13 Expert Tips for Mobile PPC

The year of mobile has come and gone, so it’s time to get on the mobile PPC bandwagon. Even though more than half of Google’s searches now come from mobile, advertisers are often reluctant to dip their toes in the mobile PPC waters. According to a study by eConsultancy, only 34 percent of companies and 20 percent of agencies have a defined mobile strategy in place.

If you’re not part of that small group, don’t despair. I asked PPC experts for their best mobile PPC tips, and they came through with flying colors. Here are 13 tips for successful mobile PPC.

Mobile PPC Ads

Mobile ad copy is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think about mobile PPC. Users may search on the same keywords across devices, but their intent could be completely different depending on the device.

That’s why Andrew Bethel of Fibre Glast says, “Seems like a stupid one, but some people still don’t do it: Write Mobile Preferred Ads!!!!!” Five exclamation points, folks – that’s how important this is.

Think about what users might be trying to do from a mobile device. Offer directions, a phone number, or a quick solution to their problem – anything that answers the question they may be asking while on the go.

Not only is user intent different, but Google displays mobile ads differently than desktop ads. Late last year, Google opted to show ad extensions instead of the second line of ad copy. As a result, Christi Olsen of PointIt suggests that advertisers should “write mobile preferred ads AND include the call to action in line one,” thereby ensuring that it’s still seen. Terry Whalen of Sum Digital echoes that sentiment: “Use description line number one for your most compelling benefit or call to action.”

Mobile Keywords and Bid Strategy

If you’re like a lot of people, you haven’t put much thought into your mobile keywords. You probably created a list of keywords based on a keyword suggestion tool and used it for both desktop and mobile.

Incorporating mobile-intent keywords is a great way to drive traffic and conversions from mobile devices. Mark Kennedy of SEOM Interactive has a helpful tip for ecommerce mobile PPC advertisers: “For brick-and-mortar locations, separate ‘mobile/in-store/driving’ search terms for more control: ‘near me,’ ‘stores,’ etc.” Create ad groups around these themes and use mobile-preferred ads to reach users who might be looking to visit your location physically.

Mobile bidding also plays a role in your mobile PPC strategy. Sure, we’re all aware of bid modifiers, but are we using them properly? Shashikant Kore of Karooya reminds us that there’s more to mobile bidding than just bid modifiers. “Mobile has far more limited ad slots (than desktop). Expect low impression share and clicks if your ad is not in the top two spots. Prepare to spend money.”

Julie Bacchini of Neptune Moon sums up keyword and bid strategies for mobile advertisers: “Take into account the different mindset or end goal for mobile visitors vs. non-mobile, and design accordingly – campaigns, ads, calls to action, and landing pages.”

Phone Calls

Today’s smartphones have so much to offer – email, social media, texting, apps. There are so many options that we often forget that we’re actually holding a phone in our hands! If you do any business over the phone, use that fact to your advantage by encouraging searchers to call you via mobile.

“Promote calls directly from the SERP through call extensions, and call-only campaigns! Calls are typically three times more valuable than clicks to a mobile site,” says Erin Sagin of WordStream. I like to use “Call Us Now!” as the call to action in ad copy. This simple optimization has resulted in a 45 percent increase in calls for some of our clients.

Kirk Williams of ZATO Marketing offers a workaround for the recently-departed call-only extensions: “Call-only extensions are gone, but now you can make Call Only ads in existing Search Campaigns. Test these against text mobile ads in ad groups.”

I’d go one step further and say “test your mobile ad copy.” Many advertisers don’t bother with testing for mobile-preferred ads, and it’s a mistake.

Don’t forget landing pages when optimizing for mobile calls. “Add call buttons on the landing page if you need calls,” says Yuriy Ruzhanovskiy.

Landing Pages

Speaking of landing pages, the PPC experts had a lot of suggestions for optimizing mobile landing pages. Bryant Garvin of Purch recommends, at minimum, “Make sure your landing pages are mobile optimized. I especially mean the input types on forms!” Aaron Levy of Elite SEM agrees: “Make converting as easy as possible. Shortened forms, one-click payment methods, and mini landing pages” are among the tactics he uses to increase conversions on mobile.

“Create and test separate landing pages for mobile,” suggests Josh Devlin of Pinto Ranch. This is a great idea – especially when user intent is different from desktop intent. Testing multiple landing pages should always be part of your optimization arsenal.

Richard Fergie of E-Analytica takes it yet another step further: “Use a mobile specific design on the landing page. Not responsive, but actual mobile-specific.” He credits Michael Madew for this tip, and it makes sense for many businesses. Think about what your users want to do on mobile and create specific landing pages for them.

It’s clear from the tips shared by these experts that mobile needs to be part of your PPC strategy at every phase: goal-setting, ad copy and keywords, landing pages, and conversion optimization. Use these tips to help take your mobile PPC campaigns to the next level!

Related reading

Effective Amazon PPC How to get the most out of Amazon PPC campaigns on a limited budget
Five ways to target ads on Google that don’t involve keywords
small budget guide to testing ad copy, landing pages, and more
keyword research tools you can use for free