Recently, while waiting to be seated for dinner, I observed the number of people looking at their phones.
It was more apparent than ever that smart phones have become an integral part of the way Americans communicate, go online and share information.
In fact, according to a new Pew Research Report, for some users it is their primary way for accessing the Internet.
Some other findings worth considering are:
• As of April 2015,nearly two-thirds of U.S. adults own a smart phone, up from 35% in 2011.
• Younger adults, as well as those who are more affluent and have a higher education, are among the groups most likely to own a smartphone.
• 7% of U.S. adults are smartphone dependent for Internet access, meaning they do not have home-based broadband service and limited options for going online other than their mobile phone.
• 46% of smartphone users say their smartphone is something they couldn’t live without.
• 89% of smartphone owners used the Internet on their phone at least once during the span of a week according to Pew surveysWhat all this is leading to is that if you don’t have a mobile strategy in place yet, it could be hurting your PPC efforts.
Here are five steps to put a mobile strategy in place to maximize your PPC efforts.
Step 1: Evaluate your mobile presence. A key component to your mobile strategy is website mobile friendliness. This is because in February, Google announced a “mobile-friendly update” that would boost the rankings of mobile-friendly pages — pages that are legible and usable on mobile devices — in mobile search results worldwide. Conversely, pages designed for only large screens were warned they might see a significant decrease in rankings in mobile search results.
A free tool that Google provides to test your website for mobile-friendliness is located at https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ You’ll also want to take a look at what your ads and organic listings look like from your mobile phone. Do a few searches from your phone to see what both your ads and your competitor’s ads look like.
Make note of things such as:
• The use of mobile-friendly language. For example, “Shop from your phone”, “mobile-friendly” or “customize from mobile device.”
• Which ads stick out most at the top of the page?
Looking at your website from your phone…
• Are the buttons big enough to press with your fingers?
• Is text easy to read and images clear?
Step 2: Evaluate your mobile performance. Segment your current PPC campaigns by device by looking at results of clicks, impressions, click-thru rate, cost, conversions, etc. for computers, mobile devices with full browsers, and tablets with full browsers.
Which are performing better and which is the main revenue driver? For example, if your mobile campaign is performing better but isn’t the main revenue driver, testing mobile specific copy apart from desktop copy might help improve the performance.
Step 3: Look at your Google Analytics to Evaluate Mobile Behavior. There are a variety of reports you can look at including custom reports for mobile queries. This will give you a feel for what users are looking for at the precise moment they’re searching for something from their phone. Take a look at how searches are different on mobile phones vs. searches on computers. For example, are the searches more urgent or the result of a problem that suddenly occurred?
Step 4: Create an action plan. Once you’ve gathered information about how mobile-friendly your website is, what your target audience is searching for on their phone, what could be improved in your mobile strategy and how you stack up against your competition, it’s time to create an action plan. Break it down into steps and create a timeline for when each step will be completed.
Here are key points you’ll want to address in your plan:
• Is your website mobile-friendly? This will need to be addressed prior to running a mobile campaign. A bad mobile experience can leave a lasting sub-standard impression with your prospects and clients.
• What are the major things mobile users are searching for from their phones? Are they searching for an immediate fix to a problem?
• Do you need to re-write your copy to make it mobile-friendly with relevant messaging?
• Do you need help optimizing your mobile site or need to discuss adjusting your mobile bid modifiers for your PPC campaign?
• Where are you running mobile ads? Does it make sense to expand to mobile-friendly platforms such as Facebook?
Step 5: A plan for continual optimization and testing. The mobile landscape is continually changing. Once you have a mobile-friendly website and addressed the other key points you’ll need a plan for how you will continue to evaluate and test your mobile strategy.
Some of the things you’ll want to continually evaluate are:
• Is your mobile copy still performing or does it need to be adjusted?
• Is your website still technically performing well on mobile devices?
• Have there been any big changes in your mobile ad performance?
You should always be testing copy and other drivers and continually optimizing in order to get the best results.
If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website yet, and it doesn’t make sense for you to create one right now, avoid sending traffic to a site that will “bounce” (Traffic that visits one page, leaves abruptly that you may never get back).
Once you do have a mobile strategy in place, make sure you’ve thought it all the way through. Get help if you need it. And finally, don’t forget to test, test, test. Test your copy, your landing pages, your targeting and your messaging. Test everything.