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by Tara West on 21st March 2013
It’s day four of our week long focus on PPC and today Tara is looking at one of the biggest trends for AdWords: mobile advertising. We’re also holding a Twitter chat today at 3PM GMT via @koozai so be sure to follow us if you’d like to join in.
“It is true across the board. Roughly one in seven searches, even in the smaller categories, are happening on a mobile phone, but how many of you are putting one seventh of your resources into mobile … Your customer is trying to engage you… it would be like not doing business with your customers on Thursdays.”
Jason Spero, Director of Mobile Advertising at Google
Mobile is no longer something you can avoid, and you would be foolish to do so. This post will look at getting the most out of your PPC Mobile Strategy in a world of AdWords Enhanced Campaigns.
In June this year, Google will be moving all AdWords campaigns to their new Enhanced Campaigns system. You may already have the option to switch to them now if you have this banner at the top of the screen when you view a campaign:
You will also have the option to use Enhanced Campaigns for any new campaigns which you now create.
Before you jump into switching, you need to take some time to consider your mobile strategy and how the features of Enhanced Campaigns will affect it.
If you would like to find out more about Enhanced Campaigns, you can read about them here.
If you already have a mobile strategy for AdWords, which includes separate campaigns for mobile and/or tablet devices, you will have a bit of ground work to do when you switch over to Enhanced Campaigns.
This Google Hangout recording with AdWords explains in detail how you can switch over to Enhanced Campaigns if you already have separate mobile and tablet devices.
Some key things to keep in mind are:
Google will make recommendations for your mobile bids (eg -20%). You do not have to go with these recommendations, so keep a record of what your old mobile bids were and stick around the same level for now.
You should really consider creating one. Google know their stuff and they haven’t made the transition to Enhanced Campaigns purely to make themselves some more money (although I’m sure this was one of their motives).
If you really don’t want to bid on mobile at all, you can simply bid -100% for all keywords by going to the campaign, then Settings, then Devices and clicking next to the device in the Bid Adjustment column:
Your Website and Responsive Design
The preferred kind of site technology to deliver sites to mobile device is responsive design. This means that your website will adapt to fit most devices but it is the same website. Google recommend responsive design over mobile specific websites.
However you can still use mobile specific sites with AdWords. Personally, I would strongly recommend investing in a site which uses responsive design because with Enhanced Campaigns, Google are grouping Tablets (iPads etc) with desktop and laptop devices. This means you cannot avoid targeting tablet devices, so you will be paying for traffic to visit your site on tablet devices and if your site doesn’t render very well on them that spend may not result in conversions. If you have a responsively designed website, you can rest assured that your site will adapt to whatever device the visitor is using, which will naturally improve the user experience and increase the likelihood of conversions.
If you’d like to see an example of responsive design simply check out the Koozai website on your tablet or mobile device. You can also preview your site on multiple devices using this awesome tool called The Responsinator!
Bids for Mobile Devices
Be prepared for the cost of mobile advertising bids to increase. Now that Google is really really really encouraging advertisers to use mobile with Enhanced Campaigns (even more so than they used to be), there will naturally be an increase in cost as advertisers increase their bids to outbid each other for the top spots. In addition to this, when many people switch over, they may trust Google and go with Google’s recommended mobile bids. From personal experience I think Google’s recommended mobile bid adjustments are way too high than what is actually needed to achieve the top positions on mobile devices. If everyone trusts their bid recommendations we will all end up bidding higher than necessary and as a result will all continue to bid higher and higher to outbid each other’s already excessively high bids.
Average Position with Mobile Devices
Make sure your ads always have an average position between one and two because now this average position will be reflective of all devices and because mobile and tablet devices generally only display two ads in the centre of the page, which are the prime areas of ad real estate. This means you should run a filter to check the average position of your keywords and if there is anything with an average position worse than two, you should try to improve its Quality Score by making its ads more relevant, or landing page content more relevant, and then also increasing your bid slightly.
Location Bid Adjustments
One of the major benefits of Enhanced Campaigns are bid adjustments for location. This will impact your mobile strategy greatly and is something you can really benefit from if you are a local business or if location pays a big part in your online marketing.
Do you have physical stores in geographical locations? Are your users likely to be searching for your business or service in relation to the physical store or service? For example a coffee shop might have several stores around Hampshire, where visitors might be in the local area and search for ‘coffee shops’ to see which coffee shops are near them. With Enhanced Campaigns you can increase your bids based on particular towns or business areas, so if a visitor is in close proximity to your coffee shop, you can bid higher to increase the chances of them clicking on your ad and choosing to visit your coffee shop.
Location Extensions with Mobile Strategy
If your business has multiple locations (for example branches of your shop), you might want to use ad level location extensions. These allow you to allocate specific location extensions to each ad. It is kind of like having location extension’s at ad group level but even more targeted because you can specify individually for each ad within that ad group.
You chose your ad level location extensions from any of the campaign level location extensions so make sure these are set up correctly first. It’s also important to remember to have some ads which don’t have ad level location extensions because your ad won’t appear for searches that don’t match the location of that extension , and the ad won’t appear on its own without the location extension.
Ad level mobile extensions must be set up in the AdWords interface as AdWords editor does not currently support the functionality.
Make sure you include a telephone number as part of your location extensions even if you have call extensions. It needs to be a local number or standard number where users would not be charged in addition to their mobile call plan (no 0845 numbers). Including a number in your extensions means that your ad might be shown with a call link as well as a ‘get directions’ link.
Remember to check on how your location extensions are doing in terms of Click through Rate (in ad extensions tab) and experiment by split testing them at ad level.
Call extensions are designed to work with mobile searches, and if you want to give your mobile strategy an edge, you need to use them to their full potential.
Set call extensions at ad group level, rather than campaign level. Have you ever phoned a company only to be faced with an automated system where you have to listen to instructions and press numbers to eventually get to the department you want? Frustrating isn’t it? Don’t put your users through the same thing. Buy direct dials for each of the departments that are relevant to your ad groups and ensure these are used to trigger your Google forwarding numbers at ad group level, rather than having one generic call extension at campaign level. You’re more likely to get a user to stay on the line and convert if they don’t have to go through an annoying menu system to get to the department.
Ensure you set up mobile specific call extensions in addition to the standard call extensions. These override standard call extensions when a user is on a mobile device and the benefit is that you can make the number a mobile call plan friendly number if you have one (not an 0845 number) so users are more likely to complete the call.
You can now set a minimum time that a call needs to last in order for it to be counted as a conversion. I would set this around 30 seconds as a minimum, depending on what you want your user to achieve when they call you. For example if they are booking over the phone it’s going to take more than one minute, but if they are enquiring for general information then a minute might be enough. It’s also important to remember that if your phone system has a recorded introduction you should ensure the minimum time set includes enough time to allow for that part of the call as listening to a recorded message should not be considered an engagement or conversion. It’s important to be aware that for mobile devices, a ‘click to call’ will be reported no matter how long the call lasted.
Schedule your call extensions so they only show at times when there is someone there to answer the phone. This saves you paying for call clicks when the call isn’t going to result in a conversion (there is a £1 minimum cost for click to call from mobiles):
Prior to Google’s automatic switch over date when all campaigns will be transferred to Enhanced Campaigns, you should try to keep your bids for mobile around the same level as they used to be (I recommend taking an export of all your data before you move to Enhanced Campaigns as often when you make changes to things like scheduling and bid adjustments historic data appears to be removed!).
New upgraded call extensions give you more detail in reporting, so you can see where users clicked on your ad (headline, ad extensions, display URL etc). If you can get enough of this data, you can start to build a picture of which part of the ad is most influential for mobile users and then work to optimise your ad copy accordingly.
Mobile Site Extensions
Like call extensions, you can now specify mobile specific sitelinks. The benefit of this is you can specify pages that users searching on mobile devices might be looking for, such as a ‘Store Finder’ page if you have one. You might also have offers that are specific to your physical store locations and you can create pages on your site to promote these and make those pages sitelinks for mobile users.
You can also schedule your sitelinks, so if you have sitelinks which refer to time sensitive offers, for example if a restaurant has a breakfast time offer, this can be scheduled only to show when the offer is active, and only to people on mobile devices who are likely to visit the restaurant and convert. If you’re targeting the US, you can also use offer extensions to achieve this.
These are my top tips for getting the most out of mobile advertising using Google Enhanced Campaigns. If you have any ideas that I haven’t included here, please leave them in the comments section below. Dean is also writing a post tomorrow that delves deeper in to setting up Google Enhanced Campaigns so be sure to check that out as well.
Girl with Mobile Smart Phone from Bigstock.