How to Go Mobile with Paid Search

by Gabriela Serrano on January 23, 2012

in Pay Per Click (PPC)

As you may know, mobile search is growing, and it is growing fast. Mobile searches have quadrupled since 2010. Moreover, 50% of mobile searches lead to purchase, either online or in store. In the Australian market, 26% of smartphone users have made a purchase over their devices. More and more people are doing mobile searches for information, get directions, price comparisons, read reviews and buy online.  We have discussed these statistics and their implications for e-commerce in previous blog posts. Today, let’s look at setting up a Paid Search strategy for mobile devices.

How to get started

The AdWords interface now has many features integrated for setting up and optimising mobile search campaigns, so if you are already familiar with using AdWords, setting up a paid search campaign for mobile devices shouldn’t be difficult. Here are my recommended best practices for getting started:

1. Make sure you have a mobile-friendly website before you begin, or better yet, a mobile version of your website. It is important to give your visitors a good experience; there’s no point in paying for traffic that’s not going to convert because your site is ugly and awkward to navigate on a mobile device. If you’re not sure you have a mobile-friendly website, pull out your smartphone or tablet and take a look for yourself. Is it easy to browse? Is it easy to find your contact details? How about making a booking or purchase? Does it fit comfortably on your screen?

2. Create separate campaigns for mobile devices. People searching on mobile devices often have different user intent than people searching on computers, so you’ll want separate campaigns to target them effectively. Mobile searchers are aptly characterised by their mobility: they are out and about, on the go, looking for solutions to real-time problems. This is especially true for searches made for local businesses – there’s a good chance the user is nearby and ready to act. Someone who is searching from their home desktop or laptop does not have the same sense of urgency.

3. Enable the click-to-call feature so users can contact you directly from their search results.

4. Monitor the results of your mobile campaign to understand what you can improve to generate more traffic, conversions, lower your cost-per-acquisition, or whatever result you’re after.

5. Test!  Trial new keywords (both long tail and short tail), new ads and ad formats, different calls to action, etc. One of the unwritten laws of PPC is just because it’s “working”, doesn’t mean it can’t be better!

Need more help?

Google’s mobile advertising page offers plenty of free tools and educational material to help you set up your paid mobile campaign. Or if you have a question about an aspect of paid mobile search that I didn’t cover today, feel free to leave a question in the comments! :)

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