Mobile best practice: Separate out mobile campaigns for improved performance

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 | 7:19 AM

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With searches on mobile devices with full Internet browsers growing 4x over the past year, the opportunity to reach users on the go is big and growing.  Are your campaigns optimized for mobile? Creating mobile specific campaigns that are separate from desktop campaigns is a best practice  advertisers can use to drive better performance on mobile. We’ve seen that advertisers experience  an 11.5% average increase in mobile CTR when they run and optimize a separate mobile campaign, compared to their mobile CTR on a combined mobile+desktop campaign.  Earlier we shared how Roy’s Restaurants achieved an impressive 800% ROI on their advertising by employing a separate mobile campaigns strategy.

Why create separate mobile specific campaigns?
Currently many advertisers run hybrid campaigns that target both desktop computers and mobile devices. This is a sound strategy to increase reach and get started in mobile advertising, but advertisers who want to gain competitive advantage and maximize mobile performance should create separate AdWords campaigns for mobile.   By doing this you can optimize your ad strategy specifically for the mobile platform because you’ll have more control over the levers that directly affect performance.  After you create a mobile-only campaign we recommend that you follow these optimization tips:
  • Exercise more control and flexibility:  By using a separate mobile-only campaign you’ll gain better visibility into your mobile specific performance and have more control to optimize your bids, keyword lists and creatives without impacting your desktop campaign.
  • Budget and bid separately for mobile: On mobile you are competing to have your ad serve on 5 ad spots available on mobile search results page vs. 10 ad spots on desktop. It is important to bid aggressively to ensure your ads are competitive and appear prominently.
  • Tailor your ad creatives for mobile:  Create mobile specific ad copy and calls to action such as “Receive a quote on your phone” which could attract more attention from mobile consumers.  You can also customize features like Ad Sitelinks and direct users to more mobile relevant content, such as Store Locator pages.
  • Make the most of mobile:  You can take better advantage of powerful mobile-specific ad features such as Click-to-Call and location-based services which offer more relevance and convenience to users on the go.
How to get started with separate mobile campaigns?
To create a separate mobile campaign you’ll need to create an AdWords campaign which is targeted only to smartphones, keeping it separate from those campaigns which target desktop and laptop computers.  The fastest and easiest way to do this is to use AdWords Editor to copy your  campaign and keywords to a separate mobile-only campaign.  You can duplicate your entire campaign or select just the highest performing keywords on mobile.  

If you’re not using AdWords Editor, please follow these steps to setup new mobile-only campaigns:
  1. Login to AdWords.
  2. Compile your existing keywords from your existing campaigns into a spreadsheet or text file.
  3. From the Campaigns tab in your account, click the New Campaign button.
  4. Within your campaign settings, scroll to the Network and devices section, click ‘Let Me Choose’ under Devices and deselect ‘Desktop and laptop computers’.  Your targeting should show that you are selected into Mobile devices with full Internet browsers. 
  5. Paste your keywords into the new mobile-only campaign in relevant ad groups.
  6. Set the Devices for your old, copied campaigns to ‘Desktop and laptop computers’ only.
  7. Use the Shared Extensions feature to easily apply any of your existing extensions (such as location and phone extensions) to your new mobile campaigns.
We hope that you’ll take advantage of this mobile best practice and find it effective in optimizing your mobile ads strategy!

Posted by Dai Pham, Google Mobile Ads Product Marketing 

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