Every year in recent memory has been deemed “The Year of Mobile”, but with the launch of Google’s Enhanced campaigns and the proliferation of mobile devices, mobile search is finally becoming a necessity. In case you’re still questioning the need for a mobile search strategy, here are some recent statistics:
- Mobile Devices will outnumber desktops by the end of 2013
- Advertisers are reporting that 20% – 30% search queries are coming from mobile
- Google reports 30 million click-to calls/month
- Mobile Ads see a 6% – 8% CTR lift with Click-to-Call
- 28% of mobile searches result in a conversion (store visit, call, purchase)
There are many ways to begin testing mobile search. It can be confusing deciding where to start, and not all mobile options are right for every advertiser. Below I’ll outline the main options available to AdWords advertisers and some recommended use cases for each.
Research Your Mobile Audience
Before you even begin your mobile strategy, consider your consumer and the value that mobile may have for your business. There are two recent Google Mobile research studies that can help when begin to think about mobile. The first, Mobile Search Moments, will help you consider mobile in the context of your business goals and consider all the types of conversions that can be attained through mobile (phone calls, store visits, etc). The second study is an interactive study on smartphone usage and adoption called Our Mobile Planet. You can use it to look at global and local smart phone usage and trends, while using it to create custom charts.
Optimize Your Mobile Bids:
Use mobile bid adjustments to optimize your mobile bids separately from your desktop and tablet bids. The competition is always going to vary between devices, and you might be able to pay less for a mobile click than you would for a desktop click or vice versa. Some advertisers value their mobile customers above all else and are willing to place large bids. It may be more or less efficient for you to bid on the same keyword on different devices, so you need to adjust your bids accordingly. Right now you can use mobile bid adjustments at the campaign level (go to the settings tab > devices and edit your bid adjustments in-line), but Google has begun to release Ad group Level bid adjustments for select advertisers, and it will roll out to everyone soon, so look out for that.
Use Mobile Click-to-Call
You can add a phone number to your mobile ads by using call extensions also known as Click-to-call. A call button or a phone number will appear with your ad and your customers can call you directly with one click instead of having to type in the number. Mobile Ads see a 6% – 8% CTR lift with Click-to-Call.
What it looks like:
Where you’ll find it: Ad Extensions tab > View: Call Extensions
If your business can receive calls, test desktop call tracking. When you set up your call extension, as in the example above, choose to use a Google forwarding number. Google will show the searcher a unique number (on desktop and mobile devices). If the searcher chooses to call they will be routed to your forwarding number, so you can track call duration, area codes, and measure conversions by call duration. This also gives desktop searchers the option to manually dial the number visible in your ad instead of having to click through to your site and locate your contact information. One of the biggest benefits of the launch of Enhanced Campaigns is that call tracking is now free.
Schedule Mobile Extensions
Set up your call extensions to show only during hours when your call center or business is open to avoid missed calls. You can select days & times you wish your call extension to show by navigating to the Ad Extensions tab, choose View: Call Extensions in the drop down menu, scroll down to Call Extension Setting and select the Phone number you wish to place on a schedule. A pop-up box will appear and you’ll see a section for Start/end dates & scheduling at the bottom. This is a great option if your business if your phone-line or call center is not manned 24 hours a day.
If your Mobile site is not your strong suit, if you do a lot of business by phone, or if your business requires speaking to your customers, then “call only” might be the perfect option for you. This option only allows mobile searchers who see your ad to “call” and removes the option to click through to the website, in many cases this results in increased call volume and phone conversions.
If you have an app that you wish to promote you can do so directly through your AdWords search ads. App extensions are easy to build and by clicking on your ad your searchers can download the ad directly from Google Play or iTunes.
The above outlines your main mobile search options available through AdWords. However, there are plenty of other considerations before launching into mobile search including your mobile website, ad copy, and sitelinks. If you’re looking for further reading about specific ways to optimize for mobile search behavior, I recommend Making the Most Out of Mobile Search Marketing by Mori Yagi.