Google, Yahoo, other search enginesHalloween’s gone and Thanksgiving is on the horizon. That means it’s
time for the holiday ad onslaught, which means a
razor-sharp focus on optimizing paid search campaigns for most
retailers. Performics predicts retail sales from
actively managed paid search campaigns will grow 15% this holiday season. CEO Daina Middleton recommends creating and optimizing standalone mobile search campaigns – not just using existing holiday search campaigns – to foster sales growth.

Read on for three tips on making those mobile search campaigns more effective.

Why is mobile search so important for holiday 2010 campaigns? It’s due to an overall increase in mobile search traffic, specifically from shoppers. For example, one of Performics’ clients, an athletic retailer, saw nearly 10% of their Google clicks come from mobile in Q3. The agency expects that trend to continue with other retailers.

“In 2010, we’ve seen significant growth in mobile search impressions, clicks and conversions for our clients,” Middleton said. “With higher click-through rates (CTRs) and lower cost-per-click (CPCs) than desktop search, mobile search has become a critical contributor for many of our clients.” 

Middleton shared three “must-haves” for creating and implementing standalone mobile search campaigns this holiday season:

1. Use click-to-call ads

Searchers are constantly looking for everything from store locations and product availability, to traffic stats and details on parking. Give them the options to click and then call your physical store location while they’re out shopping. 

“We’ve seen success with mobile click-to-call,” Middleton said. “For an electronics retailer, we increased mobile sales 54% and improved ROI 52% upon launching click-to-call.”

2. Use a mobile-specific bidding and targeting strategy 

People search differently on mobile devices so customize keywords, copy and your overall bidding strategies accordingly.  Additionally, you can customize campaigns to target specific geographical regions and, on Google, target by mobile phone carrier. Better bidding and targeting drives down consumer acquisition costs when it comes to mobile search.

“We’ve seen mobile CPCs fall throughout the past six months as we develop, test and refine mobile ads and copy,” Middleton said. 

3. Choose your terms wisely

Lastly, retailers need to figure out their “mission critical terms” for mobile search. These are the keywords/keyphrases that will be the strongest traffic-drivers to either a site or the real-world location. While search campaigns need to be broad enough to capture general and long-tail searchers, the mobile environment forces marketers to narrow their focus.

“Given the size and functionality of portable devices, mobile users are less likely to scroll down the page than desktop users,” Middleton said. “So effective bidding strategies on those mission-critical terms is important for maximum visibility.”

Photo Credit: Danard Vicente via Flickr