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Your Guide to Mobile Search In 2011

A few weeks ago, our office had a temporary internet blackout. Despite dedicated attempts, from our awesome IT guy, a stable connection just wasn’t in sight.  Now for most PPC/SEO based companies- this would induce some pretty widespread panic, since the internet is, well  pretty essential to our jobs. However, our office didn’t fret one bit. Everyone just turned to their cell phones- for emails, research, and just about anything else we would need.

That day’s dependency on our phones, made me think of the wise words of Google CEO Eric Schmidt-“Mobile is the future.” As I let that statement sink in, I began to realize how true it was.  Between my phone or laptop, I almost always choose my phone- its more convenient, has better portability, and can do almost everything my laptop does.  So while some claim 2011 as the “Year of Facebook”- heavy mobile growth within 2011 can’t  be denied.  If you’re still skeptical, just look at some recent statistics:

*Performics predicts that 16% of overall clicks will come from mobile throughout  2011.

*Google mobile searches increased 130% in the Third Quarter of 2010.

* Tamar Mobile White Paper research shows that use of search on mobiles has grown  by 247% between October 2009 through October 2010.

With no signs of mobile growth slowing down, now is a great time to jump in the wonderful world of mobile search! Below are some of my own favorite mobile tools:

1. Google Keyword Tool

One of the most important things to consider when building a mobile campaign is that mobile searches are very different than desktop searches.  Long-tailed terms for example, often perform worse in mobile campaigns, because mobile searchers are often entering shorter and broader queries on-the-go.  For that and numerous other reasons, my first tool recommendation is the Google Keyword Tool.  Simply enter in your terms, and update the Advanced options to just mobile, and you’ll have a better idea of mobile keyword search estimates.

2. Google Mobile Ad Preview Tool

After you’ve built out a set of keywords and ad copy, you may want to see how it’s appearing on Google’s Search Engine Results Page.   Depending on the type of mobile device, there are two options:

Updated Ad Preview Tool- Within devices, you can now select specific mobile devices with full internet browsers (Iphone/Ipod, Android, Ipad, Palm webOS) and their respective carriers.

Google also has a tool, that works for mobile devices without full internet browsers.  You can check it out here:

3.  MobiReady

Next up, is making sure your landing page is mobile friendly. If you are not sure if your page is- I recommend checking out MobiReady, a free website which evaluates the overall compatibility of your landing page/webpage with mobile devices.

4. Google Sites

If your landing page passes MobiReady’s scrupulous tests- then you should be ready to launch your mobile campaign. However, if it doesn’t or you don’t have a mobile-friendly landing page, my next recommendation is checking out Google sites, which lets you easily build a mobile friendly site with their mobile site template.

As you can see, it’s really easy to design a page- that will pass MobiReady’s tests!

5. Google Call Only Format

Another tool that works great with mobile devices is Google’s Call Only Format for Mobile. For anyone unfamiliar with this tool, it lets users call from your ad, without you needing a landing page/website for most mobile devices. Mobile devices, like Ipods and Ipads, will require a landing page, however, a clean, simple one, will work perfectly!

With industry analysts predicting 10% of overall clicks will come from mobile  within three months, and about 16% throughout 2011-mobile campaigns are no longer  something to be ignored or mocked. Doing so, could result in tons of missed qualified leads- Is that a risk your willing to take? Probably not.

Hopefully, you’ve found these tools helpful- and are now excited about creating mobile campaigns!  I look forward to hearing about and sharing more mobile tools with you throughout 2011-“The Year of Mobile”, not Facebook.