I had a chance recently to speak to DataPop CEO Jason Lehmbeck. Before DataPop Lehmbeck was at Overture/Yahoo. DataPop is an agency/platform that specializes in “offer driven” search campaigns.
I was talking to Lehmbeck about mobile search trends and what kinds of consumer response he was seeing to various campaigns. Lehmbeck gave me some unpublished, internal data that I’m now sharing in this post. He said that mobile paid search “looks like much like search advertising did in 2001.”
15 to 25 Percent Mobile Paid Search Traffic
Between 15 percent and 25 percent of paid search traffic is now coming from mobile devices according to Lehmbeck. He adds however, “In local-heavy categories, such as dining, auto services and entertainment this number jumps to 50 percent or more.” He says that with the rise of smartphones “consumer engagement [with mobile search] has gone through the roof.”
Lehmbeck points out that online-only retailers are also starting to use mobile to nab in-store shoppers. “As mobile queries grow and these brands start to create highly optimized mobile experiences, this trend will only continue.” Lehmbeck told me that traffic to e-commerce sites via mobile is somewhat lower than the average (5 percent to 15 percent) but that some e-commerce sellers are seeing a “great ROAS” (return on ad spent).
Much “More Attuned to Location” in Ad Copy
Mobile consumers are “much more attuned to location in ad copy” than online search users according to Lehmbeck. “When a user searches with implied local intent, ads that leverage geographic indication tend to perform better.” Searches like “garden supplies” or “furniture store” are in this category.
Explained Lehmbeck, “We have seen some very strong results for ads that reference location or local offers, especially those that do it in an intelligent way (e.g. “Your Garden Superstore – Take 20% Off in Our Los Angeles Locations This Weekend” or “Locate Your New Sofa – Over 15 Furniture Galleries in Los Angeles to Serve You”).” These ads see 50 percent greater engagement than ads do not indicate where to buy or what specific offers are available in their area.”
Offline Conversions Boost Sales 5 to 10X
I’ve written in the past about the offline impact of paid search. It’s rarely tracked and so the true ROI of many campaigns is probably quite a bit higher than what is being calculated. Lehmbeck told me, “In some rare but very interesting cases [paid search marketers] are tracking it down to the offer level in conjunction with our platform and they have seen 5 – 10X sales when accounting for in-store conversions.”
Lembeck counsels marketers to “build out better mobile experiences and get a deeper sense of what the right metrics are for understanding the true ROI of mobile ad spend.” Indeed, recent data from Marin Software showed higher CTRs for smartphones but much lower conversions than for PC search campaigns. However that’s likely because mobile search conversions weren’t being tracked offline.
DataPop CEO Jason Lehmbeck will be presenting on the iConvert panel at SMX Advanced in Seattle next month.