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10 do's and don'ts of mobile PPC

Mobile search has continued to grow over the past few years. As a result mobile desktop searches have also seen tremendous growth. Along with that growth there has also been a large increase in competition in the mobile PPC space as well. While mobile desktop is a form of desktop, it's important to recognize that it requires its' own set of strategies. Below are 10 tips for mobile desktop "do's and don'ts" to consider as you develop your mobile strategies.

Don't launch without a strategy

Mobile searches do not behave like desktop searches. Google conducted a research study showing the difference between mobile, tablet, and desktop users. The study revealed that there were distinct ways that users were using each device: Desktops are a "workhorse," tablets are "couch companions," and mobile devices are a personal "constant companion." The study also showed that there was a clear difference in the peak usage times of each device -- desktop use peaks mid-day, mobile use peaks in the evening hours. Also as expected the study depicted that along with using each device differently and at different times, there was also a different use for each device. For example, mobile users most often were searching for things like coupons, directions, and searches with a local component.

Do: Make sure that you do your research before you launch. Get to know the mobile searcher and then develop your strategy.

Don't use your desktop conversion for your mobile conversion

As we now know, mobile users behave differently -- including the actions they will take on their devices. For example, if you focus on a "contact us" form conversion as your desktop conversion, this may not translate well to a mobile user. Instead you may want to offer the option for a mobile user to call directly or request a call.

Do: Make sure that you focus on a conversion that resonates and gives value to your mobile users.

Don't group all devices together

This is one of the biggest money wasters in desktop. Make sure that you are targeting your mobile devices separate from your desktop and tablet devices.

Do: Remember that with device targeting for mobile, you can get as granular as targeting specific devices like the iPhone or Android.

Don't replicate your desktop keywords

Think about a mobile keypad -- they are very tiny. As a result, users often misspell as they type. Users are also typically on the move when using their device and tend to type in shorter queries.

Do: Make sure that your keyword build focuses on short tail versus longer tail terms.

Don't duplicate your desktop ads

As we noted above, you need to focus on the mobile user and what benefits and values they will resonate with. Your mobile ads should reflect this and not simply duplicate your desktop ads. You should also take advantage of the features in AdWords made specifically for mobile. For example, try using mobile extensions like "call only" and location extensions.

Do: Make sure you tailor your ads to the mobile user and include mobile features.

Don't forget a mobile device is a phone

People still do use their mobile phones to make phone calls! Test using the call only ad format, which allows a user to only place a call (versus click through to the website). This also works very well if your site is not yet mobile friendly.

Do: Test mobile features like "call only."

Don't use your desktop bids

Don't think that because mobile is newer desktops will be cheaper or even the same as desktop desktops. Remember that there is less space on mobile devices for ads than on a desktop, so competition is high and desktops can be higher! 

Do: To get an idea of where you should set your mobile bids, use the AdWords keyword tool to pull mobile desktop estimates.

Don't set and forget

While sometimes lower positions work great on desktops, remember there are limited spaces on mobile devices for ads.  Often times if you are not in position one or two on a mobile device, the traffic is barely existent.

Do: Because of this, it's important to stay on top of your bids and adjust them often to ensure you don't lose visibility.

Don't send mobile traffic to your website

There is nothing worse than being on your mobile device, seeing a great ad that gets your attention, clicking, and being sent to a full website where you need a magnifying glass to read anything!

If you don't have a mobile website, think of other ways to connect with mobile users. As noted above, try "call only."

Do: Try using Google's free mobile tools found at howtogomo.com where you can build your own mobile landing page and site!

Don't replicate desktop landing pages

As with all points above, it's important to recognize the difference of how desktop landing pages and mobile landing pages are developed and how it affects the user experience. For example, scrolling vertically on a mobile device is much easier than having to scroll horizontally.

Do: When thinking of how to build your mobile landing pages, keep these mobile website best practices in mind:

  • Keep it simple

  • Focus on conversion

  • Use mobile features, like "click to call"

  • Think "tap-able" not click-able

  • Use vertical navigation

  • Page size and load time matters

Crystal Anderson is paid search associate of SEER Interactive.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.

"Female hands using computer" image via Shutterstock.

Crystal Anderson spearheads the Paid Search division at SEER Interactive. Over the past six years, she has focused on using PPC as a means to drive leads and sales for various businesses. She has managed global PPC accounts across multiple PPC...

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2013, March 27

Article with interesting insights. A key point, in my opinion, is this: the new media, Internet, apps and all the modern communication systems and tools are profoundly changing the way we chat, inform, work, study and organize our time.
But be careful. Each new piece of technology has its own characteristics, its laws, its rules of use and its specific language.
The challenge for Brands is precisely to understand the differences between the different systems and choose from time to time, which better permit them to spread their adv messages. As Philip Kotler said, Brand should: "Establish channels for different target markets and aim for efficiency, control, and adaptability.”
Only in this way Brand will successfully achieve their goals and their target.

Federica Fatale
Sales manager of Hieroglifs Translations