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Big Mobile Data Dive From SMX West

I moderated the three mobile sessions on mobile at SMX West earlier this month: Mobile Search Ads, Location Services: The New Local Search? and Mobile Apps. A ton of great advice, stats and data came out of these sessions; you had to be fast to get it all.

For those who weren’t fast enough or weren’t there I’ve pulled a few of what I think are the salient mobile data points and slides from these sessions. However this is only a partial summary.

During two sessions, Microsoft shared these data points:

  • 53% of queries have a local intent (previously discussed on this blog)
  • 46% of queries are for “infotainment”
  • The top category searches on mobile Bing are “movies” and “restaurants”
  • 50% of adults are interested in “receiving and redeeming” coupons
  • 61% are interested in “receiving location based coupons and offers”

In addition, during Mobile Search Ads Microsoft’s Dennis Glavin pointed out that consumers now often respond to prompts in traditional media with mobile searches or lookups:

This is essentially what consumers have been doing with traditional media and search on the PC; the mobile handset just makes the behavior more immediate (“on the spot”) and potentially more trackable. So advertisers need to consider that consumers can and will be able to act immediately on traditional ads if they’re compelling.

On the mobile apps panel Yahoo exposed data about when and why consumers use mobile search, as well as their attitudes and behavior surrounding mobile apps.

Thirty-one percent of mobile searchers, according to Yahoo, need something right now. Microsoft has previously said that 70 percent of mobile searches are initiated and completed within one hour, reinforcing the immediacy of mobile search user needs.

Yahoo’s Anil Panguluri¬† added, as a general matter, that apps are preferred to mobile websites and especially full PC sites on a mobile browser. Yahoo also showed survey data about the principal ways that consumer discover “branded apps” (word of mouth, then TV). He followed up with data on what most consumers do immediately after downloading those branded apps (join rewards program):


Compete presented data specifically on smartphone users and their behavior. Compete’s Danielle Nohe showed the Mobile Apps panel audience that smartphone owners use both apps and the browser to access mobile internet content.

However Nohe added that apps often replace traditional search in a number of mobile contexts.

SEM firms Performics and iProspect presented case studies on the Mobile Search Ads panel, which showed the better performance of mobile campaigns vs. PC search. However there’s also data in the market (from iCrossing) that argues mobile CPCs are higher and performance isn’t as good as PC-based search campaigns.

Performics confirmed what Google has been saying about mobile search usage being largely complementary in terms of day parts:

In contrast to that slide and perhaps somewhat surprising to the audience was data presented by Yahoo’s Paul Cushman on the Mobile Search Ads panel. He said that 55 percent of daily mobile search activity is happening in the home. (InsightExpress has separately confirmed this behavior.)

The chart above shows that 37 percent conduct mobile searches “while watching TV.” This goes back to the earlier point made by Microsoft about consumers conducting mobile searches in response to traditional advertising.

There was also a terrific presentation on the Mobile Apps panel by Angie Schottmuller of Interactive Artisan about using QR codes in mobile and traditional marketing. The Bruce Clay blog has a summary of some of the best practices she laid out. And here’s here best practices checklist.

The “uber takeaway” from these sessions is that mobile is real today. It’s driving substantial clicks, calls and conversions. Search marketers need to be experimenting, testing and refining campaigns now — or play catch up to competitors later.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.


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