Building Mobile-​Centric Search Strategies for Your Accounts

BY Courtney Huckabay
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Mobile-​centric searches are searches that happen 75% of the time or more on a mobile device, Lisa Gevelber explains for Think with Google. "The intent signal that search gives and the context signals that mobile can provide (such as location) can help tailor answers and experiences precisely for that consumer's micro-​moment. 'Near me' searches (like 'coffee shop near me') is one example of this."

"These kinds of searches grew by more than 130% year over year and they're much more common on mobile. Mobile makes up 88% of all "near me" searches, with those mobile searches growing even faster at 146% year over year. These mobile-​centric I‑want-​to-​go queries happen across almost all types of businesses, from hotels and rental cars to nail salons, shoe stores, pizza parlors, and banks."

AudienceSCAN found 23.9% of U.S. adults said "Bing" when asked: "Which internet search engines do you use most often?" Think about beefing up SEO and SEM for Bing specifically.

"If you have a physical location, "near me" searches are probably popular for your business too. You can see why they happen so often on mobile; When we urgently need an ATM or have the craving for fro-​yo, we naturally turn to the devices in our hands to solve our need."

AudienceSCAN reports 19.2% of Bing Searchers go past the first page of their search results.


"You might guess that most car-​related searches on mobile would be active shoppers looking for nearby dealers. But as it turns out, mobile searches are loaded with intent across various stages of the car-​buying process."
Among the top mobile-​centric auto attributes:

  • for sale (such as "Chevy Silverado for sale")
  • price (such as "Audi R8 price")
  • dealership (such as "Dodge truck dealership")

"And a small device doesn't mean a small purchase. Many of the most popular mobile-​centric searches for autos are actually luxury car price inquiries: searches like "Tesla price," "Maserati price," and "Audi R8 cost." Luxury car price searches like these grew nearly 90% on mobile from 2014 to 2015."

26% of Bing Searchers intend to buy new cars or trucks in the next 12 months, according to AudienceSCAN research.


"Rings are among the most mobile-​searched type of jewelry, followed by necklaces, bracelets, and earrings."
Some of the top mobile-​centric search themes for rings are:

  • promise rings (such as "promise ring for girlfriend")
  • wedding rings (such as "wedding ring set")
  • engagement rings (such as "engagement rings for men")

"Yes, the winner there is promise rings. In fact, promise ring-​related mobile searches grew by 77% from 2014 to 2015. Interest in these rings on mobile has been showing a steep increase over the past several years in general, with searches tending to spike around the holidays (most likely I‑need-​a-​Christmas-​gift research moments) and then Valentine's Day. The mobile-​centricity may be in part a function of the younger, mobile-​first demographic tending to wear these rings."


When it comes to mobile-​centric hotel searches, the themes leading the way include:

  • near me (like "pet friendly hotels near me")
  • cheap (like "cheap hotels in Myrtle Beach")
  • price (like "motel prices")

"Near me" searches are the clear mobile-​centric winner in the hotel industry. This jibes with data from Hotels​.com that states that 74% of mobile bookings are made for same-​day check-​in. In other words, near and now often go hand-in-hand."

AudienceSCAN reveals 47% of Bing Searchers use Android phones.

Here's how Gevelber thinks you can leverage mobile-​centric searches in your clients' businesses:

  1. "Identify mobile-​centric searches and themes. Talk to your agency and ask them to do an inventory of the mobile-​centric searches for your category and brand. You don't have to master every moment at once, but make sure you know your key mobile-​centric searches and especially the broader themes that rise to the top. These are places where your customers are calling out: "Please solve my need for me on mobile!"
  2. "Be there, across the moments that matter. Once you know the mobile-​centric themes for a category and brand, be exhaustive in the keywords you use to address those themes and attributes. Try to really own a larger "share of intent" on the mobile screen for these searches. These searches are where hearts, minds, and dollars are increasingly being won and lost. Being there is the first step in winning them."
  3. "Find new ways to be useful. Put yourself in consumers' shoes for those mobile-​centric moments. What situations are these people in, and what are they trying to learn, do, find, or buy on their smartphone? Then ask yourself, "Does the content of my ads and the functionality of my mobile site or app help my customers in their moments of need?" If you can find new ways to cut steps and be more useful, act there first."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.