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Best Practices for Mobile Paid Search

Google recently announced more search queries are performed on mobile devices than on computers in the United States and in 10 other countries. Two thirds of Americans now own smartphones and nearly 200 million users are expected to search on mobile by 2018 according to eMarketer. Understanding user intent and the unique benefits of mobile can give a mobile pay-per-click campaign an edge over the competition.

What makes mobile search unique?

  • Mobile search drives immediate action – Whereas desktop searches may take place over the course of days or weeks, mobile search triggers quick online and offline actions, such as visiting a store, making a purchase, or calling a business. Google reports 37% of mobile searches result in a conversion and 75% of those conversions occur within one of hour of a mobile search.
  • Mobile search is always “on” – Our smartphones are always in our possession from the time we wake up until we go to sleep. This constant availability makes it easy and convenient to get quick answers. A whopping 80% of mobile searches occur at home or work where a computer is readily available. Half of those searches take place during working hours.
  • Mobile search = local shopping – Google reports “near me” searches have surged 34 times since 2011, and have nearly doubled since 2014. In stores, 82% of users turn to their phones to help them make a product decision – get coupons, compare prices, or check product reviews.

How to win with mobile search? With a smaller screen size, it’s harder to show up in the search engine results page (SERP) on mobile devices. For this reason, it’s important to use a variety of tactics:

1. Bid more. Be willing to pay more for mobile clicks and use bid modifiers to ensure your ads appear in search queries on mobile bid modifier screen


2. Utilize mobile-preferred ads. When creating new ads, be sure to create mobile-friendly ads. Tailor ad copy for users “on-the-go”, keep language short and sweet, and provide a compelling offer that will evoke a response.  Finally, check the “Mobile” button next to device preference. With this setting, your ad will only be shown to users who are searching on their mobile phones.

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3. Use all available ad extensions. We know that ad extensions, such as site links, callout extensions, and location extensions, can increase an ad’s click-thru-rate and can contribute to a more favorable quality score. Ad extensions can also help you grab more real estate in the SERP and edge out competitors’ ads.

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4. Use mobile-friendly call to actions.  Since 60% of mobile searches have a local intent, use ad copy that promotes phone calls and in-store visits and avoid offers that may not be possible on a mobile device, like downloading a demo or a whitepaper.

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5. Leverage location-based data to better target users in a specific area. The Local Search Association reports 70% of consumers are willing to share their location information if they believe they are getting something of value in return, such as coupons and loyalty points. One such ad targeting tactic, geo-fencing, sets a perimeter around a physical location and uses real-time location-based data to serve mobile ads to users in that specific area. For example, a taxi service could target ads only to users that are within half a mile of an airport or train station.

6. Have a mobile-optimized website. To convert mobile leads, it’s important to offer a satisfying mobile experience. Research shows that 57 percent of mobile users will abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 30 percent will abandon a purchase transaction if the shopping cart isn’t optimized for mobile devices. If your site isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re losing out on sales.

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  • In the United States, more searches are performed on mobile devices than on desktops. Advertisers must have a mobile paid-per-click strategy or risk losing sales.
  • Mobile users have different search behavior than desktop users. Mobile users are seeking immediate answers and are ready to buy. Half of the consumers who conduct a local search visit a store within that day and 18% make a purchase.
  • Competition is heating up in mobile search. Bidding more, using ad extensions, creating “mobile-friendly” ads, and creating geo-hyper campaigns can help give you an edge.
  • To convert mobile leads, you must provide a satisfying mobile experience throughout the entire path to purchase process.

For more information or help with your Digital Strategy, call Kona Company at (312) 620-2449 or contact us online.