Stop Using Desktop Conversions For Mobile Search: 6 Strategies To Help Drive Mobile Calls
Using strategies and metrics such as PPC and CTR that are meant to drive clicks instead of calls can hurt your ad performance. Columnist Wesley Young takes a look at targeted strategies that optimize ads to drive mobile phone calls.
Despite the shift of local search from desktop to mobile, SMBs are still using desktop strategies for mobile marketing.
While mobile ad spending is expected to increase by 50 percent, desktop advertising budgets driven by PPM, PPC and CTR are still often used to plan and measure mobile ad success. While those metrics are not entirely obsolete, mobile search should be analyzed with methods that take advantage of its strengths.
One of those mobile metrics is calls. Click-to-call and call extensions make generating calls to SMBs a seamless one-touch action driven by mobile ads — unlike the much more deliberate and separate function of moving from desktop screen to dialing a phone number.
As a result, analysts expect a sizable boost in call volumes to local businesses. Mobile search, in particular, will eclipse other sources and drive 65 billion calls to businesses by 2016, a volume that will grow at a 43-percent compound annual growth rate.
The lift in call leads from mobile search is good news to SMBs, as calls are the most valued source of leads. According to a report by BIA/Kelsey, 66.4 percent of SMBs rate phone calls as a good or excellent source of leads, higher than any other source, including online forms, emails, paid leads, and even in-person leads.
The value of calls as leads is no surprise. Calls indicate strong interest and a live connection to a customer or potential sale. The immediacy of the response, answering the customer’s precise needs and the ability to engage in a two-way dialogue all help heighten conversion rates of phone call leads.
And yet, even though the technology exists to drive more calls, SMBs often use desktop measurements such as click-through rates and design ads that boost conversions like completing web forms.
Not only can that strategy lead to poor feedback on the effectiveness of those ads, but it can actually detract from critical mobile conversions such as calls.
A study by xAd found that focusing on CTRs negatively affects secondary actions which can be much more productive in driving leads to the business. The study found that when ads were optimized for higher click-through rates, resulting in increases of up to 38 percent across campaigns, the secondary action rate for actions such as phone calls fell by up to 69 percent.
So what are some good ways to take advantage of the correlation between mobile search ads and call leads? Two of LSA’s members, DialogTech and Telmetrics, recently released a playbook and e-book respectively to help SMBs use local search to get that phone ringing. Following are six strategies from those guides for using paid search to drive calls.
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