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5 Mobile Mistakes You Need to Stop Making in AdWords

Published: April 22, 2014

Author: Joe Kerschbaum

Mobile now! Mobile yesterday! Mobile mobile mobile!
Well, yes. That’s a good place to focus more of your marketing energy these days, especially with recent studies showing that up to 60% of online adults in the U.S. and U.K. use at least two devices per day.
In the rush to get mobile campaigns going on AdWords, though, marketers are making a handful of common mistakes that mean they’re not optimizing that groundswell of traffic.
What are those mistakes, and how do you avoid them? Here goes.

Don’t forget to launch mobile-preferred ads in your ad groups

We could get alllll up in the idea that mobile intent is different than desktop intent and explain how to test ad copy that addresses the difference, but let’s keep it simple for now and listen to Google:

Mobile-optimized text ads and extensions will be given preference on mobile devices.

This means that you have to adjust for length: mobile ads should be fewer than 60 characters long, and mobile sitelinks should be somewhere between 15-17 (here’s an example of some good ones):
sitelinks mobileMake your copy or sitelinks longer, and things will get truncated and messy and hint at a bad UI. So keep it short and sweet.

Don’t forget that mobile ads actually SHOW UP ON PHONES

People checking out your ads on their mobile phones are…on their mobile phones. If your business could benefit from a phone call, add a call extension. That puts the browser one click from doing what you want them to do:
mobile call extension
When you get those set up, don’t forget to track calls as conversions. Stray calls aside, you should be able to assign a certain value to these conversions whether you’re doing lead gen or providing a local service for tire repairs. Use that value and track conversions to fine-tune your bidding.
adwords phone conversions

Don’t cross mobile and GDN streams

The Google Display Network (GDN) was built with computers — not smartphones — in mind. Too much banner blindness and not enough real estate? That’s a bad combination, and the metrics show it. Here’s some device-specific data from one of our GDN campaigns:
cvr gdn
An aside: here’s an instance where tablets mirror computers more than they do mobile. Tablets may be a good choice for GDN campaigns — and it’s a good thing, considering you can’t uncouple them from computers anyway.

Don’t design mobile pages without considering intent

Sure, landing page design matters. Sure, we all gravitate towards good-looking pages. But it’s most important to figure out what mobile users are looking for when they click on your ads. Here’s a good example of a mobile page putting intent first:
mobile design
Is this the prettiest page ever? Nope. For prospective travelers looking for quick flight options, does it put the emphasis on the right things? Yup.

Don’t assume all leads are equal

A lead is a lead is a…well, hold on there. You can’t assume that leads coming from mobile are equally as qualified as those coming from computers. Make sure to track the leads that come through from each channel because you could end up seeing something like this:

mobile leads

Are we saying mobile leads are awful? Not at all. But you’ll want to gauge the specific value of them to make sure your bids take into account the true ROI.
That’s enough of a tongue-lashing for now, I think. Good luck catching the mobile wave!

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