To get us in the holiday spirit, let’s start with some stats: Mobile shopping is expected to grow by 40 percent year-over-year, and according to the latest Google trends data, 15 percent of search queries during the holiday season are expected to come from mobile devices.
Based on a study conducted by Admob and featured on the Google Mobile Ads blog, more than 33 percent of smartphone and tablet users actually plan to begin their holiday shopping before Thanksgiving this year.
Need more proof? Greg Sterling delved further into the “remarkable” mobile projections last month.
So, dear readers, the proof is in the figgy pudding. Right now is the time to make sure your mobile campaigns are optimized and ready for the holidays.
Optimize Your Mobile Campaigns
Here are some ways that you can optimize your mobile search campaigns for the holidays:
- Break out your mobile campaigns. Running these keywords in a separate campaign will allow you to set a mobile-specific budget and mobile-specific ad text, better target ad extensions and more easily track performance.
- Choose the correct landing page. Today most e-commerce sites have a mobile optimized version, which means different pages and URL structures than the normal desktop site. For an optimized user experience, make sure not to just copy the landing page from the regular search campaign, as it will probably not exist on the mobile site. In addition, you risk the landing page not functioning correctly or redirecting the user to the home page. Instead, chose a landing page that is relevant to what the mobile user is searching.
- Keyword research. Mobile users typically have less sophisticated search queries than desktop users. With that in mind, come up with a specific mobile-tailored keyword list rather than copying your existing desktop campaign. Since search volumes are still significantly lower on mobile, it will probably not be necessary to go as granular with your keyword list. Also, consider putting more emphasis on broad and phrase match to capture more traffic. You can always use the Google Keyword Tool to research your mobile keywords. Just select mobile devices under the options.
- Write ads tailored to mobile. In our ad copy testing for mobile devices, mobile-specific ad copy tends to convert at a much higher rate than regular desktop-targeted PPC copy. For example, use “Shop Now on Your Mobile Phone” as your call to action, or if you are targeting specific phone devices, you can make the ad specific to that device by adding the words “on your iPhone” or “on your Android.”
- Smartphone targeting. Bing/Yahoo and Google allow targeting on specific smartphone devices via mobile search campaigns. We have seen this work very well for most of our retail clients, especially when there is an influx in traffic and search queries. With the holiday season around the corner, consider focusing a majority of your mobile search budget on smartphones with full browser capabilities.
- Pay attention to your ranking. Make sure to capitalize on all your hard work. In a lot of cases, only the top two mobile search ads are shown for any given search query. So you could have the most specific and well-researched mobile campaign possible using the tips above, but if you are not ranking in the top two positions, you will lose a great deal of traffic. This is not a “launch and walk away” situation. Constantly monitor your mobile position through the holiday season for the most benefit.
Take Advantage Of Local & New Advanced Targeting Features
Just in time for the holiday shopping rush, Google and Bing recently announced new features for local targeting on mobile devices. Here is a quick glance at the new opportunities:
- Click to call. Click to call ads within Google have been very effective in driving sales and leads for a lot of our clients. The best thing about this feature is that you can launch, optimize and track the performance of the click to call extensions straight from the interface. Bing/Yahoo just launched this same feature to its mobile search ads, so make sure that you take advantage of this feature on all platforms.
- Hyper local and user proximity. User proximity is becoming a more valuable aspect of the mobile search ads ranking, according to Google. Ensuring that your local store location data is up-to-date and is fully synched in AdWords/AdCenter will give you the advantage over your competition when it comes to rankings. The distance between a mobile customer and an advertiser’s business location is now a factor in mobile search ads ranking, which should give a great advantage for those retail brands with large store footprints.
- Mobile app extension. Being heavily involved with the mobile app development space and being a frequent app shopper, this latest feature is pretty exciting for me. With this new release, Google will allow advertisers to use mobile app extensions within their mobile search campaigns.
For example, if someone searches for running shoes on a mobile device, they could potentially see an ad that takes them directly to the mobile app they have installed on their phone, which subsequently allows them to purchase running shoes.
This means that having a mobile application with shopping capabilities will give brands a major advantage over their competition that have relied on their regular or mobile-optimized sites to convert this traffic.