There is news seemingly coming out daily regarding the possibilities that smartphones present businesses in terms of widening exposure and growing business. This is essentially because of all the sectors that smartphones and their functionality and features touch. The impact is clearly seen and only growing in the years to come especially regarding mobile local searching both at home in the US (where smartphone adoption has just reached the 50% mark) and abroad.

Now, recent figures from market research firm BIA/Kelsey forecast key mobile local search and advertising figures that shine a light on where mobile local is heading. First, the amount of mobile local search queries will equal the number of local searches performed on desktops by 2015. Analysts predict this for two main reasons:

  • The number of local searches made per user will increase from roughly 14 per month to 42 per month in 2016.
  • The number of users performing mobile searches will rise from 44% of US smartphone users to 75% in 2016, in raw numbers that is 118 million users to 225 million users.

The sheer volume of local searches appears to be at the center of mobile local advertising, especially its growth. The numbers also addressed mobile local advertising spend expected from now until 2016. Sustained growth across display ads, search ads, SMS, and video is all projected with total mobile local ad spend increasing from $784 million in 2011 to $5 billion by 2016. For example, from $390 million in spend during 2011, the figure for mobile local search ads is expected to reach $3.2 billion in 2016. A thorough piece in Search Engine Watch presents and explores these figures and offers additional insight regarding how search is driving this growth. As such, local search is immensely important and there is great potential for SEO companies that engage in paid search advertising and for businesses to supplement paid search ads with organic SEO.

Geo-Targeted, Mobile Social Ads
The greatest potential yet discussed is that for location-targeted mobile search advertisements. Click-through rates (CTRs) are an excellent indicator of value and reporting from xAd, a mobile local advertising network, shows CTRs for geo-targeted in-app search ads at 7%. According to the above Search Engine Watch piece, this 7% CTR is 10x better than ads that are not geo-targeted. Still further, there are promising figures for the amount of “secondary actions” such as phone calls made after the initial clicks – which is experienced in 37 % percent of them. These figures are very telling and truly represent the importance of all forms of search, especially local search and geo-targeted local search.

Role of SEO
SEO companies can assist businesses in capitalizing on rising mobile local searching. The numbers obviously project the rise of paid search spend, but they are based on the increase of search activity itself, so there is true value in SEO efforts. Businesses can partner with SEO companies and marketing professionals to supplement their paid search efforts with SEO engaging in a fully coordinated, multi-faceted internet marketing campaign. Utilizing SEO and implementing geo-targeting practices within it can bring businesses improved ranking results across search engines and drive more location-targeted traffic overall.

For more information on how your business can leverage SEO in this way, reach out to me directly at rbuddenhagen@webimax.com or connect with us via our contact page.

 

smartphone and tablet

We touch on the mobile market from time to time, largely because of the overt SEO and paid search potential that exists with the mobile internet and search. Mobile computing, encompassing that which is done on both smartphones and tablets is growing at a high rate across the world. In markets from the UK and Europe to Asia and the Middle East, smartphone adoption is high. Penetration of the devices is 33% in both the Netherlands and Spain, 30% for the UK, 31% for the US and Israel, 37% in Australia, and 35% for both Hong Kong. These figures on a whole represent the positive trend in the amount of people switching to smartphones opening up their mobile internet use and search for growth, thus making SEO and paid search that much more important.

Now, with new figures put out by Cisco, we may have our first look at the future landscape of mobile around the world. Cisco predicts 10 billion smartphones and tablets to be in use globally by 2016, which is 2.7 billion more than the earth’s United Nations projected population of 7.3 billion for that year – which equates to 1.4 mobile devices per person. This is a staggering thought and a real eye-opener about where how people will be using the internet and search in a few short years.

Thus, it is expected that the percentage of overall searches and hours spent on the mobile internet will increase, significantly changing the way companies are going to have to deliver SEO and pay per click management to target audiences and drive traffic. That is to say they will have to gear much of their SEO and paid search practices to the growing segment of mobile web-users. An additional element here is that the experience of mobile search is inherently different as many of the searches have a local focus, thus geo-targeting will be a large part of the optimization that companies will look for. Further, many companies do not fully take advantage of optimizing for local as I discuss in this IB Times article, and thus it would need to become a priority.

This impacts markets around the world and thus an SEO company that offers international SEO services will need to adapt and evolve their practices to allow for more optimization geared towards mobile. In the end, businesses and the SEO company they partner with may not have a choice, optimizing for mobile will be a necessity.

We’ve written about the rise of mobile and what it means for internet marketing a good bit in recent weeks, and specific ally touched on how paid search performed over the holiday shopping period. Also important is the explosion of mobile across the globe and the international SEO implications that follow. An intriguing element to mobile’s growth is tracking its impact on specific international markets and how it is changing the internet in those countries.

Let’s look at Australia where the mobile market is growing at an unparalleled pace in developed markets. The smartphone penetration rate is 37% in the country which is above that of both the US and UK. Interestingly, up until last week, Australians were kept to 3G speeds, but with the launch of the HTC Velocity 4G Android smartphone, Telstra’s 4G network can now be utilized by mobile devices further opening the window of opportunity for more immediate mobile growth in the country.

Most relevant, however, is the searching behavior that Australians exhibit on their mobile devices. For marketing professionals to utilize international SEO and pay per click in order to capitalize on the increased mobile traffic, Australians need to continue their high degree of mobile searching. At present, 46% of Australian smartphone users characterize the searching they do as “high” on their mobile device. This number is promising, but its increase would only help the marketers’ cause.

Google & What To Do
Enter Google, who in an insightful piece by its Google Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Nick Leeder, seems poised to capitalize on the countries’ growing mobile ad markets save for one challenge; almost 80% of advertisers are not running a mobile site. The opportunity for retailers is immense, and as aptly pointed out by Leeder, with 25% of shopping queries originating from a mobile device, retailers not optimized for mobile clearly miss out. Further, Leeder expressed that Google has a vested interest in such retailers going mobile so that ads can follow as Google’s revenue and growth is largely based on their advertisers’ success, and encouraging such stands as Google’s biggest challenge in 2012. One thing companies can do now though according to the managing director, is simply create a mobile site as a fancy mobile app is not needed immediately, step one is simply a presence.

For those that recognize both the present opportunity and where the market is headed, they can certainly get a leg up on their competitors by establishing a mobile presence, even partnering with an expert SEO company to create a coordinated strategy including paid search, SEO, and social media campaigns that could work together to maximize and capitalize their mobile traffic. So follow the mobile market Down Under and see its continuous impact on… searchers, Australian retailers, International SEO firms, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.

 

Reports surfaced that Verizon (with other major wireless carriers expected to follow suite) has blocked Google Wallet from being used on their devices including the new Galaxy Nexus.  The wireless company stated security concerns over the ecommerce system caused them to make the devices incompatible with Google Wallet.

Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman for Verizon issued a statement to Bloomberg “Verizon is committed to having the best security and user experience” and further says Google Wallet will be considered again “when those goals are achieved.”  Other wireless carriers including AT&T and Sprint are expected to follow the same course of action.

Google Wallet would put the company right in the center of the multi-billion dollar mobile payments industry.  A direct competitor for PayPal in this industry, the plan was to introduce Google Wallet in a select amount of cities including San Francisco, CA and New York, NY.  Currently, the NFC-enabled Nexus is the only device that contains the capabilities, and this major setback is expected to put a severe damper on the implementation of the service.

There is news, however, that Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint are in talks to invest more than $100 million to a similar platform, called Isis.  Information as this becomes available will be updated