In this episode of Actionable Marketing In Minutes we chat with Kim Figor about Google Adwords and the ever-growing dominance of mobile search.

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Well…it’s official – in May 2015 mobile search overtook desktop search in 10 countries including the U.S. In October of the same year, Google announced that mobile search had overtaken desktop search worldwide.

Now, this does not mean desktop searches have reduced. Not at all. ComScore stats show that desktop searches continue to be on the rise. The new numbers simply mean that mobile searches are a growing segment, and that segment’s volume of search has overtaken the volume of desktop search. So mobile searches now constitute a larger proportion of all searches.

After all, phones are always within easy reach. And more people, globally, have smart phones than have computers. In fact, in some countries many who do not have a computer do have a phone. That’s even true here in the US for younger and older segments of the population.


The increase in mobile search is great news because it gives marketers many more opportunities to reach prospects and customers through new touchpoints on the path to purchase.

Marketers must be paying attention to those studies because, according to, in 2015 mobile ad spend continued a sharp incline in growth, accounting for 49% of all digital ad spend. They report that this tactic is poised for continual growth culminating in an expected mobile digital ad dominance by 2018.

Here’s the rub: there are still certain barriers to mobile purchases, and among buyers, there is still a strong preference for desktop purchases. One survey about the growth of mobile site visitors reports that smartphone add-to-cart and conversion rates are still much lower than that of desktop.


Now that we’ve talked about the explosive growth of mobile search, we’d like to discuss how this impacts Google and their plans for redesigning AdWords for this new mobile-first world.

Today, we’re speaking with Kim Figor, Director of Online Marketing here at DirectiveGroup. Kim’s a whiz with all things Google. If anyone can help us navigate the maze of AdWords ins and outs, it Kim!

Kim, thanks for joining us.

Great to be here, Lisa.


What are the main differences in how people find products and services that they are interested in online today?


Today, people are researching products and services on multiple devices. They are also watching more videos and visiting more websites or apps before making a final decision. Finally, globally, people are using smartphones to conduct their searches more than they are using computers.

A 2014 comScore report confirmed this emerging consumer buying trend, stating consumers are ‘multi-screening’ to access retail sites.

Google’s 2013 Mobile Path to Purchase report, which surveyed consumers across 9 verticals, to include: restaurants, food and cooking, finance, travel, home and garden, apparel and beauty, automotive, health and nutrition and electronics, found that search commanded the first-place starting point at 48%. 33% started on branded websites and 26% started on branded apps.

The report states that though more searches start with search engines, consumers spend over 15 hours each week researching a product or service on their smartphone and, on an average, visit mobile websites 6 times. 93% of those who use mobile to research end up completing the purchase, oftentimes at a physical store within close proximity to their location.


So how does this information affect marketers and marketing decisions?


The challenge for marketers is that the ability to convert on websites with any amount of predictability has greatly decreased. Instead of a consumer going through the decision-making process from a website alone, the path to making a decision is done in short bursts of digital activity throughout the day, as mentioned, usually on smartphones.

The takeaway: marketers must work to ensure a consistent experience across devices.


Got it. This is what some people refer to omni-channel marketing… So, how is Google keeping up with the changes in how people search today?


In order to help companies reach their customers in better, smarter ways, Google has provided advertisers many new tools in AdWords. One example is that AdWords now encompasses display and video media ads on both the display network and on YouTube.

They have also rolled out new picture-heavy and smartphone-optimized ad formats. There are many more exciting changes that will be coming in the near future.

Resulting from advertiser feedback, Google will be changing AdWords in the following 3 ways:

1. They will be more about a business, and less about a product. AdWords will support the way owners think about their business, from business goals to measuring and managing ads.

2. They will provide relevant data at your fingertips. AdWords will provide insights and help advertisers to visualize them in more actionable ways.

3. It will become more of a simple yet powerful tool. At the end of the day, AdWords will help advertisers do more in less time. One important change will be the ability to complete the most important tasks and building reports, all in one place.


Kim, you’ve shared a lot of information today. Thank you. We look forward to learning more from you on this topic as the explosive growth of mobile continues.


You’re welcome, Lisa. I, too, look forward to sharing new advances in Google’s offerings with your audience.


More and more consumers want what they want when they want it. Which is usually right now! As marketers, we have to be able to meet their needs straightaway. It appears Google is working hard to keep up with mobile demands for immediacy and relevance.

To that end, they have and are continuing to build a new generation of richer, more engaging ad experiences designed for screen swipes instead of mouse clicks.

And, to meet our needs to be able to measure all moments – from first impression to final conversion – across devices, apps, calls and stores, Google has also created methods and metrics to do that.

As Kim mentioned, there will be many more exciting changes coming in the near future. Stay with us in upcoming months as we report on Google’s growing suite of exciting offerings to help you meet your customers’ mobile needs.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Please connect with us on Twitter @DirectiveGroup or on LinkedIn and be sure to share it with in your networks using hashtag #actionablemarketing. Join us next time for more actionable marketing in minutes.