Mobile…Taking the Talk into Action

By Sarah Benson, Paid Search Coordinator, Advertising Solutions

It is estimated that there are approximately four billion mobile devices in the world to a mere one billion computer desktops. With numbers like these it is no surprise that search is going mobile…and that many of my fellow RM’ers have also written about this topic lately. I recently was presented with the task of actually creating a paid search mobile campaign. Slightly daunted, I knew it was time to do some research and unveil a few tips on how to put all of this talk about mobile into action.

Right off the bat, how do you know if mobile is appropriate for your company? Using Google Analytics, you can find how many of your present clicks and leads are coming from mobile devices. If a good portion of your clicks and leads are already being generated from mobile devices, it’s time to make the move over to a mobile specific campaign.

So you know it’s time to start a mobile campaign. What is there to know? How different could it be from a regular desktop targeted campaign? To find the answers to these questions more research needs to be done. Queries coming from mobile devices tend to be of a different nature than those coming from desktops. For one, queries from mobile devices tend to be much shorter and more general. They also seem to be more local in nature. I just read a report recently that stated 15 percent of queries have a local modifier - what great information to stumble upon!
Throughout my research I was continually confronted with the offer of Google’s “click to call”, which is one option for developing a mobile paid search campaign. When someone conducts a search on their mobile device and a click to call campaign is in place for that query, an ad will appear along with the phone number. A visitor can either call the advertiser directly or click through the ad to get to the advertiser’s site. It’s best to create a mobile friendly page for a better user experience. This places the company’s desired action literally in the hands of the consumer, only a click away.

Another option for paid search is to develop a general mobile campaign that directs visitors to a mobile friendly page, with a standard text ad. Keeping in mind that a consumer’s attention span is short lived especially when in the mobile forum, it’s extremely important to catch their attention with your ad copy and strong calls to action. However, I discovered that this can be more challenging than a typical call to action. Campaigns targeted to mobile devices have shorter character limits than those targeted for desktops with one less description line, so you have to be more focused.

I am also testing to determine if using a display URL that indicates that the campaign is mobile would resonate better with consumers than the general URL. As for the mobile landing page itself, it is not as extensive as the typical desktop landing page. Since there’s smaller screen space and less memory on mobile devices, there are less actions available to the consumer. This is important to keep in mind when creating keywords and copy to make them as specific to the site as possible. This is even more important when thinking about what on-site actions needed to guide the consumer to take. For example, for our main paid search campaign we may track up to five on-site actions. However, with the mobile campaign we are really only focusing on one action.

Since our mobile paid search campaign will be more targeted than our general campaign, we are expecting some interesting results…you should try it too!


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