Digital marketers have been saying it’s the year of the mobile for the best part of the last half-decade. But, what this statement meant and does mean, has changed.
To begin with, there was a general prediction that mobile would soon become the primary point of contact for the majority of internet users.
Back in 2010 mobile made up just 5% of web pages loaded. Then five years later in May 2015 Google announced that more searches were now being carried out on Mobile devices. A year later in November 2016 more web pages were viewed on mobile than desktop for the first time ever.
This upset to a long-standing reign of domination by desktop is influencing a progression of search engine updates that favour mobile.
We see this in the rise in popularity of AMPs which look to improve mobile user experience by making them faster whilst also requiring less data usage. A further update to Google’s algorithm in January this year aimed to ‘clean up’ mobile sites by favouring sites without interstitial’s or pop up ads.
Now it’s time for us to look for actionable strategies for mobile PPC. If you have put off taking the time to make the changes required to make your mobile PPC strategy run like a well-oiled machine, well, it’s not too late. Here’s a few tips for how to get the most out of your PPC campaigns.
1. Optimise landing pages for mobile.
It should be obvious right! Well for many the pin still hasn’t dropped. The best time to optimise your site for mobile was a few years ago, the second best time is today. Having to use a non-optimised site whilst on mobile can be painful at best of times. Cold, sticky, winter fingers precariously pinching at their screens to try and find the answers to their questions and the solutions to their problems before closing the site out of frustration. Whilst this may sound somewhat dramatic it’s happened to all of us and it makes us feel like were living in the past.
Whilst this suggestion isn’t strictly solving a PPC problem but an SEO one, we all know how these things go together like peas and carrots and there is no point having your AdWords account driving traffic to a landing page that is not optimised for mobile. Simply put, it’s a waste of time and money.
2. Utilising Ad Extensions
The use of any applicable ad extensions is a great way to improve your ads prominence and you should always ensure you are using them. The Sitelink and Call out extensions are two you should be using 99% of the time as they are a great way to increase your ads size whilst making them feel more trustworthy and in turn improving CTR.
The call extension utilises the intended primary function of a mobile which displays a telephone number on the SERP. The user simply clicks this button and hey presto, you have an interested customer contacting you. A similar extension is the message extension, whether your customer has phone phobia, has poor signal or is in a loud environment the option now exists for them to simply text their question or request. These two additions help drive conversions as they add a new simplicity and ease to connecting your business with potential customers.
Though not an extension, Google’s introduction of expanded text ads have a big impact on what you’re your ad looks on the SERP. The new format allows 140 characters to be used in your ad copy. This is potentially great news for anyone running a PPC campaign, but it is particularly important to consider when thinking about mobile ads as the expanded text gives your ad some serious real-estate on the SERP and this prominence can only be good news. This does lead to the first place becoming more hotly contested as the reward for gaining this position increases.
3. Ensure the Call to Action is Clear
If you are aiming to drive traffic to your site via a PPC campaign. With the intention to generate leads and your landing page has a dauntingly large amount of text boxes for a user to complete; it’s likely they’ll be scared away. If this is so then the best case scenario is that they complete the action on desktop later on, however, they may well end up on a competitor’s site and potentially become a lost customer.
The only real solution to this problem is to reduce the amount of typing a potential customer must do on your site. Of course, you must take into account the kind of leads you are generating. There are typically two types of landing pages and they are straight forward enough. Short pages, and long pages.
Short pages offer higher volumes of lead generation but this comes at the cost of quality. They are best suited to actions which require low commitment and are great for offering free resources. Long pages generally produce fewer leads but they are typically higher in quality. Of course, the more information you ask for the more chance there is for a potential customer to leave. Long pages are generally great for product landing pages.
Ensure everything on your landing page has a reason for being there and that anything irrelevant is quickly culled.
4. Adjusting your Bids
Once your campaign is up and running it is important you monitor the data you receive on the differences between desktop and mobile performance. In AdWords it is a simple process to adjust the bids themselves but knowing when to do it and by how much can at times become confusing.
You must track the differences in performance between desktop and mobile and identify whether mobile traffic is working for you.
If mobile traffic is driving conversions and leads, then you may want to be even more competitive in bidding as it is clear the type of traffic your site is receiving is suitable for a mobile audience.
When mobile performance is far behind desktop you may want to think about reducing your spend on mobile but beware that some users may use mobile to find you then switch to desktop to convert.
5. Mobile Scheduling Strategy
The time of day your ad runs is important for any platform but none more-so than mobile. Data tells us that over the course of a day the source of traffic varies. Early mornings, lunch times and evenings are dominated by mobile search traffic. Generally, throughout the working day a majority of searches are still carried out on desktop.
When we look at the break down of CPA throughout the day the general trend is that it falls as users have carried out searches over the course of the day before finally converting in the evening. This highlights the important of having a budget that is able to both serve ads in the morning and throughout the day but crucially to have enough budget left to support serving ads in the evening when the number of conversions increases.
With any PPC campaign there is no one size fits all strategy that is certain to deliver results. It is important to monitor and optimise from the moment your campaign is live and remain vigilant throughout. Add a few of these tips, a sprinkling of hard work and a pinch of diligence and you’ve got yourself a recipe for a successful mobile campaign.