It should be no surprise by now that people are using smartphones to perform web searches. Is your website mobile-friendly?
Here are some things to consider if it isn’t. Seventy percent of mobile users have compared product prices on their cell phones, 65% read product reviews on their phones and half of all mobile searches lead to a purchase. That may seem like a big number – but think about how many times you’ve searched for a place to eat, checked out a few menus and made your decision. It happens all the time. As of January this year, it’s estimated that Google serves between 6-8 billion mobile searches per month, meaning that at least 3 billion purchases are made because of a mobile search.
Maybe you have an app available on the App Store or Android Market? That’s great, but don’t limit yourself. Over 75% of mobile users would rather research a price or product review with a web search than use an app to do the same task. Whether it’s out of convenience or the fact that there may be more reviews available with that method is interesting but ultimately inconsequential. You need to be mobile ready because 63% of those mobile users prefer making purchases on the mobile web rather than through a phone app.
With that in mind, Google has launched a “go mobile” initiative to educate people on how to make their websites mobile-friendly. The site is full of information and it will even test your site and show you how it will appear in a mobile browser so you know what you need to fix.
Landing Pages Need to Be Mobile-Friendly Too
More interesting to advertisers is the fact that there are as many as 8 billion Google searches every month on mobile phones. Those searches include even more billions of ads being served to the searchers. If you’re using AdWords and displaying your ads to mobile devices, you could be sending interested customers to a non-mobile-friendly page. Everyone loses in this situation because nobody wants to deal with an ugly landing page on their phone, and you don’t want to pay for those wasted clicks. If having a mobile-friendly page suddenly seems even more important, you’re absolutely correct.
Now that you’re prepared to have mobile searchers visit your website, let’s talk about how to create a successful mobile PPC campaign.
Mobile searches aren’t quite the same as desktop searches – they’re typically more location-based and made by people who are looking for a place to go right now. You need to be able to grab their attention with your ad. If you’re a restaurant, a great idea to attract customers with a mobile ad would be to let them know that if they mention the ad they get something for free. It doesn’t have to be anything big; a free soft drink would probably suffice. Or you could offer a percentage discount. The point is, if you’re offering a deal, they’re more likely to give you a visit.
There are some great mobile extensions you’ll want to take advantage of as well. Local extensions are great because they show your searchers exactly where your store is located in relation to them. Proximity is huge in mobile search. I’d be more willing to travel further out of my way for a place I knew I already really liked, but if it came down to two places I was interested in, the closest one wins at least 80% of the time.
Click-to-call extensions are another awesome addition to mobile ads. Sure, you could use up your precious character limit by adding a phone number to your ad, but adding the extension allows you to use those characters on enticing potential customers instead. Your phone number will show up below the ad at no extra cost to you with the extension installed. (You do get charged for the click on that phone number, the same as you would a click to the site.)
You can even show sitelinks on a mobile ad campaign. Mobile ads with sitelinks have a clickthrough rate up to 30% higher than a standard mobile text ad. Sitelinks come in pretty handy because you can get customers right to the page they want faster, which is exactly what they want. If you sell cakes, your headline can link directly to your homepage, while you might include sitelinks to your birthday cake page and your wedding cake page. You can also use a sitelink to send people to a store locator page.
Something to keep in mind when creating landing pages for mobile pages is that you shouldn’t use Flash. There are a lot of phones that aren’t Flash-enabled (like the iPhone) so you’ll alienate quite a bit of traffic using Flash. It’s also smart to turn off mobile on campaigns that aren’t specifically designed for those devices and vice versa.
Keep these tips in mind when creating your mobile campaign and PPC management will be a breeze.
Trace Ronning is the social media coordinator for WordWatch. They provide AdWords keyword bid management to small businesses. You can follow him on Twitter @WordWatchPPC.