October 28, 2015

Written by Mark Smith

Cut to the Chase Marketers: Succeeding in Paid Search Means Hitting a Mobile Target

Cut to the Chase, MarketersFrom D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation to the recent Mad Max reboot, the chase scene always has been a staple of movies. Part of what makes the chase so exciting, of course, is that heroes and villains spend much of the chase jumping from horse or vehicle to horse or vehicle – or sometimes both. The understood difficulty of hitting a moving target at high speed creates tension and thrills that really get your heart pumping.

While perhaps not as exciting to watch, the ability to hit a moving target while operating at high speed now has become critical to another group – Internet marketers. A recent report from eMarketer tells this tale. According to BIA/Kelsey data, mobile search should overtake desktop search in 2015. Not just by a little either. They expect to see 81.8 billion U.S. local searches conducted via mobile devices this year, an increase of 23%, while desktop searches drop slightly to 64.6 billion. Those trends are expected to continue, with mobile search reaching 141.9 billion searches by 2019.

Why the incredible increase? The ubiquity of mobile devices is one big reason. Another driving factor is the growth of the Millennial generation. There are now more Millennials than Baby Boomers (87 million v 76 million) – the first time the Boomers have been out-paced by any generation since they were born. Millennials have never known a world without readily available mobile devices, and they continue to rely on these devices as their method of choice for communication and connection.

What does this all mean for marketers who may have paid little or no attention to their customers’ mobile experience? How do they re-think their mindset and develop a solid mobile-search strategy? What do they need to do to ensure they’re hitting those 81 billion mobile targets … and do it quickly?

One area to examine first is the user experience. When users visit a site, they expect it to work quickly and seamlessly. And they expect to find what they want – in just a click or two.

Do you know if your online experience is welcoming visitors or driving them away? One good way is to use your analytics package to get into the details of user behavior online. By analyzing every step in the buyer’s journey, you can determine not only how many visitors your search campaign is drawing, but also what they’re doing when they get there.

In a previous post, I described how to “Turn Browsers into Buyers” by analyzing performance metrics to gauge the effect of a digital campaign as well as the overall effectiveness of your website.

My next post will take a closer look at how to use analytics to dig into the details of user behavior online. Once you know how people are interacting with your site, you can take steps to optimize their experience. That’s a great first step in helping you hit that mobile target.