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You Can’t Ignore Mobile Pay Per Click Ads, so Embrace it

Posted On: October 4, 2014

Not every business owner is sold on the need to invest in mobile pay-per-click advertising, which is unfortunate, because it’s unavoidable in 2014.

We’ve gone on about mobile before, and don’t expect that to stop anytime soon, because the world is going mobile — and if your business doesn’t follow suit, you might as well just accept that you’re handing over those potential customers to your competition.

It’s time to stop talking about mobile in the future tense and bring it to the present: It’s already here.

Two years ago, mobile made up a tiny fraction of our clients’ overall spend and traffic. Now, those same accounts have ceded as much as 50 percent of their desktop traffic to mobile, getting a majority of their clicks from mobile and tablet devices. This is reflected by industrywide data, where mobile saw 98 percent growth in Q2 2014 over Q2 2013.

If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place, you’re late to the party. To get you caught up, we’ve put together a short list of the most common objections clients make regarding mobile PPC:

“Desktop traffic is working fine for us”

This is a common response — and one that is increasingly untenable for advertisers as desktop traffic loses market share. With every client I’ve ever worked with, regardless of industry or business model, the goals have been twofold. They’ll say, “Make my account more efficient, and make it grow.”

If you’re similarly steadfast in that commitment to account growth, you really need to reconsider your stance on mobile advertising.

Google’s Keyword Planner was recently updated to include mobile search volume data, and it can be helpful in understanding the scope of your mobile audience. We ran a similar analysis for one of our few non-mobile accounts, and the results were startling:

For their top twenty keywords alone, 20 percent of the overall search volume came from mobile devices: traffic the client was missing out on completely. That number will do nothing but grow in the future.

“The traffic won’t convert to mobile”

This is just a complete misunderstanding. Mobile is assisting in your conversion process already: The 2013 U.S. Mobile Path-to-Purchase study reported that 46 percent of survey respondents said they relied exclusively on mobile devices in their product research. By choosing to not advertise to these users, you’re neglecting the top of your sales funnel.

If you’re set on measuring direct conversions only, we’d recommend you broaden your scope of conversion types to better suit these users: namely, by measuring phone call conversions through call tracking.

If phone calls aren’t an option and your mobile traffic still won’t convert, you might have another problem: your site might stink for mobile.

Speaking of which…

So maybe it’s just that your site isn’t optimized for mobile, which is massive problem indeed. That isn’t just like refusing to update from a landline to a mobile phone; it’s like refusing to update from a rotary-dial.

If a user has a poor mobile experience with your site, they’ve had a poor experience with your brand as a whole. Given what we know about mobile research habits, that kind of poor site experience with your site, they’ve had a poor experience with your brand as a whole. Given what we know about mobile research habits, that kind of poor site experience can damage your bottom line. It’s a bad idea to actively disenfranchise potential customers by using a poor mobile site.

So don’t put the cart before the horse. Audit your site for both speed and usability even if you don’t yet do mobile advertising. Knowing what we know about conversion rate, there’s a definite correlation between site speed and the willingness of a user to convert.

That goes double for mobile users, where page load times can slow to a crawl with the inclusion of one poorly optimized image.

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