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Mobile is huge. As we know from “Mobilegeddon”, there is no denying the power that mobile has over an advertiser’s target audience because these users are incorporating smartphone devices into their lives more with each passing day. Serving ads to these mobile users can make all the difference to persuading them to convert on your site, whether it’s on their desktop or not.

This is our second instalment of our three-part blog series on PPC device types: desktop, tablet, and mobile. We will look at areas like bid management, ad types, messaging of ads, ad extensions, landing page design, and understanding Search Engine Results Page (SERP) layout differences. In this segment, we will discuss mobile, how it has changed the PPC landscape, and how you can get the most out of the opportunity it presents.

Best Performance Tips: Mobile

Mobile Preferred Ads

Mobile Preferred Ads is a Google Adwords ad format that allows you to cater your messages to smartphones. Using a Mobile Preferred Ads improves your rank in AdWords auctions as long as you customize the Call-To-Action to the mobile user (e.g. “Call or go online”) and have a mobile-friendly landing page. In addition, advertisers can separately test mobile landing pages from desktop versions and utilise mobile-specific URLs (e.g. to trunk the traffic to the right experience for their device.

App Promotion Ads

If you have a mobile app to promote that you’re excited about, you can target the most appropriate keywords with App Promotion ads. These take users to their phone OS’s app store (Apple or Android) – and to the exact page of the store for your app so it can be immediately downloaded – instead of your website. You should use this carefully based on your company goals but it is a great way of promoting an app that could be a central revenue stream for your business whilst running different ads for desktop users.

Mobile-Centric User Experience

Just because someone doesn’t convert on their mobile device doesn’t mean they are not motivated, through research, to ultimately make a purchase. From our previous blog about Desktop users, we know that many mobile site visitors will initiate their researching process on their mobile device when they have some downtime, but they will continue and possibly follow through with a conversion on a desktop. However, the needs of a user that is willing to convert on their mobile device can also be quite different from a desk-bound, physically static user. For example, a user is searching for “Chinese food San Diego”, if they searched on a PC would probably be interested in ordering for delivery, whilst a mobile user is more likely to be out and about already and looking for a restaurant to go to or a carry out option and, in this case, proximity to them is very important. Also, the conversion experience on a mobile site must be conducive to the fact that to navigate, one must prod the screen with one’s finger rather than using a mouse or touchpad. So easily tappable buttons and options are a must. A click-to-call phone number makes a big difference too, both as an ad extension but also on your site.

Call Only Campaigns

This is an option that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t but is, nevertheless, a custom mobile ad form that, crucially, does not require a website in order for you to use it. You write a normal text ad for search in these campaigns but the only action a user can perform is to call your business. Calls tend to convert at a much better rate than clicks, so this could be very useful for you, but much more so if you have no website – or not one from which you can generate conversions.

Local Inventory Ads

We cover this in more depth in this blog post but these are terrific if you have a network of stores and want to close sales to people searching on their phones for items that you sell. You can offer what is, in real-time, available in their local store, minutes away, and have them buy online but pick it up immediately.

Ad Extensions

Ad extensions are incredibly important for mobile PPC campaigns as they are to desktop PPC campaigns. Ad extensions allow you to either add a clickable phone number so users can call you directly, add a location link so users can immediately get directions to your business, and add sitelinks to link to specific pages on your site. Because the layout of SERPs on mobile phones is now biased towards the sponsored ads, if you use extensions, you get to dominate even more screen real estate and potentially boost your CTR. Indeed, not using such extensions can cause Google to charge you more for clicks.

How ads are shown on Google on the Mobile View:

Users typically have more than one device type and use them interchangeably every day: research from the Multi-Screen World Research report of 2012 found that 90% of online consumers who own multiple devices switch between them to accomplish different types of tasks. This illustrates the importance of creating an organized and targeted user experience across various devices – especially mobile.
In the screenshot below you can see how dominated by the ads the SERP can be on a phone. You’ll see only ads here, with 2 mobile-specific ads, one of which has a click-to-call link and a third ad that seems not especially mobile-focused.



There is significantly more to targeting mobile users, but this article serves to provide you with a grounding in the core differences, strengths and opportunities mobile marketing offers businesses. Mobile traffic (and the share of traffic that is on mobile devices) is continuing to grow exponentially so not being there is no longer an option. If you’re looking to take your mobile marketing strategy to the next level, send us an email at

25 March 2016