I believe that if you’re in marketing or if you’re reading this that it’s not news to you that marketing to users on their mobile devices is a good thing. I’m also not going to barrage you with the hundreds of stats that marketers have thrown out about how consumers these days use their mobile devices to do everything. Chances are even very good that by now you’ve already rolled out some kind of specific mobile campaign in the last 12 months or so. If you haven’t then I’d like to encourage you to take advantage of this segment of users. You’ll want to approach this audience a little bit differently than you would approach those same consumers on other devices. There are lots of ways to attack the mobile segment and get your message through to your consumers, but today we’re going to focus on using paid search to reach this audience. Your website is an important piece of this puzzle. Is the goal on your website different from a mobile perspective than the average visitor or are there any technical limitations you need to account for in where you send visitors and how you track conversions? Should you bypass your website entirely and just try and make your phone ring? Before you dig into some of the nuts and bolts of your campaigns you will want to assess your assets and how best to use them.
First, you’re going to want to define the devices that you want to target. For you this may or may not include tablets as well. In my opinion, the tablet is more like a laptop or desktop than a mobile device and I think people use it more as a second screen than as a true mobile on-the-go sole device. Time of day is also a large driver of that opinion I just mentioned though so take that into account. You’ll need to decide whether you’re just targeting smartphones or if you also want to include tablets in that same audience. You can also target more specific device makes and models depending upon whether you’re running an Adwords or a Bing Ads campaign. Let’s match up some of these advanced targeting options.
Adwords lets you target
- Operating System
- Device Models
- Carriers & Wi-Fi Networks
Bing Ads lets you target
- Operating System
When people are on a mobile device they aren’t using the same types of keywords that they use when they are on their laptop or desktop. A lot of times they use shorter search queries because they aren’t using their thumbs to appease your long tail keyword strategy. I know, I wish they would too… Your keyword strategy may need to be more towards your head terms than your long tail terms. Also, your negative keyword strategy might not help you as much as you’d hope because the more terms people use the more they explain their search intent. We use this to optimize our campaigns using negative keywords to exclude searches we don’t want, but with less words we don’t get as much intent.
Let’s throw a new twist in here. What if your products or service cater directly to the mobile search audience. Do you sell cell phone accessories, and what if they’re just for a device like the iPhone? Are you the company behind a new app or mobile game that you’re trying to market? You may have an entirely different keyword strategy for your mobile campaigns than your other campaigns. This may also help you target just the specific devices that you’re looking for.
Ad Copy Optimization
Another thing you should be evaluating is your ad copy. Your ads should be saying something different to a mobile phone user than someone on a laptop or desktop. The biggest difference in my ad copy that I’ve seen is our call to action and the use of ad extensions to attract calls and leads. If you’re running a lead generation campaign then maybe getting a user with a click to call ad is a better experience than sending them to your website, or maybe you’d just rather give them the option. Depending upon your business you can use Adwords to force a call or give them the option to call or visit your website. Almost always you’ll want to say something specific to a mobile user giving them a phone based call to action. Maybe that’s calling your business or downloading your app. You could also investigate changing your products mobile check out experience to streamline your conversion process for a mobile user.
If you haven’t been watching the developments from Adwords on the new Enhanced Campaigns then you will be forced in this direction sooner rather than later. I’m not even sure that Google could have predicted how important mobile search has become in the last 12 months. Enhanced campaigns are their effort to make it a bigger focus for everyone. In their opinion it helps people optimize mobile campaigns more efficiently and at a better scale depending upon the size of your campaigns. This whole topic has been thrown around the ring with PPC managers taking both sides. Some people see the benefits and others say that they like their mobile specific campaigns being separate.
In summary, if you haven’t been giving the proper attention and optimization effort to your mobile campaigns then it’s time to reevaluate. You’re missing out and it’s not like mobile campaigns are a fad that is going to pass. Evaluate where your budgets are at and your management time should emulate the type of spread between where your budgets and ultimately your performance is coming from.