The mobile search landscape is dynamic and fast-moving, meaning digital marketers need to regularly review and update mobile strategies in order to achieve the best results. This advice comes out of Adobe’s recent Digital Index Report into Mobile, with specific focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
Currently search drives 30% of all mobile visits, globally with the figure reaching 33% in Asia (excluding China) and set to rise as mobile internet becomes more accessible.
This clearly points to the fact, which let’s face it we all know already, that mobile has to be an integral part of any international search strategy and campaign and the report highlighted a few key points to consider when planning for mobile in Asia:
- China and South Korea have much lower percentages of mobile search-driven traffic than their regional counterparts, due to the popularity of portals and navigation engines within local search engines. These encourage users to stay on those sites, rather than relying on search to help them find their way around the web. Display advertising can be an effective tactic for appearing on these sites.
- Local Players provide better in-country results. Naver and Baidu have higher quality results from Google in their local markets; however this doesn’t apply when they are used outside of their markets. Bing’s search results are also considered to be of high quality, however its low market share means that this quality fails to make an impact.
- Despite the debate over its quality, Google is still the best performer globally on mobile devices, even in those markets where it trails local players on PC search – so don’t discount Google in China and South Korea, especially when optimising for mobile.
- Interestingly, Google’s Android operating system isn’t the reason for this, as other search engines can be set as the default engine on Android, and equally Google is often the default on other OS’s such as iOS. South Korea highlights this, as it has a very high number of Android users, yet Google’s lowest mobile search share in Asia. Developments such as Apple recently announcing that it will partner with Baidu to load its search engine onto Apple devices in China and Baidu launching its own low cost smartphone, do make Google’s position unstable and need to be monitored.
Chart source: Searchenginewatch.com “Mobile Search Trends in Asia Pacific [Study]”, Adaline Lau, January 12, 2012, as included in Adobe Digital Index
Mobile is no different to any other element of international marketing – differentiating by market is key to harnessing the opportunities and effectively reaching your audience. Equally, keeping up-to-date with developments and re-aligning your strategy to move with them is vital for success however taking advantage of these growing trends could offer real rewards.