I have been managing Google AdWords accounts for around thirteen years. This depth of experience has given me a unique point of view.
Here are a few nuggets to share with you on the topic of mobile.
1. Advertising in the mobile space has to be a part of your Google AdWords strategy. For some clients all leads will come in via mobile, for others just a part, and for some none.
2. If you are a lawyer, dentist, or a doctor where you have a mix of patient age groups, you will see strong activity in the mobile ad space and strong conversion activity there.
3. If your product or service deals with immediate decisions such as an animal emergency room your activity will be in the mobile ad space and nearly all of your lead conversions will be by phone.
4. Even if your business is tech software, know that although you may not get leads from mobile, early decision making and research is being done initially on mobile. It is better to control your ad spend on mobile in that case instead of totally moving out of mobile.
5. There is no single combination of what works best for businesses in mobile at this time and there does not seem to be one pattern of behavior that is repeated across diverse industries. What I have definitely seen is that mobile should be a very important part of every AdWords program.
I attended a Google Partner hangout this last week with four marketing reps talking about how mobile has changed their marketing plans on AdWords. The comment that really has stuck with me over the last several days is that mobile is used for research before buying and is not necessarily the device that will drive a conversion. Very Interesting!
When I think about how I use my own smartphone, that comment is spot on. Many times I will be with others or sitting in a car chatting (not driving mind you) and I will quickly do a Google search to ask a question or find out more. Although more often than not, I am not looking at mobile ads while I am getting the information I want, I am using my smartphone to perform research that I may follow-up on later.
From an account manager and advertiser point of view, depending on the product or service that you are selling, the research aspect of mobile may be crucial to your overall marketing plan. With the much smaller screen of a smartphone limiting the number of AdWords ads that can show, you’ve got to be in the number one or two spots with your ad to get action.
Although mobile is not the right place for every single business, if the research phase that would be done on a smartphone is important to your business, keep in mind that actively testing your AdWords program in the mobile arena bidding up 10 to 25% of your desktop bid may be a very smart strategy. By testing this approach over a 60 day period (a shorter time period may not be long enough to really evaluate response), you may find that mobile drives conversions and sales on desktops and tablets and the mobile click can be attributed for the actual conversion. Or, you may find that more expensive clicks from smartphones simply padded Google’s wallet and did not drive conversions.
As Google is very bullish on advertising in the mobile space and many marketers are testing mobile AND the data shows that mobile activity is a very new and exciting landscape, it is time to try strategies in your AdWords account on mobile.