Focusing on Mobile Search for Consumer Conversion

Consumers are on the move. And no matter where they go, brands and businesses are at their fingertips thanks to smartphones and tablets. In fact, 61% of smartphone users perform searches on their smartphones daily, and 84% of smartphone users take action based on search results they have conducted on the go.1,2 Google has found that more than half of these conversions happen within just one hour. 3

Therefore, it’s no surprise that U.S. mobile online advertising spend continues to rise. According to a report from IgnitionOne, paid search on smartphones and tablets kept growing faster than the total search market in Q3 2013 compared to the same time period in 2012. And the numbers are impressive. In 2013, $7.7 billion will be spent, and that number is projected to quadruple by 2017 to $28 billion.1

What’s more, smartphones achieved 117% growth in clicks – more than double of tablets – and gained a 91% increase in impressions – compared to a 70% increase for tablets.4

Due to this shift in consumer behavior from desktop to “on the go,” it’s imperative that marketers and advertisers learn how to optimize the mobile experience for both device and location in order to gain conversions and maximize ROI for the brands and businesses they represent.

Below are a few key paid search and mobile ad strategies we recommend to spur a desired action from today’s on-the-go consumer – whether that’s visiting a store, placing an order, downloading a coupon or calling a business:

Develop Smartphone-Optimized Sites

In order to perform well in its search results, Google recommends sites that target smartphones utilize responsive web design. That means these sites serve all devices on the same set of URLs, with each URL serving the same HTML to all devices and using just CSS to change how the page is rendered on the device. 5

Create Mobile-Optimized Campaigns

To create a mobile experience that is relevant, generate and test mobile-specific ad creative that targets key geographic regions.

Deliver Mobile-Specific Creative

On-the-go consumers are searching for local information, so the ad creative needs to provide it. Incorporating the name of a city or region within the ad creative will increase relevance, while call extensions can put the customer in touch with the brand or business within seconds.

Segment Mobile Performance

Customer behavior varies across mobile and desktop; therefore, in order to gain insights for optimizing the mobile experience and bidding strategies, campaigns must be segmented by device – and even further by product/service and geography.

Implement Mobile-Based Bidding Strategies

Get to know the trends and find out how mobile searches and conversion rates vary throughout the week. Then implement a dayparting strategy so that consumers get the right message at the right time. Lastly, know the competition. Adjust bids to increase visibility and convert more on-the-go customers.


  1. Google Mobile Study Identifies SEO, Paid-Search Clicks.” MediaPost. 16 July 2013.
  2. Four Paid Search Strategies for Converting On-the-Go Customers.” Search Engine Land. 24 Oct. 2013.
  3. Mobile’s Immediacy Effect: Half of Mobile Search Conversions Happen in One Hour.” Google Mobile Ads Blog. 13 Mar. 2013.
  4. Q3 2013 US Paid Search Spend Continues Upward Trend: RKG, IgnitionOne & Kenshoo.ClickZ. 15 Oct. 2013.
  5. Building Smartphone-Optimized Websites.” Google Developers. 12 April 2013.