21 January, 2013

Insights from the Commercial team - Search Trends for 2013

Are you taking into account the Search Trends for 2013 and aligning them with your online marketing strategy?

If you’re a regular follower of our blog, by now, you’ll be aware of the importance and growth of mobile advertising. With mobile search volumes now overtaking desktop, it goes without saying that fine-tuning your mobile campaigns is a must, if you’re yet to do so.

When considering mobile campaigns, it’s important to take into account that smartphones are not the only devices used for searching on-the-go. In fact, tablet penetration is growing steadily and at a much higher rate than mobile itself; searches via tablet could drive traffic to your website at a lower Cost-Per-Click rate than desktop, also maintaining a higher conversion rate than seen on smartphones. Consider the device that you’re targeting and the way that your site is consumed, as well as your primary traffic source, to help you decide whether it’s worth testing tablet campaigns separately.

As we saw in 2012, searches are progressively shifting from general dating queries towards more granular, long-tail requests. This demonstrates that not only are users becoming more knowledgeable but are also more demanding in what they want from an online dating site. Make sure your campaigns are targeted accurately if you want to achieve high conversion rates. It may also be worth considering expanding your portfolio to explore potential new niche areas.

Here are a few words of advice on effectively optimising your campaigns.

- Combine data from AdWords Search Query Report with Google's Traffic Estimator tool to gain insight about the actual keywords driving valuable traffic to your site.
- Tailor your message to the device: the attention span of users is lower and the search query shorter on mobile devices.
- Approach search marketing as a whole. The insights above will not only be useful for your paid search campaigns but also for natural search, content marketing and social media optimisation. Integrate the different channels closely, in order to reach more users with a solid message.
- Add relevant keywords to your PPC campaigns and use match types and negative keywords to increase the control over your spend and revenue.
- Test ad copy and landing pages. It’s not just about driving traffic but also converting it and the only way to know what converts best is through testing and measurement.
- Do not forget that, as important as it may be for your business to grow globally, the user is looking to find someone to date locally. Location-based advertising should go hand-in-hand with local searches. Consumers are searching for local information more than ever before (especially via their phones) and the nature of dating itself makes geo-targeting even more critical.

Remarketing is also set to be a growing trend in 2013, with remarketing platforms becoming more accurate and transparent. Those visitors who did not register on their first visit to your site would be more likely to convert if they saw a second ad that was highly tailored to them. Not only would your brand gain exposure but your conversion rates could also benefit highly from this approach, and at a relatively low cost. Collect user data and use it to build lists of users following certain paths whom you can later target very accurately; those users are definitely interested in the service that you provide because they’ve taken the time to search for it. Remarketing campaigns could be the final push that they need to sign up and drive value to your business.

Finally, bear in mind specific love-related dates like the soon-to-come Valentine's Day. If you know users are going to be in the mood for love, help them find it!

Nuria Gonzalez, PPC Specialist, WhiteLabelDating.com Commercial team

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