Advertisers are often wary of mobile ads, but as mobile devices continue to constitute a larger and larger chunk to users’ browsing time, it’s become clear that running mobile ad campaigns should be a central component of your digital advertising strategy. Webrageous has seen great results with well-implemented mobile PPC strategies, and we’ve found that the best mobile advertising campaigns share a few key aspects.  If you’re not happy with the results you’re seeing from your current ad campaigns, it might be time to seriously consider a mobile-focused approach.

A New Market with A Huge Audience Share

Desktop PPC is expensive. The average CPC for AdWords keywords in the U.S. is between $1-$2, but in the most competitive markets, including the legal and insurance industries, top keywords can skyrocket as high as $50 per click. Because search advertising is a well-established, highly competitive market — Google rakes in $44 billion in ad revenue annually — running a successful desktop PPC ad campaign can eat up a significant chunk of your time, money and energy. With the financial stakes so high, finding ways to minimize the cost and maximize the success of ad campaigns is critical.

While desktop PPC is a somewhat saturated market, mobile PPC is still a relatively untapped resource for advertisers. People are using mobile devices more and more; in 2014 we hit the mobile tipping point when web traffic from mobile devices surpassed that on desktop. Simply put, if you’re not targeting mobile users with your ad campaigns, you could be missing out on a huge portion of your audience. But despite the fact that over 51% of  search traffic now comes from mobile devices, only 20% of Google’s advertising profits comes from mobile PPC ads. By focusing on optimizing your mobile PPC campaigns, you can take full advantage of this developing advertising space.

Developing Mobile PPC Ad Campaigns that Convert

Smarter Bidding Strategies for Mobile Ads

We’ve found that an effective way to optimize mobile ads starts with increasing bid modifier for mobile to focus bidding on mobile PPC and reduce desktop positions. Unlike the old days where you could just turn off desktop or mobile ads at will, Google doesn’t let advertisers go “all-in” with only desktop or mobile. As it stands right now, AdWords only allows advertisers to increase desktop bids by 300% for mobile. Conversely, advertisers can only reduce mobile bids by 90%, although this effectively “turns off” mobile ads. Your bidding strategy for mobile will make or break the success of your mobile PPC campaign, so it’s important that you maximize your mobile bids without wasting money on desktop ads.

To help maximize the mobile exposure your ads get, we have to work within the constraints of the AdWords system. We’ve found that a good approach is to take bids to the edge of that 300% limit for mobile. If we then pull back the base bids, we can reduce desktop exposure while simultaneously increasing the bid modifier for mobile. While it’s a tricky move to pull off correctly, our clients have seen a lot of success using this strategy.

Mobile-Optimized Landing Pages are Critical

It’s not enough to just start serving the same ads you’ve used for desktop on mobile PPC campaigns. Savvy mobile advertisers know that users on mobile devices have their own specific preferences and needs, so it’s important to be aware of the advantages and limitations of the mobile space to get the most out of your campaigns. For example, you may want to change your call to action to be mobile-specific. While desktop audiences have large screens, multiple browser windows and lots of storage space to work with, mobile device users have screen size, memory and attention limitations. However, they also have the ability to call you without switching devices. A CTA asking users to download a hefty whitepaper might work well on a desktop, but people using their smartphones to browse may respond better to a request to call you for more information.

Having a well-designed, mobile-optimized landing page is another critical part of getting a good CTR. A clean, easy to read layout and finger-friendly buttons make mobile landing pages more inviting. Poor load time can also be a major conversion killer. As many as 60% of mobile users wait 3 seconds or less for pages to load before moving on. Make sure that your mobile landing page is free of Flash elements and fussy graphics, which can slow down your load time, so your readers can get the information they want as quickly as possible.

Using Ad Extensions for Higher Quality Score

In addition to optimizing the look and feel of your ads for mobile, you should consider utilizing any relevant ad extensions for your mobile campaigns. These extensions let you embed information such as the location of your business or a handy “call” button directly into your ads. The format of these extensions is meant to be as user-friendly as possible, and because Google wants advertisers to use them, they’re incentivizing their use. When you use ad extensions, Google bumps up your quality score, which can lead to a lower average CPC and a better conversion rate in the long run.

Mobile PPC: A Smarter Approach with Big Potential Payoffs

We’ve seen great results with this method of mobile PPC advertising. But because optimizing mobile landing pages and executing mobile-focused bidding strategies can be more complex, running successful mobile PPC campaigns requires a watchful eye and experienced hand. Despite its growth, mobile PPC is still an evolving space within online advertising, and it’s all too easy to make the wrong move. Webrageous can provide years of expert management of PPC campaigns to help you get the most out of your online advertising spend.

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