Paid Search

For Beginners: Everything You Need to Know about Mobile PPC

Just last week it was announced that mobile now gets more searches on average than those searching on a desktop. On April 21 Google rolled out a major mobile algorithm update that penalized sites if they were not optimized for mobile (ultimately 40 percent of mobile websites saw a drop in rankings because they were not mobile compliant). For many, this meant a mad dash to create a responsive design and make sure the content and images were loading quickly and were easily scrollable. On-site changes took up the bulk of time for Webmasters, but even organic mobile search got quite a bit of attention over the last few months.

However, there are things outside of your website that also need your attention when it comes to mobile. While having an optimized site and focusing on organic mobile traffic is important, there are also several things you need to know about mobile PPC in order to stay competitive in the now dominant mobile market.

Mobile PPC Tips and Tricks

You will find that many mobile tactics you should be using for PPC will also transfer over when working with desktop users, but everything can be given a mobile spin to make it extra relevant. It’s all about knowing your audience and altering your PPC strategy to cater to mobile users. Below are seven mobile PPC tips to help you become successful:

Always create Mobile Preferred ads

Try to incentivize mobile searchers with CTAs that speak to being on the go or other messages specific to mobile. When looking at a PPC ad on mobile, you want to make sure you have the Mobile option clicked, which means that you care creating a Mobile Preferred ad. You will then be able to see how your ads would look on mobile versus desktop, and it’s not necessary for you to have two separate mobile campaigns for your PPC. You can see how this works in the screenshot below from Search Engine Land:


Focus on adding ad extensions

This includes Map and Location extensions as well as call extensions. For those who are unfamiliar, extensions refer to little pieces of information that you can add on to your ad. For example, local extensions will show when a store is open and closed, and call extensions help make it easy for searches to click a “call now” button and get taken straight to your office number. Links such as “Call Now” or a link that takes you to a map are also called sitelinks. You can also add in Seller Ratings, which will show how many starts people have rated you online. Below is a great screenshot from a PPC Hero article:


You can add sitelinks to your ads the same way they work for desktop, so it’s really up to you how you want your desktop and mobile ads to differ. The best advice I can give is to keep your number of ad extensions a little bit lower than you might with desktop ads. Think about your audience and what they would want most if they were searching on mobile. A Call Now sitelink, for example, is something mobile users would use most often.

Consider time of day bidding

This isn’t something that many companies worry too much about when it comes to desktop, but with mobile time-of-day bidding can be a great option. Remember that those searching on their mobile phones are usually either looking to pass the time (which doesn’t help a company that is putting out PPC ads) or they are looking to take a quick action. For example, a late night bar may want to focus on bidding at night, whereas a coffee shop may want to focus on bidding during the morning.

Landing pages

You have to make sure that you’re putting a lot of time and thought not only into which landing pages you want to use for your ads (which is usually not something businesses gloss over), but actual optimizing those pages for mobile. You have to make sure these pages have a responsive design just like your website in general, and you want to make sure your pages are loading quickly (within 3 seconds) but there are some things that differ between landing pages on mobile and the ones you’re serving for desktop users.

Probably the biggest thing to keep in mind is the content on a landing page. You want short headlines that catch a user’s attention and you want to make sure your CTA is visible and ready to go. Placing large images on your landing pages could take away from some of these important tips, even if responsive design moves them to the bottom, and it could slow down the experience, which is the worst thing you can do for a mobile user.

Mobile bid adjustments

Mobile bid adjustments can let AdWords know that you want your ads to get more visibility on mobile devices. You can do this by going to your Settings tab, clicking Devices, and then selecting the campaigns where you want to make an adjustment. You will see a Set Mobile Bid Adjustment button, which will allow you to check that you want your ads to start appearing more often on mobile searches. It’s as easy as that, and it will make a big difference when it comes to your success on mobile (remember though, your ads should be optimized for mobile before making this adjustment!).

The Takeaway

In the end, mobile PPC should differ from a desktop PPC strategy if you want to create the most relevant ads and bring your company the most success. Of course there are many more things you can do when it comes to mobile PPC ads, but above are just some of the absolute must-haves. I recommend checking out this article from Wordstream that gets a little bit more in-depth about mobile PPC and how to begin creating your strategy.

Do you have any mobile PPC tips that are working for you post-mobilegeddon? Let us know in the comment section below.

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