion in 2015 (21.5 percent CAGR).
  • Spending by SMBs on customer retention business solutions will grow from $3.5 billion in 2010 to $6.9 billion in 2015 (14.6 percent CAGR).

As you can see, digital marketing and advertising are becoming increasingly important. There’s no excuse for why you shouldn’t have your own digital marketing campaign. Contact us today to learn more.

Mobile Will Make Up 15% of Total Ad Spend In 2016

Think mobile isn’t important? Well, most of your competitors do. A new research report by Swedish analyst firm Berg Insight predicts that mobile ad spending will grow 37 percent annually over the next four years.

In 2010, mobile ad spend was just $3.4 billion worldwide, but Berg is estimating it to increase to $22.4 billion by 2016.

Berg Telecom Analyst Rickard Andersson said that our rapid smartphone adoption is a “game-changer,” and accredited the increase of mobile ad spend to major brands’ willingness to incorporate mobile into their campaigns.

“Brands are now progressively embracing the mobile channel, including the entire range of apps from games and entertainment to utility applications. Also, mobile web advertising and opt-in SMS campaigns are popular,” he said.

Everyone is Fighting Over Mobile

Andersson also predicted that location-based advertising will gain ground over the next few years, offering up marketing messages that are “hyper-relevant” to the user in both time and place.

It’s not all sunshine and rainbows, however. Berg says the market hasn’t matured yet, and many big companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Amazon are vying for mobile users’ attention.

With more people using smartphones – and with mobile ad spend increasing – don’t you think it’s time you evaluated your mobile strategy? The battle for market share among the tech giants shows how important mobile is becoming.

It’s not too late, as mobile is still young, but you need to think about all the customers you’re missing out on. Google reported that more than half of all local searches have local intent, meaning that your customers are using mobile to search for you.

Check out our what we do page to learn more about how we can help your business with local Internet advertising and marketing.

Photo Credit

7 Reasons Why Your Business Needs a Mobile Campaign

Smartphone adoption has been exploding in the last few years. This represents a huge opportunity for your business.  Mobile campaigns can give you a great return on your investment. Read below for the top seven reasons why you need to be using mobile as part of your local digital advertising strategy.

1.    It’s Getting Bigger
Smartphone ownership has more than doubled in the last two years. More than 44% of mobile subscribers now own smartphones, and mobile search has grown 400 percent in the last year, representing one in every seven searches. Google received 11.9 billion search queries in October 2011, meaning almost 1.7 billion searches were mobile in October alone.

2.    Search Drives Mobile
Instead of pulling out the Yellow Pages to find what they need, consumers use search engines. For smartphone users, search is even more important: they access search more than social networks on their phones.

3.    Mobile Means Local

Mobile Users Have Local Intent

More than half of all mobile searches have local intent. This means when someone pulls out a smartphone to search on the go, they’re looking for places nearby. You need to show up when they need you, or you stand to lose a lot of potential business.

4.    Mobile Users Take Action
Mobile searchers have higher purchase intent than desktop searchers do. After searching for something online, 89 percent of mobile searchers take action within a day – 36 percent of those take action immediately. This means that a mobile searcher is almost a guaranteed lead.

5.    Consumers Shop With Their Phones

Mobile users don’t just search – they buy. 74% of smartphone owners have made a purchase as a result of using their smartphone, and 76% of those purchases were made in-store.

6.    It’s Still Early

Mobile Will Overtake Desktop

In two years, the number of mobile Internet users will overtake the number of desktop users. Despite this, 72% of mobile large online advertisers don’t have a mobile-optimized site. Get started today, and be part of the mobile revolution.

7.    It’s easy!
With the help of AdsUpNow, you can capture new business and let mobile users find you. We create well-rounded campaigns that include mobile landing pages, mobile search advertising, call tracking and mobile couponing.

Wondering where we got these stats? They came from Google’s video about mobile advertising.

As you can see, mobile is growing – fast. Even though it may seem daunting, getting started with mobile advertising or mobile landing pages is easier than ever. Fill out the form on our website or call today to find out more.

Images were pulled from this infographic.

Search, Display and Retargeting: The Trifecta of Online Advertising

That title is misleading. To have a great online presence you need more than just search, display ads and retargeting, but these points are a good starting place for any local business who wants to convert more online shoppers and increase its revenue.

Each of these parts can be used on their own, but function stronger when used together. Just look at the title, we called it a trifecta, and everyone knows that a triangle is the strongest shape. If you didn’t, well you just got a geometry lesson as well as a digital advertising lesson. You’re welcome.

Lift in Online Sales Per Online Strategy

If you want to visualize how these three aspects work better together, take a look at the chart below. As you can see, using search and display ads together gives much higher returns than using them separately.

The first part of the equation is search. As we covered in a previous post, search is huge, and should not be taken for granted. Search has become the gateway to the Internet, so you need to start using search advertising to appear at the top of search rankings. It’s called SEM, and it looks like this:

Search Engine Marketing

Those big red circles are where your ads show up. That means that when someone searches for products or services that your business delivers, your ads appears, increasing hits to your website.

The only problem with search is that only 4% of time on the Internet is spent in search engines, and 96% is spent doing everything else. You might think search isn’t worth it, but everything on the Internet stems from search, so it should remain an important piece of your online strategy. Search gets your foot in the door, but the next two parts help you walk through it and sell your products.
Display Ads
The second aspect is display advertising. Display ads show up on websites around the world, and their main goal is to boost traffic to the owner’s website. The first display ad was in 1994, and looked like this:

AT&T Banner Ad From 1994

Since 1994, display advertising has grown tremendously. In Q2 2011, more than 1.1 trillion display ads were served across the world, and this number is only going to increase as more and more people come online. The only problem with display advertising is that, a lot of the time, it gets ignored. Internet users train themselves to overlook the ads, thinking they’re irrelevant. That’s where the third part comes in.

Retargeting is the last piece of the puzzle, and the part that ties it all together. If you weren’t aware, 97% of your website visitors leave and never come back.  Retargeting is display advertising that essentially follows up with the customer after they visit your website. It works like this: the consumer visits your website; they pick up a special line of code that places a cookie in their browser; your ads get delivered to the consumer as they are surfing the web, reminding them of your website.  ComScore created a handy cartoon to show how it works from the consumer’s end:

Retargeting Process

Retargeting is unique because it displays ads to consumers who have already shown interest in your products, making them easier to convert. It’s a win-win situation because the user gets ads that are relevant to their desires, and you get more sales in return.

Let us Help you!

As you can see, our trifecta of online advertising will help you see a greater return on your online ad spend. Check out our website and our past products and see how we can help you. Fill out a form on our site or call us to learn more.

The State of Search

Search has never been bigger: 26.6 billion searches were conducted in June 2011 alone, which marked a 6% increase from June 2010. This mirrors overall search growth from 2010-2011, which is also at 6%. Search has been growing like crazy the last few years, and shows no sign of slowing down.

Search is Increasing

You may already be aware that people use search. You probably use search the same way your customers do. I mean, when was the last time you picked up the Yellowpages? Yeah, we don’t remember, either.

We know that search is growing, but online search spending is growing more than search is. In 2011, search marketing is expected to grow 20%, and is expected to almost double from 2010 to 2015.

Online Ad Spend

What does this mean for you and your business? It means you need to start an online campaign, fast. There are huge dollars being spent on online advertising, but you don’t have to spend big, you just have to do something. If you have a campaign already, you need to evaluate your strategy to get the most from all your advertising dollars.

Now that you see how important search is, stay tuned for next week’s post about using search and display ads to drive more traffic to your website.

UPDATE: Here is our post about search, display ads and retargeting: the trifecta of online advertising.

Images sourced from comScore