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Mobile Advertising: Why Just Showing Up on Mobile Isn’t Enough

April 3, 2015

So you’re advertising on mobile devices. What now?

As most advertisers know by now, one of the biggest changes in Google’s new Enhanced Campaigns is that they target all devices. After the upgrade, this means that at least a portion of your impressions are coming from users on mobile devices – even if your market is primarily desktop based. Sure, you can set your mobile bid adjustment to -100% to effectively turn off mobile (although Google has noted that even this won’t guarantee that your ads will never be displayed on mobile devices) but if you’re like most WordStream users, then you are either willing to experiment with mobile or you simply haven’t gotten around to changing the bids.

And this isn’t a bad thing. More and more search usage is shifting to mobile devices, and smartphone penetration continues to grow. Google itself estimates that in some cases over 50% of all search queries are coming from mobile devices. Put simply, if you aren’t doing mobile marketing you’re missing out on a huge number of potential customers (and you are giving a huge head start to any competitors who are on mobile).

But just because your ads appear on mobile phones doesn’t mean that you’re making the most of your newfound exposure.

Context Clues: The Importance of Mobile-Preferred Ads

In our work with WordStream customers, it’s surprising how few have taken the time to create mobile-preferred text ads for their ad groups. The experience on a smartphone is fundamentally different from a desktop because people use them for different things. Just think about the past couple of times that you’ve done a search on your phone:

  • Were you at home or out and about?
  • If you were home, were you using your phone and desktop at the same time?
  • Were you in deep research mode (“What different styles of couches would go well in my apartment?”) or looking to solve an immediate problem (“Need pizza now!”)?
  • Did you type a detailed search query or did you keep things short or use voice recognition to ask a question?
  • Did the end of your search result in a phone call?

mobile phone advertising

Vs.

mobile phone ads

Mobile-preferred text ads allow you to tailor the user experience for mobile users. You can include mobile-specific calls-to-action and direct users to mobile-optimized landing pages. Almost as important for marketers who are constantly seeking to improve their metrics, you can A/B test mobile text ads against each other in an apples-to-apples comparison to improve your overall account performance.

New Alert: Mobile Text Ad Opportunity

For all of these reasons, today WordStream has introduced a new alert into the 20-Minute Work Week to help our users identify ad groups that are getting mobile impressions but don’t yet have mobile-preferred text ads set up. Because our users are generally strapped for time, each week the alert will identify an ad group that needs some mobile TLC and show a break-down of where the impressions in the ad group are coming from. Users can then quickly create a mobile preferred text ad for Google mobile advertising to start optimizing their account for mobile searchers.

Mobile Ad Alert

The migration of search to mobile devices presents a huge opportunity for most advertisers. It represents a new way of engaging with potential customers and the ongoing evolution of the market means that opportunities exist for smaller advertisers to compete with the larger players. Woody Allen famously said that “80% of success is just showing up,” and while that might be true, I think the bigger question for mobile advertising is, “Now that you are showing up, what are you doing with the opportunity?”