Practically everyone has a mobile, haven’t they? Millions of people clicking away on their smartphones, all ready to connect with your business. Yet surprisingly just 2.1 per cent of online advertising space is taken up by mobile advertising. Could it be that advertisingwas struggling, along with almost every other industry, to keep up with the speed of change in information technology?Perhaps it was dragging its feet a little, but don’t be surprised to see this segment grow rapidly over the coming months.
Mobile searches have quadrupled in the past year and by the end of 2012 more people will connect to the internet via mobiles than by computers. Marketing for mobiles is the next big thing, which means now is the time to get ahead of the curve with mobile advertising. One huge positive is that almost anything that connects to the internet connects to Google. And if it connects to Google, it can connect to your business.
The great thing about search engine advertising, in general, is that you pay what you want for these ads and can completely control the total cost. Just like traditional Google ad campaigns, mobile ads work on a cost-per-click bidding system. Just tell Google how much you’re willing to pay for each click and what you can afford per day. Once you reach the maximum number of clicks your budget can afford, you’re done. Once you’ve conquered the set up and your salon or spa could top the list of any search, with easy-to-access links to call, get directions, or click through to your website all lined up.
First you have to navigate the variety of devices out there – from iPhone to Blackberry and whatever that big clunker your grandma is carrying around. All of these mobiles have a variety of screen sizes and display capabilities, so advertising has to adjust accordingly. Smartphone users will see ads similar to a typical desktop ad, while feature phones (like our old antique flip phones) will be restricted in the number of characters included in your ad. Along with the length of your ad, the number of ads featured on each page will be fewer as well.What does this mean for you? When your ad appears, you’ll face much more competition than you would on a desktop search.
For smaller ads, it’s best to get right to the point using Google’s click-to-call function, which costs the same as a click to your website. Click-to-call ads have experienced a 6-8% average increase in click-through ratesrecently, suggesting a much more engaged prospective client and more calls to your business.
Of course, it goes without saying (doesn’t it?) that before you embark on a sophisticated marketing campaign you must ensure your website is mobile friendly. Not all websites transfer to the tiny screen. Some have too much information per page, others don’t have easy click through opportunities and most take far too long to load. The stats show us that you have just seconds for your website to load before your potential client has moved on to a competitor’s site.
My last piece of advice is that mobile advertising initiatives should always be separate from other campaigns. Google research shows that mobile-only campaigns helped drive an 11.5% increase in mobile click-through rates and a 29% increase in clicks from mobile devices. If you narrow the campaign specifically for mobiles, it means you can craft the ads using language and format appropriate only for that channel. And if you start crafting those campaigns now you could well get in ahead of the competition and benefit from all those clients searching for salons on their mobile devices.