The final session of SMX West day 2 (yesterday) centered around searcher behavior, specifically in regard to how users search on computers, TV, and mobile devices.

Shari Thurow with Omni Marketing Interactive focused in part on discovering how people interact with different devices. Some options for conducting research include:
  • Log file analysis can show data about how people search, what they search for, and how they interact with the results.
  • Users can also record their search behavior in diary studies. Where are you? What are you doing? What information do you want? Do you need it now or later?
  • Usability studies can help you collect information on why people are behaving in certain ways.
Based on some studies conducted, here are Thurow’s tips and guidelines:
  • On mobile versions of your website, avoid large objects that need to be visible at a single glance.
  • Avoid using small text in images – it’s illegible.
  • Keep pages light.
  • Move important information to different places on the page.
  • Test… test… Test… 

Taylor Schreiner with Yahoo! spoke about what they did to analyze search logs for quantitative information about mobile searches. What they found is that there are three things that affect how you search: your device, your demographic, and your desire (aka your goal or objective).
  • Desire: 21.4% of mobile activities involve search.
  • Device: Movie & TV searches on a tablet exceed those on mobile.
  • Demographic: Tablet searches for real estate and investment are much higher than for the desktop.
  • Desire: Mobile devices dominate the desktop when users search for restaurants.
  • Device: You are more likely to see branded searches on the desktop than on the mobile, theoretically because of term length.
  • Demographic: Men are 7 to 9% more likely to search on their mobile device than women are.
Schreiner was careful to point out that this data is about where we are – a baseline. What will persist and what will fade?

Jacquelyn Krones with Microsoft shared the results of two studies that Bing conducted across all devices. Some results:
  • Mobile devices allow us to search in the moment without getting in the way.
  • Mobile devices allow us not to get bored.
  • PC’s are the primary focus of our attention when we use them and mobile devices are secondary to our real task.
  • Mobile is socially “discreet”.
  • iPads are cozy: 20% of people use them in bed.
  • Across all devices, people who search are on a mission, an excavation, or an exploration. Desktop serves all 3, tablets serve both missions and explorations, and mobile serves mostly missions (and some exploration). 

Bryson Meunier with Resolution Media spoke in part about best practices for marketers in the mobile space. Some highlights:
  • Build mobile user experiences with mobile keywords.
  • Bid on brand terms for mobile search.
  • Build out phonetic paid search campaigns for key terms for voice search.
  • Understand how “good abandonment” affects your campaigns.
  • Optimize images for mobile image search.
  • Optimize apps for app-specific queries.
  • Encourage mobile users to bookmark your site.
  • Understand your mobile user’s “persona”.
  • Test and learn.
Wow – lots of great information from all of the panelists!
Hopefully you found some of it useful. For more information be sure to check out Multi-screen Advertising on Microsoft Advertising.

David Kline - Program Manager, Global Web & Community Team

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