Update Your Attitude & Prepare for Mobile Advertising Success

google-voice-searchMobile, mobile, mobile. Everything is mobile. Despite the obvious fact that our handheld devices have taken over our lives, many digital advertisers still treat mobile as a 2nd class traffic source. The excuses vary, but are outdated none-the-less. “Mobile clicks are not as relevant.” “Mobile traffic doesn’t convert.” “Mobile apps on display? Who would waste their money on that!” “Who cares about phone calls?”

Ugh… Mobile is here to stay. Mobile is VALUABLE. It boils down to 1) a change of attitude and 2) putting in the extra effort to make mobile work for you. How can you change your attitude and prepare for mobile success? Hopefully this will get you started:

  • A Change in Keywords & Queries. Now that Siri, Google Now and Cortana are more than adequate digital assistants on our computers, phones and watches
    , search query activity in the form of a question or complete sentence is becoming far more common. Who, How, What, Why, When. Find, Locate, Take Me To… You get the idea.  This article by Bing’s John Gagnon does a good job of explaining this trend.
  • Phone Calls Matter. When you have a PHONE in your hand and you’ve done a search, what call-to-action seems appropriate? Depends on the search intent, product/service, etc., for sure, but a phone call seems pretty obvious. Upon further consideration, if someone calls they are likely very interested in your product/service and are ready to talk now. Studies are showing (specifically here) this to be true. If you shut yourself out of mobile, you shut yourself out of the potential for more business.
  • Let Go of Faulty Assumptions. Much like the assumption that broad match is just too broad and should be avoided, folks have similar opinions with regards to mobile traffic. For AdWords and Bing Ads campaigns, advertisers have been enabled with very simple controls to ratchet down or eliminate mobile activity. So many times I’ve seen campaigns where mobile was eliminated or relegated to an insignificant bid by default. How do you know mobile DOESN’T perform well unless you’ve tested? Just last month I launched a brand new account and campaigns for a small e-commerce business. I was worried mobile could be a liability given the target demographic, but I kept mobile active with a slightly decreased bid modifier (-25%). The results were the complete opposite of my assumptions (your results may vary, but this is further proof that you should TEST!):
  • 2015-09-08_0954Faulty Assumptions Pt. 2. Mobile bid modifiers and this notion that they should automatically be a minus-whatever is definitely to be avoided. Another faulty assumption? Thinking that mobile app’s are the devil’s work and should always be excluded. Don’t get me wrong, there is a pretty solid body of data out there showing that mobile app display traffic is not the greatest. However, if you approach mobile apps with scalpel-like precision, you’ll be surprised what you can get from them. Set up campaigns that deliberately target apps as placements or through curated interest category / topic selection. I’ve seen these bad boys convert… no joke.
  • Use the Tools Provided to You. I’m guilty of complaining about a specific setting or channel-specific issue despite the fact that I had not fully utilized the entire tool/feature set made available. It happens to the best of us. But with mobile advertising, we have a wealth of features and it is incredible how many campaigns I have seen that DON’T use them! Mobile preferred ads. Call, sitelink and location extensions.
  • Mobile-Freaking-Friendly-Freaking-Landing-Freaking-Pages. Freaking. Whether you have a standalone mobile landing page or take advantage of responsive design, it is imperative that you use them. The programming required for this activity is commonplace. Depending on how your website is built, it may even be an existing feature. Services like Unbounce, WordPress and Shopify all have responsive design capabilities that are as simple as clicking a button. Mobile devices are smaller, the use of the device may differ (refer to point re: conversational queries) and if you aren’t considering these facts you cannot fully capitalize on your mobile traffic.

We continue to see mobile performing well in a number of verticals, both e-commerce and lead gen, here at Clix. As an agency, we are also striving to improve how we approach mobile and to follow many of the guidelines I mentioned above. And perhaps more importantly, we continue to be (pleasantly) surprised at the performance of mobile traffic across search, display and social channels.

What are you seeing (or hearing) in regards to mobile advertising? Let me know in the comments!