SMX Advanced – Mobile PPC

I sit in a session that’s of great interest to me and that’s mobile PPC (and mobile in general).

Cindy Crum from Rank-Mobile opens up the session with a general outline of PPC ads, the devices they’re built for and how you can create the ads. She notes that there are some tremendous limitations to creating mobile ads in the text allowed (due to limited screen space).

She talks about the higher bid rates due to the fact that users of mobile search rarely visit page two. Whether this is due to better results when searching local, whether the nature of mobile search is different (my guess is that this is it) or people’s lack of patience with mobile due to limited screen space and the generally lackluster user experience due to people not optimizing their sites for mobile was not covered but I’ll be sure to interview her tomorrow and get to the bottom of that.

Reid Spice from iCrossing was up next talking about mobile generally as well.

He begins by noting that it’s not for everyone and that it will only work for some businesses (and the higher cost per click makes it something that needs to be tracked separately and differently).

Reid focused on Android phones and discussed the importance of testing your site on various platforms.

Who Is Mobile For?

According to Reid it’s for people running very specific searches for products/services (such as movies or travel).

He notes that 88% of mobile searches are done via the iPhone (which is what yours truly uses). Of course, he does note that the dominance of the iPhone early has led to this and the % will change.

Conversion rates are lower however one has to consider that this may be due in large part to the poor user experience on many sites for mobile. It’s harder to interact with a mobile site and so conversions are not as good. That said, if you’re a restaurant or the such it may be difficult to track conversion as the customer will generally just walk in and the downside to that is – you don’t know where they came from. On the plus side – you just got a customer. 🙂

Unfortunately this is the case with a lot of mobile searches.

Michael Martin of Internet Marketing Inc. was up next. He discussed mobile apps.

He broke down some of the biggest selling apps including Trism (made $250k from $500 in development). Tap Tap makes $5k/day for a free app via advertising.

The “I am rich” app was just a red ruby that sold for $999.99 and only sold 6. Unbelieveable.

In 2008 users spend $100 on apps. (I’ve only spent $10 but then – I’ve only had mine for a few months).

The Trends:

Games have the best long-term retention (I’ve been playing Word Warp for months).

A free app needs $8.75 CPM which is about 4X above average.

Moving Forward:

By the end of 2009 there will be 18 to 20 Android phones vs 1 iPhone. Service providers include AT&T;, T-mobile, Verizon, Rogers & Vodophone.

Android will be huge (in case you didn’t read the above statements). 🙂

Capitalization & Take-Aways:

GPS and location-based mobile social.
Advertising can be done via AdMob (I’ll have to check it out), Media an AdWords.

Need to optimize the site to 320×480 resolution.

Branding is great with widgets.

Exposure can be done via App Store, App Wrld & Android Market.

Search Engine Marketing is still importnat (whew 🙂 but this is another great avenue for marketing and branding.

Ed O’Keefe from Marchex was up next.

It’s important to add mobile now while it is still “young”.

Mobile marketing improves ROI due to the client’s immediate desires.

The younger generation is more prone to use mobile. This needs to be understood when determining who should advertise.

Mobile ad spent is disproportionally low when compared with consumer interest with newspapers being higher (based on time spent with the medium).

Cell phones are not viewed as discretionary spending by consumers. Basically this means it will always be spent on and thus makes a good advertising medium.

In a case study they reduced customer acquisition costs. The volume wasn’t there but that which did – converted very well.

Now is the time to get in while you can learn on your way rather than wait and go up against those that have already tested strategy down the road.

And Now It’s Q&A;

Cindy – mobile algorithms are different and thus, optimizing your site for mobile will help you rank organically on mobile browsers (note: you may not see this yet as most sites are not optimized for mobile and so your competitors are at the same disadvantage as you are).

I will be sure to ask Cindy tomorrow in our interview about how to optimize for mobile if you’re trying to drop the content down (perhaps to a simple search box from a full content site).

Putting different numbers in apps and on mobile sites will help with tracking.

Providing incentives (such as coupons the display on your phone) will help with tracking for restaurants, etc. (this is my own personal take-away but wasn’t spoken to though seemed to be alluded to).

Sudoko is the most click-on for ads at the surrent time (and is a great game to boot). 🙂

Identify your audence by carrier. A pay-as-you-go audeience is different than a visitor paying for a premium plan.

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