mobilesearchLogically, mobile search is important for the usability of mobile content for the same reasons as internet search engines became important to the usability of internet content. However, given the limitations of a mobile phone’s screen size and general navigability, mobile search may be the future, but desktop search is for now still expected to remain marketers’ first choice.

Due to its considerable advantage in conversion metrics, the desktop promises to be a key player throughout this decade, according to the new eMarketer report, “Desktop Search 2014: Marketers Find a Balance with Mobile.” The researchers state that desktop search remains a favourite among marketers because of its deep consumer behaviour history (which benefits search engine optimization on the desktop and mobile), its existing best practices, its measurable return on investment (ROI), and its wide usage. “But with a mobile revolution under way, the desktop is finding a long-term home as a piece - but no longer the center - of the consumer journey”, eMarketers say.

Key to the future of desktop search is to understand how it will be informed by mobile usage in terms of design and measurement. Marketers now aim to intercept consumers at various times on various devices that catch consumers’ attention first.

In fact, adapting to a consumer, who has already viewed something on mobile, presents major shifts in how search result pages are designed. Designs can be tweaked to smooth transitions between devices, but measuring cross-device results with the same consistency is more difficult. Marketers are still challenged in proving that a mobile activity - conducted without the tracking capability of desktop cookies - contributed to an eventual sale and ROI. Therefore, matching up mobile, tablet and desktop activity, so that advertisers can establish best practices, remains a work in progress.

The future for maximizing desktop search, marketers say, lies in identifying purchase intent by blending signals from other platforms across the purchase process. Advertisers are now trying to identify intent for consumers who may have come across information in any number of ways - YouTube, Twitter, mobile site, tablet, TV ad - and aligning such activity with a desktop search campaign.

For instance, paid search traffic turns more often into sales on desktops. The underlying goal for marketers will be to invest in a marketing mix that gives consumers what they need on mobile, identifying them once they transition to desktop and delivering the right search results and content in a consistent format.

By MediaBUZZ