More Reasons to Make the Mobile Move

According to a recent Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report by Merkle, Google was a major driver of smartphone usage in the first quarter, driving 95 percent of US smartphone paid search clicks.

Most notable, however, is the fact that Google is far ahead of its search engine competition, Bing and Yahoo, when it comes to driving and converting mobile search traffic. Combine this with a recent article that explains how Google is making signifiant strides with in-store attribution, and you’ve got a real powerhouse to contend with.

2016 Merkle Search Engine Clicks and Shares by Device

Continued Growth for Mobile

According to Merkle, smartphone click shares rose to 39 percent in Q1 of 2016 compared to 33 percent in Q4 of 2015. It should also be no surprise that Google, once again, continues to dominate search. The one change that Google made to paid search in Q1 was the removal of text ads from the right sidebar. Additionally, Google seems to be showing more attention to Product Listing Ads (PLAs) as they are beginning to show up more.

The Importance of SOBO

Searches that Result in Offline Purchases (SOBO) are an important part of the mobile growth that is occurring – particularly where closing the online-offline marketing gap is concerned. Search Engine Land columnist, Mona Elesseily, points out a couple of reasons why we might want to pay attention to the importance of closing this gap:

#1 – SOBO conversions significantly outnumber online conversions.

Though many of us use our smartphones as a shopping companion (i.e. checking and comparing prices on items while in the store, researching products, etc.), most retail sales (95% to be exact) still happen at brick and mortar locations. Because this type of marketing data is difficult to capture, it cannot be factored into optimization efforts.

#2 – Offline tracking is labor-intensive.

Elesseily explains that current offline tracking methods require that the offline data be uploaded consistently to Google. The actual process is extremely time consuming and frustrating for companies, which often leads many companies to simply bypass tracking offline marketing initiatives altogether.

Evidence of Better In-Store Attribution

Elesseily sees three things that Google is doing, which is proving that we’re on the right path to closing the online-offline marketing gap:

#1 – Google Local Inventory Ads

  • Highlights how far the nearest store is from you
  • Shows specific store inventory


  • Helps us understand in-store-attribution/understanding what audiences are more likely to convert in-store
  • Should improve as it’s able to get more granular and optimize in-store conversions

#2 – Google Now In-Store Cards

  • Appears when a shopper is near a store
  • Displays useful information such as sales, closing hours, loyalty card data and more


  • Takes into consideration location history, internet activity (like clicks on ads) and actual visits to a store
  • Also considers data that’s stored in Google accounts

#3 – Google In-Store Conversions

  • Allows advertisers to measure the number of shoppers that visit a physical store after seeing a search ad.
  • Uses a combination of WiFi, GPS and specialized store maps to track visits (basically footsteps) to and within a store


  • First step in Google attempting to tie specific purchases at checkout to people who have previously viewed ads

A ‘Mobile’ State of Mind

By 2019, it is estimated that there will be 5.2 billion global mobile users, up from 4.3 billion in 2014 [source]. As a business, if you’re website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re doing a disservice to your consumers; but most of all – you are doing a great disservice to yourself. If you’re a marketer and you don’t have some sort of well thought-out mobile marketing strategy, you’re doing a disservice to your clients.

So, why mobile friendly? Why mobile marketing? Why does it matter?

image by lukew on flickr cc

Why Mobile Friendly Websites Matter for Consumers

With the average adult attention span competing with that of a goldfish, businesses need to take a hard look at the mobile friendliness of their website(s). While roughly 68% of companies have integrated mobile marketing into their overall marketing strategy, consider the following statistics, which were recently outlined by Greg Miles of SocialMediaToday:

  • 80% of internet users own a smartphone.
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site.
  • 83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is very important.

Experience matters just as much as the information, services, and/or products that your business provides. When you consider the very real possibility that someone is viewing your website from a mobile device, it becomes extremely important (if not imperative) that your website measures up.

Making your website mobile-friendly is no small feat, however. Things to keep in mind include:

  • Responsive web design
  • Click-to-Call phone numbers
  • Accessibility across multiple mobile devices
  • Layout/Graphic design elements
  • Content layout (because it will display differently on mobile devices vs. desktop)
  • Other features
  • And more

In the interest of saving time and error(s), this is why it may be best to hire a professional Internet marketing company to handle the transition to mobile-friendly. After you’re set up, you can take it and run from there, adjusting things as you go.

image by miss karen on flickr cc

Reasons Why Mobile is Better for Marketers

#1 – Mobile marketing allows you to more accurately reach your target audience.

Many cell phone carriers have some sort of geographic awareness, allowing you to know the who, what, where and when’s as it pertains to consumer behavior. Of course, the one thing to keep in mind here is that the mobile device user has to grant location access permission, which would then allow you access to most of this information.

#2 – Mobile devices are prevalent and used frequently.

The majority of mobile users are on their mobile devices ALL OF THE TIME. According to Frank Powell of Mobile Marketer,

Most mobile phone users are within an arm’s reach of their devices over 90 percent of waking hours, including times when other media are not available. With mobile phone penetration near 90 percent for U.S. adults, conversations are possible all the time with everyone.

In other words, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take advantage of being able to reach your target consumers any time, any day.

#3 – Mobile marketing is easily integrated into other marketing efforts.

The information gleaned from mobile marketing campaigns is useful in all other marketing efforts – whether you’re involved in print advertising, television, radio, or organic content marketing. Because you are able to access specific information as it relates to your audience, this proves useful when putting together other marketing efforts.

#4 – Mobile marketing allows for more time sensitive interactions.

Because of the omnipresence of mobile, you can (quite literally) reach out to your target audience at the times when it matters most. Time sensitive interactions like these can also allow you to have more meaningful conversations, making it more likely that a prospect will convert.

#5 – Mobile marketing is more personal.

Because mobile devices are considered personal to the consumer, it is imperative that the marketer establishes/builds trust with prospects before embarking in a full fledged mobile marketing campaign.

Nielsen Data: How Mobile & Tablet Devices Compare While Watching TV

Interested in seeing just how important a role mobile devices play in our lives today? Take a look at the following information, gathered by Nielsen:

Nielsen: How Second Screens are Helping TV Make Fans