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How to use mobile search to promote your business

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In the next four years, it’s predicted that searches made from mobile devices will overtake searches made on desktop devices.

Mobile search works in the same way as online search, with advertisers bidding on keywords in a real-time auction. Building your mobile campaign is easier than you think and, it can be set up within your existing Google AdWords account. Here are our top five things to remember:

1. Be found: Just like your normal PPC campaigns, mobile search uses keywords to answer the user’s query, driving them to a landing page.

You also have the option of including a phone number in your ad that the user can click on to call your business from their mobile. Tests of the “Click to Call” numbers in ads have shown a five to 30 per cent increase in click-through rates.

2. Be targeted and precise: When you’re setting up your mobile campaign, you can target users based on the device or mobile operator. For example, if you have a mobile site and want to target business travel users, you could choose to target mobile devices on Vodafone, which supplies many corporate mobile devices.

Google mobile search also allows you to target specific locations that can be pinpointed with frightening accuracy: to within two metres if the device has GPS!

This means that you can target or tailor your message, showing your customer relevant information based on their location. You can then give them your address and phone number, so they can take immediate action.

3. Be relevant: As with any search campaign, give the user the most relevant information, and if you’re driving them to a landing page make sure it’s what they are looking for.

If the user is looking for “restaurants in Portsmouth”, give them a mobile-friendly page with your restaurant, special offers and related information like hotels or local events.

4. Be easy-to-use: Having a mobile campaign doesn’t necessarily mean building a whole new mobile site. This is especially true if you are targeting high-end devices like the iPhone, which use full HTML browsers so you don’t need to build a whole new site. However, you might need to make some changes: check what your site looks like on a range of mobile devices.

Remember to test a click-to-call phone number in your ads. From there, you can connect with the user straight from your ad.

5. Be ready: Remember the volcanic ash cloud: how many stranded people do you think searched for somewhere to stay, or an alternative way to get home? And how many travel operators or hotel chains do you think were ready with mobile search campaigns?

Next time there’s a volcanic ash cloud or industrial action, a major sports tournament or a local event, you should be ready to show people ads for your business, information about special offers, or just some help and advice through their mobile phone.

Be ready to seize opportunities by building campaigns now and having them ready to go when you need them.

Ian Howie is co-founder and CTO at specialist search agency 1upDigital. He can be contacted at ian@1upDigital.com, on 020 7856 1850 or follow him on Twitter.

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