Monday, May 21, 2012

[G] Mobile Mondays: QLife receives 560% increase in mobile app revenue with Custom Search Ads

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Inside AdSense: Mobile Mondays: QLife receives 560% increase in mobile app revenue with Custom Search Ads

QLife is a leading hospital finder, drug database and health-care information website. QLife’s mobile application, “Medicine Search” is one of the biggest health-care applications in Japan. The app enables users to search for information on a range of medicines. QLife reached 2.5 million downloads of their app after the 3/11 Japan Earthquake, when Japanese consumers sought to pay greater care and attention to their family’s health-care.

Recently, QLife’s Executive Producer, Yoshimasa Mine spoke to us to describe why they choose to use Custom Search Ads for Mobile Applications and AdMob mobile advertising, and shared some optimization best practices.

Why and when did QLife choose to start building a mobile application?

In 2008, when the iPhone was introduced to the Japanese market, there was a mobile industry event, Mobitec, where I felt the potential of high-end mobile. Mobile phones are a device that's always with a consumer, regardless of whether they're at home, at work, or at play. This was a good match with our business of providing a medicine search service - a search that is done instantly at a time of need.

Next, we took a look at our own company's data. We began to see large increases in traffic from mobile, even more than PCs. We wanted to build and encourage mobile activity to complement desktop traffic, particularly during holidays and weekends where we saw mobile traffic surging.

Why did you decide to monetize your mobile app using AdSense and AdMob?

We originally started using AdSense on our desktop site. As a health-care review site, we need to protect our objectivity and integrity to our users. As a result, advertising is the best solution for monetization, over paid reviews from other health-care services and companies.

We chose AdSense because of the quality of the ads, the content matching technology, and the limited number of sales resources we had internally.  Serving relevant ads is important to our business; we view ads as useful content for our business, and irrelevant ads have not been successful in bringing revenue to us.

We used to use only AdMob to monetize our application. But last year, when Custom Search Ads for Mobile Apps was released, we decided to implement it for two reasons. First, we already used Custom Search Ads for our desktop site. Secondly, we’ve heard that using both Custom Search Ads and AdMob will increase CTR because Custom Search Ads will show more related ads in search results.  

What did you see as a result of implementing Custom Search Ads for Mobile Apps?

We’ve seen revenue from mobile increase by 560% after implementing Custom Search Ads for Mobile Applications. We’re seeing CTRs, CPCs, and RPMs maintain healthy levels in line with our internal benchmarks. Ad engagement tends to be higher with users who own our free app.

When we compare how these perform to our desktop site, we find that the mobile app generates lower CPCs but higher CTRs for us.To increase more app downloads, we are working hard to create high quality content to meet our user's needs. 

How long did it take to implement Custom Search Ads on mobile apps?

We took some time to implement Custom Search Ads on our app, since changes won’t go live until our users update their version of our app. It took us three to four days including the test period to implement this.

Could you share any publisher best practices you’ve found across using Custom Search Ads and AdMob?

  1. Show Custom Search Ads on search result pages. Use AdMob on other content pages.

  2. We also use the AdMob House priority level to serve direct ads to users.

  3. With Custom Search Ads, you'll see a variation in the number of ads that show, depending on the amount of organic search results you're delivering.  We'll always place one ad above search results. We'll also choose to show another ad below when there are more than five search results. In doing so, we can maximize revenue while complying with the program policy, which permits only one ad per view.

What’s next for QLife?

We've found a lot of success with the medicine/health-care search and service business. We'd like to expand our business in a couple of new directions.

First, we're interested in growing our business as an app developer for the health-care and medical service sector. We saw good success with the consumer application, and so our reputation as a medical app developer has increased in the industry overall.

We're looking to take our app to new global markets. There is a need for a quality medical and health-care search service anywhere in the world. With a publisher solution like AdSense, we are excited to expand and monetize our business beyond our home market in Japan.

Finally, I’m excited to announce that we just launched a new iOS app, Find Clinic that seeks to help people easily find and access hospitals at home and abroad. We’ve implemented Custom Search Ads for mobile apps on Find Clinic as well, and look forward to seeing similar successes!

Posted by Tatsuo Sakamoto, Account Strategist


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