Desktop Search Spend Continues to Plummet – Time to Kick Your Mobile Strategy into Full Gear

Lauren Owens - March 21, 2014

Last week, eMarketer reported that desktop search spend will drop by 83% this year, as mobile continues to take over. If you’re running paid search ads, this means that it’s time to review your mobile strategy. Are your website, landing pages and shopping cart functionalities mobile friendly? Are your ads optimized for mobile? And, where else should you be – besides search – to take full advantage of the mobile user?

First Thing’s First – Mobile Friendliness

Last year, Facebook blocked its own site for internal users. Why? It wanted employees to be forced to use the mobile app in order to find the “holes” that existed in the mobile experience. Think about your own website – what can you do on the desktop that you can’t do on mobile? Are key functionalities, such as checking out, viewing product features, or reading content imperiled? This can have a huge impact on your bounce rate and ultimately your ROI.

It’s time to find the holes in your own mobile experience, and decide how to fix them. Not sure where to start? Read about the three major mobile site options.

Next, Audit Your Campaigns

Last year, all AdWords campaigns were “enhanced” meaning that they combined desktop and mobile targeting into a single campaign. But there are still ways to target specific devices within your campaigns, and help your ads show up – and show up well – on mobile devices.

We suggest you do the following:

1. Because fewer ads show up on mobile devices, it’s important to experiment with increasing your bids by 100% to help your ads to show. To do this, go to Campaign Settings -> Devices.

1-100 percent
2. Under Device Preference, ensure that your text ads are checked for mobile. This will help your ad gain visibility in the mobile space.

2 - Device Preference
3. Use WAP mobile ads in order to market to users of “feature phones” – mid-range phones that can access the internet but that aren’t considered “smart.” Make sure you put your WAP ads into different adgroups than text ads for tracking and bid management.

4. If your primary Call to Action is a phone call, make sure you enable Call Extensions in order to provide click-to-call functionaility. This will allow users to call you without ever visiting your website.

4 - Call Extensions5. Utilize additional Site Links Extensions to send users to your most important content. This could be popular products, or sale or campaign pages. For example:

5 - Site Extensions6. If you have a mobile app, you can also use an ad extension to encourage people to download your mobile app:

6-App Extensions

Third, Look for Opportunities

In addition to paid search, you can reach mobile users all over the web. One way to do this is to run mobile ads through the Google Display Network. Other opportunities include running ads through social media channels and on relevant mobile apps.

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