Google Mobile Insight on Property Search Marketing

As a Google Partner Agency and their UK go-to agency for the property industry we are regularly privy to some extremely interesting industry-specific insight. At a recent presentation our search team were shown some interesting figures concerning recent trends among property related keywords.

A central theme was the rapid and sustained growth of mobile searches, with Q1 2014 mobile property-related searches up 67% year on year while desktop searches actually shrank by 8%. As well as being the main driver of growth within property search terms, mobile activity also tended to be the cheapest on a cost-per-click basis, highlighting the importance of a mobile-friendly website and an integrated search and digital strategy that pays particular attention to mobile activity.

Unpacking these top line figures a little, it’s worth noting that although property searches from desktop computers are shrinking as a percentage of all property searches, desktops still account for more than 50.2% of the market, with mobiles at 19.3% and tablets at 30.5%. We ought also consider the role of the different devices in delivering a potential customer to your door. While mobiles are terrific at creating that initial contact during the day, or allowing people to do some research after seeing signage or hearing a radio advert, their role in delivering goals tends to be a lot less as customers tend to be more comfortable handing over their details on a desktop.

It’s also interesting to delve a little deeper into the regional variation in the use of mobile. The penetration of mobile into overall search volumes varies massively by region, with mobile property searches growing by 81% year on year in Cheshire, for instance,  but only by 51% in Durham.

The learnings here are obvious: a well-built digital strategy should embrace all these platforms and ensure a customer journey that allows the user to pass from one device to the next with the minimum of leakage. However when getting excited about digital, as well we should, it’s also important to consider its place within the wider digital mix: you will have heard the recent incredible results of the IAB/PWC digital media spend research for 2013 (£1bn was spent on digital media last year), but amid all the hype concerning this massive number and the rampant growth of digital media, it’s easy to forget that three quarters of UK marketing spend is still spent on offline media. In emergent areas like digital, and within digital, mobile, there are some clear and extremely efficient opportunities for growth and for costs savings, however in a lot of cases the key to a fruitful media mix will be the successful integration of these new platforms into the best of the older opportunities.

If you’re interested in discussing these findings and how they impact on your own business, do please get in touch with your Space & Time Account Manager or search specialist.