Five Steps to Successful Mobile Campaigns in Google AdWords

Theo Bennett - December 20, 2010

So you think you need a mobile campaign?  Well you probably do.  Web browsing and searching is exploding on so called smartphones that contain fully functioning browsers.  This includes, of course, the iPhone but also phones which run on Google’s Android operating system.  The iPhone was first, but according to Macworld, Android based phones will duke it out with Apple for smartphone dominance.  This is not only a rosy outlook for Google’s Android operating system, but also for mobile marketers. 

So should you market to mobile users, here are five quick steps to take to help you answer this question:

  1. Do you have a mobile website? I know what’s coming next.  With the exception of the iPhone and Adobe Flash, today’s smartphones have full browser support and can render websites, so why do you need a mobile site?    The answer is obvious if you look at your 1024×768 website on a 4 inch screen — it looks terrible. If you don’t want to develop your entire site for mobile devices, at least offer a bridge to mobile users:  A few key pages: home, contact us form, about us, locations and click to call functionality, so that users of mobile devices can easily learn more about your company and services.   Code this mobile site with Google Analytics so your referring data doesn’t fall into a black hole.  The last thing you need are referrals from /mobile or in your GA data.
  2. Log into your Google AdWords account; segment your campaign keywords and ads by “device”. Voila! If you haven’t previously excluded mobile devices from your campaigns; your AdWords data is now broken out by computer and mobile device.  I’ll bet there are more impressions and clicks than you expected!
  3. If you aren’t using AdWords, or even if you are; log into Google Analytics and select “Mobile Traffic” from the advanced segment dropdown.  Booyah!  Here you’ll see only the mobile traffic and how mobile browsers are accessing and converting on your site.
  4. If you have any mobile data after completing steps 2 and 3, and don’t have a mobile site, then build one ASAP. If you have a mobile site and no mobile campaigns, then build a mobile campaign.  That’s right, change your campaign settings in you current campaigns to target only “computers” and then build a new campaign that only targets mobile devices.   When you get started on your mobile campaign, there are many options that include device and mobile service provider.  Skip these for now and target all mobile networks and devices.  Once you’ve collected some data on performance, you can optimize with real data and not hunches that Verizon users will buy more than Sprint users.  (The exception is if you are selling, for example, an iPhone app; then please select iPhone and AT&T here please.) 
  5. Measure and Optimize.   Building a search marketing campaign properly is only the beginning.  Collect data, analyze and optimize. 

So if you’re still not convinced, remember that mobile search can happen in ways that desktop search cant.  It happens away from the office, at times of inspiration or worry.  It happens prior to imminent purchases as buyers ensure they are buying the best widget at the best price.  And it happens, for the most part at a lower cost.  That’s right; I saved the best for last.  Depending on your campaigns and keywords, there is generally less competition on mobile and in my experience; a properly optimized and targeted campaign can get you the same click for less.

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