8 Super-Fascinating Digital Marketing Stats Revealed at SMX East

Margot Whitney
Last Updated: November 22, 2021 | Marketing Ideas
HomeBlog8 Super-Fascinating Digital Marketing Stats Revealed at SMX East

SMX East took place last week in a smaller section of the overwhelmingly large Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. In my mind, New York City was the perfect place to host the world’s largest search engine marketing conference and expo, but I am a little biased, since 90% of my closest college friends reside in the city.


SMX East


That’s me, kicking off the first session on ad copy tips with the brilliant Matt Van Wagner, Marty Weintraub and Brad Geddes!

With all the distractions that NYC has to offer, I still managed to pick up a backpack full of enlightening stats and digital marketing news. Here are eight of the most game-changing stats to fuel your digital marketing efforts:

#1: 50% of Search Queries are 4 Words or Longer – Casie Gillette, Ko Marketing

That’s right! People are not just typing keywords into Google. Oftentimes marketers think solely about keyword optimization rather then what their customers are actually searching for. Casie Gillette, Director of Online Marketing at Ko Marketing, gracefully explained that the problem lies in marketers not communicating enough with their support team.

“Your support team is the direct line to your customers,” Gillette says. “They field the questions that aren’t on your website.” Casie also recommends using tools like Quora and Spice Works to identify and manage questions people are asking, then ask yourself if you’re answering these questions on your website. Are you optimizing these FAQs for paid search and SEO?

TAKEAWAY: Think in phrases and questions your customers are asking, not just keywords.

#2: You Lose 97% of Leads on Leaky Landing Pages – Larry Kim, WordStream

This next stat comes from WordStream founder, Larry Kim himself. As usual, Larry kept the audience chuckling throughout his presentation on conversion rate hacks, but when he shared this stat the audience was in awe. Seriously, 97%? That is a whole lot of leads to lose! It makes your traffic generation efforts seem useless if your visitors are just leaving, right?

Luckily, Larry shared a mind-blowingly effective hack to prevent you from losing leads on your multi-step landing page process, which is – drum-roll, please – call-only buttons! These newer features available on Facebook, Twitter, and Google AdWords cut out an entire step in the funnel where leads are likely to be lost – your landing pages. Rather than directing your leads to your website, they’ll instead be directed to you, the seller. This is hugely beneficial to businesses since phone calls are worth 3X more than website visitors.



TAKEAWAY: To keep leads engaged and push them down the funnel faster, push phone calls rather than website visits.

#3: Click-to-Call Commerce Will Reach $1 Trillion in 2015 and Double by 2019 – John Busby, Marchex

This stat supports Larry’s hack above, and goes to show that phone calls from the mobile SERPs are going to become more and more important as time goes on.

Just look at the graph below (I know it’s somewhat hard to see), but if you zoom in, you’ll notice that the majority of calls are predicted to be driven by search, over display, social, and even landing pages. This tells marketers that if they’re not optimizing for phone calls on the SERPs, they’re likely missing out on huge earnings in the future.


smx east

TAKEAWAY: Ensure that your search campaigns are pushing phone calls, and that you’re properly tracking these phone calls to understand the value they’re bringing to your business.

#4: It’s 2X as Hard to Get Your Ad Seen on the Mobile SERPs – Erin Sagin, WordStream

WordStream’s brilliant PPC Community Manager, Erin Sagin, took the stage to discuss how to convert the mobile visitor, and right of the bat audience members learned that if you suck at converting mobile traffic, you’re not alone. Major relief, right? But, why do we all suck at it?

The mobile landscape is a whole different playing field. As you can see in the graph below, ads are less likely to be shown even in positon 1! The solution? Bid up on mobile.


The problem, not all of us have the financial resources of Donald Trump.

So, what can be done? Erin suggests focusing on high purchase intent keywords such as long-tailed specific queries, purchase-type keywords like “buy” and “discount,” and emergency keywords. Take these high-intent words, put them in their own campaign, and bid up on mobile – it’s that simple.

TAKEAWAY: Don’t let poor mobile performance discourage you! Revamp your mobile strategy to bid up on the keywords with high-purchase intent and save your lower-intent keywords for desktop where you’re more likely to gain profitable visibility.

#5: More than 86% of Time on Your Phone is Spent Within an App – Samantha Yeh, Bitly

Bitly’s Product Marketing Manager, Samantha Yeh, took the stage revealing some really fascinating app statistics, which made me realize that marketers are focusing way too much time on optimizing for a mobile site when more time should be focused on marketing app downloads.

Once you can get a consumer to download your app, the chances of making them a returning buyer increase drastically. Think about it. If you get a user to utilize your app, you have a direct marketing channel to them, and the opportunity to build long-term customers and brand loyalists is sky-high. Samantha also shared that apps are supposed to drive $5.6 billion in revenue in 2015!

TAKEAWAY: Marketing your company’s app should be a higher priority than catering to the mobile web. Create a strategy to get more app traffic through Facebook App links, Twitter Cards, Google App Index, etc.

#6: 51% of People Want Location-Based Coupons When Searching – Aaron Levy, Elite SEM

Aaron enthusiastically discussed the different buckets that mobile searchers fall into including: bored, research, need, and desperate. Under the “need” bucket, he shared some interesting data from a case study of a client who introduced a mobile discount for an in-store purchase, reading “show this ad at checkout to receive discount,” and saw a 9916% lift in incremental mobile revenue – wowza!



TAKEAWAY: Use coupons and in-store deals on mobile to spur visits and conversions at your storefront.

#7: 72% of Consumers Who Did a Local Search Visited a Store within 5 Miles – Amy Bishop, Clix Marketing

This stat is pretty straightforward and not unbelievably shocking, but the high number shows that search is a critical part of a local businesses marketing strategy.

TAKEAWAY: If you’re a local storefront, you NEED to be advertising in geo-targeted radius on Google. Your shoppers expect to find you online before visiting your storefront.

#8: 43% of Consumers Do Research in the Store – Amy Bishop, Clix Marketing

This stat put me at ease that I’m not the only lunatic crouching down in the corner of Target reading product reviews on my iPhone before making a purchase, so thank you Amy!

TAKEAWAY: Consumers are more informed than ever before. Ensure your shoppers are able to find product reviews easily while on-the-go. If you’re in the retail space, ensure you have over 50 reviews on one of Google’s approved review aggregator sites so they show up within your ads. This could prevent a shopper from purchasing with a competitor.




Meet The Author

Margot Whitney

Margot is a content marketing specialist at WordStream and nutrition graduate student at Framingham State. She loves all things digital, learning about nutrition, running, traveling, and cooking.

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