Mobile PPC Best-Practice Advice, Direct from Google

17 October 2014

In the UK, 32% of adults make a purchase via their smartphone at least once a month, compared to only 8% in France. Smartphone usage as a whole has gone up to 68%, and more than 40% of UK adults use multiple devices to access the internet.

Is this an indication that we are finally in the ‘year of the mobile’? Well, perhaps, although the ongoing increase in numbers suggests that it will continue to rise. However, with such widespread adoption, all brands using PPC advertising need to understand and embrace the tools that Google AdWords can offer to enhance mobile campaigns and improve results.

Successful advertising on mobile devices with Google AdWords takes more than just adjusting the format and size. For ad campaigns to be really effective, it is important to truly understand the platform and how users behave and respond. Google has created a checklist, called Smart Phone Tips, for businesses to use to make sure they are really getting the best out of the medium, which includes advice on ad extensions, targeting, tracking and bidding.

Their advice includes using:

Mobile-friendly ad formats and extensions

Use sitelink extensions to help visitors land on the correct page of your website, use call extensions to have the ability to receive phonecalls from customers, use location extensions if you have brick-and-mortar premises, and use review and callout extensions to highlight particular features and attributes of your business.

If you have a mobile phone or tablet-based app, you should also make use of app extensions, app install ads and app engagement ads to promote your app to a wide range of people and encourage them to use it regularly.

The benefit of implementing all these features is that it allows site visitors to get the best out of what you have to offer. Enabling customers to contact you more easily, and find what they are looking for more efficiently, is an effective way of making a great impression and helping to lead a prospect towards a conversion.

Mobile-preferred sitelinks

By enabling mobile-preferred sitelinks, you can make sure that mobile devices are really well catered for. It may be that certain pages of your website are more relevant or useful to mobile users, or that shorter site links will make better use of space.

Formatting of key headlines and sentences

The display of ads can vary on mobile devices. This means that, in some instances, the description line two may not be visible, while in others, description line one will be incorporated into the headline and line two will be shown.

Make sure, therefore, that the most important information and call to action go into the headline and description line one, and that lines one and two are separate, standalone sentences.

Google also suggests following these key pieces of advice:

  • Make it clear in your URL that the ad leads to a mobile-friendly website, e.g.
  • Use mobile-specific ad sizes
  • Capitalise on any success you’ve already had with shopping campaigns, display network ads or video ads by reaching your customers where they are
  • Track and measure your conversions and use call details to determine which times you get the most valuable calls
  • Look at the Full Value of Mobile to account for different types of conversions such as app downloads, website call conversions or cross-device conversions
  • Consider bidding for the top position for mobile ads because this is the most valuable, in terms of clicks.

Finally, if you don’t have a mobile-optimised website, Google recommends that you use call-only ads so that customers can contact you and don’t get a bad impression from a poorly rendered site.