7 PPC Best Practices to Help You Leverage Mobile Search Traffic

May 13, 2015 Ross Bucholc

Last week, Google announced that the volume of search queries from mobile devices has finally surpassed desktop volume in the U.S. In light of this news, we are sharing seven paid search best practices that will help you leverage the mobile takeover of search.

1. Run mobile campaigns

This may seem like a no-brainer, but hear me out. Most search traffic comes from mobile devices, so clearly everyone running search campaigns would be targeting mobile devices, right? As crazy as it seems, no. Even though mobile was experiencing massive growth last year as well, only about 20 percent of Google’s $44 billion advertising business came from mobile campaigns.

In addition to making sure you’re visible to the majority of searchers, mobile search campaigns are essential because they drive results. Our mobile paid search campaigns typically experience lower costs per lead (CPLs) and higher conversion rates (CVRs) because they are reaching the right target demographic (versus ignoring everyone on a smartphone).

2. Make sure your landing page is mobile friendly

Don’t use the same landing page you use for your desktop campaigns, even if it is responsive. An effective mobile landing page is concise and to the point, with minimal information and a short form inclusive of as few fields as possible.

3. Write mobile-specific ads

The smaller the search engine results page (SERP), the less space you have for your ad to show. To avoid having your message awkwardly severed, write concise mobile-specific ads. And consider telling your target audience exactly what you want them to do, like “Call now from your phone!”

4. Encourage inbound calls

Google offers a variety of free ad extensions that can impact performance while shoring up incremental real estate in the SERP. On mobile campaigns, we recommend using the click-to-call button to drive direct, trackable inbound calls.

5. Be aggressive

On desktop computers, as many as 10 sponsored ads can show on the SERP, so your ad will show even if you’re not at the top of the pack. But on mobile devices, only two ads show in the SERP. If you want to be one of those two, you’re going to need to bid aggressively. This may mean higher cost per clicks (CPCs), but with a well-managed campaign you can combat that with higher CVRs.

6. Break out your reporting

Mobile performs differently than desktop. Don’t lump the campaigns together in your reporting. Break out your mobile metrics and optimize the campaign as if it were a completely separate channel.

7. Use match types and misspellings

Small letters and fat fingers result in many typos on mobile devices. Utilize broad match (or take it to the next step and build out misspellings of essential keywords) to make sure you capture everyone you want.

We often call mobile an “opportunity” in the world of search. With Google’s recent news, it’s time to change gears. Instead of mobile being an add-on opportunity, it should now be the place you start. Any search campaign without mobile is missing more than half of the traffic it’s trying to capture.

About the Author

Ross Bucholc

Ross Bucholc is the Director of Paid Media at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), an industry leader in providing end-to-end customer acquisition solutions that help clients grow their businesses and realize their marketing goals. In this role, Ross oversees search, display, social, programmatic, mobile and affiliate programs servicing DMS clients across industries. The DMS Paid Media team focuses on customer-centric, real-time marketing using robust data from multiple sources to understand each customer’s journey and optimize campaign performance. Since its inception, DMS has evolved into a full-service performance marketing company that services firms within highly complex and competitive industries including mortgage, education, insurance, consumer brands, automotive, jobs and careers. DMS has achieved incredible year-over-year growth, which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017.

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