Matt Lawson

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Be the impulse buy, says Google. Whether on vacation, at a store, watching TV on the couch or peeking at a smartphone under the table during a meeting, "stolen moments" between consumers and brands happen all the time, writes Google's Matt Lawson. A lot of times, those moments include local searches that can result in quick conversions, says the performance ads marketing director. In his April post on Think With Google, Lawson calls these stolen bits of time "I-Want-to-Go Moments: From Search to Store." He cites Google research that 10 percent to 18 percent of "clicks on search ads lead to a store visit." Further, half of those local searchers using smartphones visit a marketer within a day "and 18 percent of those searches lead to a purchase within a day."

When Google revamped its shopping service last May, it said it would begin charging merchants to list their products. These Product Listing Ads, as they’re called, set off a firestorm of controversy because they represented the first time Google had eliminated a search service that had free listings and made it paid-only. Although Google posed the move as a way to improve the quality of listings, merchants squawked that this would raise their costs to appear in shopping search results. But even more broadly, the move raised doubts in some people’s minds

Index finger and thumb spaced three inches apart, Matt Lawson touched the screen of his mobile phone to demonstrate how much real estate paid links take up in search results on the tiny device. That left about two inches of organic results on his phone, and it's part of the reason he says paid search is performing so well on mobile devices, citing the findings of Marin's report, "The State of Mobile Search Advertising in the U.S."

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