THE RKGBLOG

Video: The Value of Mobile in Paid Search

It’s fascinating to examine the various and evolving search behaviors between mobile devices and desktops, as well as how users tag team both for a number of reasons. It can also be challenging to track and measure these behaviors, but we do have tools at our disposal that help us out significantly.

In this video, discover our latest findings from the 2014 Q1 Digital Marketing Report in the area of mobile devices within paid search, and find out more about Google’s new tool: Estimated Cross-Device Conversions. If you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to reach out in the comments below. Enjoy!


 

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

Bryan Layman:  Hello, my name is Bryan Layman and I am a Paid Search Team Lead here at RKG. Today I plan to discuss the ever-increasing value of mobile within paid search and some of the latest tools available to us to help us discover that value.

It’s no secret that users are searching on their mobile devices at an ever-increasing pace. RKG’s Q1 Digital Marketing Report tells us that about 18% of all paid search clicks are coming from mobile devices. That’s about a 32% increase from Q4 of last year. Despite that growth, we still only see revenue per click from those mobile searches at about 34% of the desktop baseline. I think most advertisers would probably agree that that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Users searching on mobile devices could be looking for a store locator so that they can find their way to the store. They might be signing up with their email address or they might also just be starting their search process on a mobile device and then later going on to check out on a desktop or a tablet. The hard part is measuring the impact of those additional actions.

Luckily we have some new tools available to use to help us discover the full value of mobile by tying in some additional elements that we didn’t previously have available to us. One of those tools available to us is Google’s new Estimated Cross-Device Conversions. What this is is Google taking a sample of users logged in to their Google accounts on multiple devices to arrive at that estimate of total conversions.

RKG aggregates from Q1 tell us that about 1/3 of all cross-device conversions originate from mobile devices. Knowing that additional value that mobile drives might warrant more aggressive bidding on mobile search in order to capture that cross-device demand. In addition to the cross-device value that mobile drives, there is also the “white whale” of in-store spillover that advertisers obsessively pursue.

Historically, trying to figure out in-store spillover has relied on coupon track backs or holdout tests and often times it comes down to some good old fashion guess work. Recently we have gotten some more insight on how users behave when going from mobile search to in-store visits.

A recent Google study tells us that 50% of users who perform a mobile search with local intent wind up going to that store within a day of that search, and 18% of those searches actually lead to sales. We know that advertisers, search engines and CRM providers will continue to look for ways to bring that in-store data into the e-commerce fold.

Google is also working on tools to help figure out the in-store spillover question themselves. Recently an RKG client participated in a beta that helped measure the impact of paid search to their in-store sales. They found that there is a surprising amount of lift coming from paid search and leading to sales within the store. Advertisers can look for this type of functionality available in the future.

Smart advertisers need to think beyond direct response when it comes to valuing their mobile programs. It’s certainly not easy to pin point, but some of the latest tools available to us give a clearer insight into how to manage our mobile programs. Thanks for watching and be sure to check out more videos on the RKG blog.

  • Bryan Layman
    Bryan Layman is a Paid Search Team Lead at RKG.
  • Comments
    2 Responses to “Video: The Value of Mobile in Paid Search”
    1. Terry Whalen says:

      Hi Bryan,

      1/3 of all cross-device conversions originate from mobile devices – this seems too low. If 2/3 of cross-device conversions do not originate from mobile, then from where do they originate? Do you have data on this?

      I wouldn’t think that much of the total cross device conversion activity is based on users using different browsers on the same device.

      Thanks!

      Terry

    2. Bryan Layman Bryan Layman says:

      Hi Terry,

      We see 14% of cross-device conversions originating from tablets and 53% from desktops (Source: RKG Q1 Digital Marketing Report). Relative to desktop, mobile is still a small piece of the pie such that while cross-device conversions impact the outlook on mobile much more than for the other two device types, the majority of cross device conversions still originate from non-mobile clicks. As you mentioned, desktop users could be switching to a different browser to purchase but they could also be moving from one desktop to another (work and home) or from a desktop to a tablet. We don’t have a way to parse out all those different scenarios but it seems reasonable that they would account for desktop’s majority of the cross-device conversions.