With the widespread adoption of mobile phones, it should come as no surprise to find that mobile search rates are increasing.
What perhaps isn’t as well known is that the UK is the leading light in the western world for mobile search. In fact, a new report released by Marin Software, a leading provider of online advertising management solutions, suggests that the UK is one of the world leaders in mobile search adoption, running second only to Japan and Australia.
According to the report 15.1% of total paid search clicks in December came from mobile devices.
However, although this is good news for business and the mobile industry, it does raise the issue of whether businesses will need to change their marketing strategies if they are to take full advantage of this mobile boom. Interestingly the Marin Report re-enforces the conclusions reached by another recent study by Econsultancy which argued that mobile is now starting to pose serious new challenges for search engine optimisation strategies.
Marin’s report, entitled ‘The State of European Mobile Search Advertising 2012’, found that the mobile search market in the UK is continuing to grow at a rate that had not been envisaged by the market. The year on year growth of 2010 and 2011 shows little signs of slowing down. It also shows that search’s share of paid clicks from mobile devices rose by 180%from January to December 2011. The report demonstrates that the share of search budget for mobile grew by 191 per cent throughout 2011, from 3.2% to 9.3% of total spending. Businesses and advertisers consequently, are now starting to acknowledge the increasing growth in the smartphone and tablet sector, and realising that they need to adapt their advertising strategies to make the most of this growth.
The increase in mobile search isn’t simply attributable to the fact that almost everyone now own s a mobile either.
The report shows that the cost-per-click on mobiles and tablets were significantly lower than on desktops, so this should come as a boost for marketers. Additionally Marin suggests that brands will be able to increase their conversion rates if they focus carefully on their mobile optimisation strategies. Conversion rates on mobiles and tablets were found to be comparable to desktop computers at somewhere between 4% and 5%, however cost per conversion was found to be 14% lower than on desktop computers.
Commenting on the report, Ed Stevenson, managing director for Global Agencies and International at Marin Software added:
“Mobile cuts across all online marketing channels, whether search, display, or social. Much like the desktop market, however, search represents the largest destination for mobile ad budgets. The combination of explosive user adoption of mobile devices, coupled with favourable performance characteristics for ads, makes mobile search an increasingly critical growth opportunity for both advertisers and Google.”
However, Stevenson is also keen to point out that if businesses are to maximise profits, then they will need to adjust their marketing strategies. Re-enforcing the conclusions of Econsultancy’s ‘SEO Agencies Buyer’s Guide’, he argues that because mobile is having a disruptive effect on search, marketers will need to change their approach to online advertising:
“As consumers shift their media consumption to mobile devices, advertisers need to seriously consider how to adapt their marketing strategies to capitalise.”