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How to Reach Your Local and Mobile Customers with Bing Ads

When was the last time you looked at your mobile device? If you’re like half of the entire population in the U.S.,1 you check your smartphone around 150 times a day.2 In a 15-hour day, that’s once every 6 minutes (lately, I think I check mine even more often than that!). Your customers are no different.

Today, we’re going to talk about reaching your customer where they spend an incredible amount of time – on their mobile devices.

 Search is Shifting

Right now, mobile devices account for about 37% of all searches; by 2017, mobile devices will drive roughly 50% of all searches.3 Did you ever think that mobile search would grow this fast?

Three extremely bright spots in mobile search are laying the groundwork for the future:

  1. Local search
  2. A lightning-fast conversion rate
  3. "Showrooming"

Local Search and Mobile Search are the Same Thing

79% of mobile phone owners and 81% of tablet owners use those devices for local search4 (that’s about 120 million people). Nearly 80% of local mobile searches turn into purchases.4 These are local searches, and most of them turn into purchases.

To spell this out even more, if you are advertising a local service or business via search, chances are that most of the searches on your keywords will turn into purchases (depending on how competitive and compelling your ads are). With odds like this, you’re losing money if you don’t have a PPC campaign that’s mobile-targeted.

Mobile Search Converts Whip-Fast

Of that 80% of local searches on mobile that become purchases, these purchases happen within 5 hours of the original search.5 Searches that happen via desktop will typically take weeks to become an actual purchase. Now, via mobile, those conversions can and do happen between breakfast and dinner. This break-neck conversion speed should be driving every advertiser to invest in mobile search.

Can "Showrooming" Boost Your Business?

84% of smartphone shoppers use their device to help them shop while they're in a store.6 “Help shop” is another way of saying “look for better prices and discounts.” Some say this is disruptive to the in-store shopping experience – we say it can enable a better shopping experience. Use these "showrooming" opportunities to advertise to your in-store customer with discounts and coupons that point them to the check-out counter. After all, a recent Gallup poll7 reports that of those who had “showroomed” in a retail store, only 6% made purchases online instead.

Since "showrooming" is here to stay (it’s embraced by all age groups, particularly those with higher disposable incomes: 52% of 44-53 year olds actively showroom, and 51% of those 54+ do8) marketers need to get a quick grip on how to turn this consumer habit into a boost for their businesses. Mobile-targeted paid search with geographical targets and location extensions enabled is a strong bet.

Bing Ads Mobile Fans

We are always delighted when our advertising partners see the value of the Yahoo Bing Network. In March of this year, Ignition One published a report that looks at the campaigns running through its digital marketing platform. In it, they report that the Yahoo Bing Network is growing impressions and clicks faster than Google, at a much more efficient CPC.

“Nearly across the board, we are seeing great efficiencies in both smartphone and tablet advertising for Yahoo Bing when compared to Google. This efficiency is due to the higher level of control allowed in Yahoo Bing as compared to post-Enhanced Campaign Google.”

Bing serves ads across the entire Yahoo Bing Network and on all mobile devices including iOS, Android and Windows Phone, making it the 2nd largest mobile search ad platform in the world.9 Review your campaigns today to make sure they – and your business – are reaching on-the-go customers when they’re searching for you.

Not sure if you’re running mobile ads on Bing? Here’s how to check:

  1. Go to the Campaign Settings tab
  2. Expand Advanced Targeting Options.
  3. Click Device, check the box next to Smartphones and other mobile devices with full browsers.

If you’re already opted in, you can also take these quick steps to make your mobile ads even stronger:

  1. Add budget to cover your mobile ads.
  2. Enable Ad Extensions: Sitelinks, Location, click-to-call.
  3. Choose mobile-specific keywords that target key mobile scenarios, e.g. when consumers are looking for your location, for your contact information, or for specific products.

Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them below!


1. comScore March 2014

2. ExactTarget 2014 Mobile Behavior Support

3. eMarketer March 2013

4. comScore, Neustar Localeze, 15 miles, Local Search Study April 2014

5. Microsoft internal data 2014, 70% of mobile conversions happen within 5 hours

6. Google Shopper Marketing Agency Council and M/A/R/C Research, May 2013

7. Gallup “Showrooming Affecting US Retail Sales” November 2013

8. ThriveAnalytics, April 2014

9. comScore, January 2014