Optimise AdWords for Mobile to Grab Local Shoppers

There’s no denying that the mobile market is growing rapidly with the ever-expanding  range of smart phones. In fact, Google explained in a recent webinar (Think with Google – Mobile-ize Your Business) that there has been a 3000%+ growth of mobile “shopping” category queries in the past 3 years.

I’ve read a few success stories about how optimising campaigns for mobile has improved cost-per-conversions and how changing advert copy has increased click-through-rates. However, my feelings are that the mobile market is still to take off as we’re not quite at the point where people are using their iPhone, Android or Palm Pre to do their Christmas shopping online! (There is also a lack of case studies showing great increases in online revenue)

Creative Commons License photo credit: William Hook

Despite this, I do think that mobile campaigns are particularly an important part of local search and should not be ignored by any means. Think about local search and how we realised its importance with consumer behavioural patterns of ‘research online buy offline’. This pushed businesses to create online campaigns in order to capture those local users more likely to visit their store after doing a search on Google in the comfort of their own homes.  Now mobile searchers are those same people but potentially a step further in the buying process – these people on the move could be just a few yards from your store so even more reason to capture them on Google and direct them to your door.

Although it may seem that the revenue being recorded online through mobile campaigns is minimal at the moment – revenue being gained offline could be increased by simply grabbing mobile users off the street – now there’s your real increase in conversion rate!

To get you going, I’d recommend following ‘5 Steps to Launching a Mobile Search Campaign‘ by Megan Leap as it is advisable to separate mobile from your usual campaigns targeted to desktop computers. Why you ask?

  • Search queries on mobiles are more likely to be broad, generic terms and shorter than 3 words in length.
  • Mobile users are in a different frame of mind – advert copy needs to be more grabbing
  • Click costs could differ so bids should be optimised separately
  • You may be happy with position 5 normally, but on mobile search results – less sponsored link positions mean it’s less likely you’ll make it to first page – aim for positions 1-3.

Having read the valuable steps on Search Engine Journal – I’d like to add just a couple of points:

  • Google Analytics also allows you to see which pages of your website mobile users are visiting the most. Simply create an advanced segment using Operating Systems and analyse ‘Top Content’. Use this information to determine which landing pages you should experiment with until you reach a higher conversion rate.



  • Note that AdWords now records the number of click-to-calls made from mobiles. To see how many calls have been generated from these clickable phone numbers in ads, go to the ‘Campaigns’ tab and ‘Segment’ your data by ‘Click Type’ to see ‘Calls’ generated. (You may even want to consider classing these calls as conversions rather than clicks)

  • Remember if you’re a local business serving your area only, to target your campaigns geographically.
  • Contact us pages – best to have a map and directions or a link to Google Maps.

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