In 2008, mobile ad revenues totaled 160 million, 24% of that number going to search. Projections for 2013 are expected to be around 3.1 billion with 73% of the total going to search (The Kelsey Group).
Considering that over half of all mobile search users say they plan to buy a smart phone (a mobile phone offering advanced capabilities, often with PC-like functionality) within the next two years begs the following question: Is your business listing mobile-search ready?
More smart phones means more searches with local intent. Searches performed on a mobile device are 2-3x more likely to be locally targeted than searches performed on non-mobile devices (like that old PC you’re probably using right now). Google helps out with this by giving mobile users the option to only browse local results when searching. Note this difference in the categories between mobile and non-mobile search results screenshots:
Non-mobile search results page:
Vs. mobile search results page:
Of course, along with more local searches comes more ad revenue opportunities for mobile local advertisers.
The above chart’s revenue projections shows mobile increasing because it has been proven that mobile outperforms online across all traditional metrics.
Now, we’re not quite there yet. Although 2009 has been dubbed the “Year of Mobile”, I personally think we’re still a few years out from mobile truly being the dominant medium it is projected to be. However, a popular notion is that the future of search will be mobile. I guess we’ll find out eventually. In the meantime, it is important to be prepared.
Next week, I’ll go more in depth into the advertising avenues available within mobile search and how this can be used to gain more local traffic to your business. I’ll also cover how to optimize your website for mobile so that when you are able to gain all that new traffic, users will stick on the site because it will be functional and will look good, too.