SOURCE: Search Engine Jour­nal

In the not-so-dis­tant past, PPC man­agers cre­at­ed mul­ti­ple cam­paigns divid­ed up by device to eas­i­ly dif­fer­en­ti­ate and cus­tomize mes­sages to desk­top and mobile users.

Now, device tar­get­ing is stream­lined. We can use a one-size-fits-all approach to ensure ads are shown on mobile devices with lit­tle effort.

But does one size fit all?

In gain­ing con­ve­nience, some of us adver­tis­ers may have become a bit lazy in cus­tomiz­ing our mobile ads to bring their cus­tomers the best mobile expe­ri­ence.

For exam­ple, some­one search­ing for an Ital­ian restau­rant on their desk­top might be inter­est­ed in the menu, so the ad should be writ­ten accord­ing­ly.

But the same search on a mobile device might be best served by an ad with mes­sag­ing that includes the restaurant’s loca­tion and hours of oper­a­tion.

Take the Time to Customize Your Mobile PPC Ads

Doing so is incred­i­bly ben­e­fi­cial.

How do you do it?

First, define your mobile val­ue propo­si­tion and how that mes­sag­ing will vary from gen­er­al desk­top ads expe­ri­ence.

For exam­ple, a mobile ad might include mobile order­ing, store loca­tor, con­nect with cus­tomer ser­vice, apps/games, mobile appoint­ments, etc.

Sec­ond, when­ev­er there is a mobile device pref­er­ence box to select for an ad or ad exten­sion – take it! This means serv­ing the ads on mobile will be giv­en pref­er­ence. If this isn’t imme­di­ate­ly vis­i­ble, look under “advanced options”.

Both Google Ads and Microsoft Adver­tis­ing offer the abil­i­ty to use a mobile URL, allow­ing you to land searchers on a web­page that is opti­mized for small­er devices and mobile func­tion­al­i­ty.

Over­all, a mobile ad will con­tain var­i­ous ele­ments. You’ll want to opti­mize each of the fol­low­ing 10 ele­ments to improve the ROI of your mobile PPC ads.

1. Attention-Getting Headline

We always want an atten­tion-get­ting head­line. This is is the first line of the ad and the right place to draw the searcher in, and let them know you have a mobile-friend­ly offer, prod­uct, or ser­vice.

A few exam­ples:

  • Find a loca­tion
  • Shop a sale near you
  • Stop in for a free quote
  • Call for friend­ly assis­tance

2. Main Features and/or Benefits in Descriptions

Though this won’t nec­es­sar­i­ly vary from the desk­top head­line, often you’ll want to keep the mes­sag­ing short so that lines aren’t trun­cat­ed on the small smart­phone screen.

Also, the ben­e­fits for a mobile searcher might also be location‑, distance‑, or time-based. For exam­ple, “Less than Five Miles from You” or “We’re Open Now.”

3. Call to Action

We want to revis­it our mobile val­ue propo­si­tion and com­bine that with some ideas in my oth­er recent post on PPC calls-to-action.

Here are a few CTAs with a mobile twist:

  • Call today for same day appoint­ment
  • Vis­it loca­tion near you
  • Lis­ten to pod­cast now
  • Apply now from mobile
  • Stream from your phone
  • Sub­scribe in one click
  • Down­load the mobile app
  • Get Quote

Call to Action

4. Call Extensions

These exten­sions will add a Google Ad or Microsoft Adver­tis­ing for­ward­ing phone num­ber to an ad dis­played on mobile devices, so that searchers can sim­ply click a but­ton in the ad to place a phone call.

Use these when you want to give searchers the option of call­ing or vis­it­ing your web­site.

5. Call-Only Ads

Call-only ads will con­tain a phone num­ber and ad text, with only the option to place a phone call (i.e., no option to vis­it an advertiser’s web­site).

Mes­sag­ing text should be short so that lines don’t get trun­cat­ed on small mobile screens. The CTA should encour­age the searcher to place a phone call (e.g. “speak to a friend­ly rep­re­sen­ta­tive”).

Use these when you want to elim­i­nate the option of the searcher going to your web­site.

These are espe­cial­ly use­ful for busi­ness­es where the engage­ment with a client nec­es­sar­i­ly begins with a phone call (e.g. attor­ney or account­ing firms).

6. Sitelinks

The pur­pose of sitelinks is to dri­ve searchers to deep­er con­tent on the site. This is a fab­u­lous oppor­tu­ni­ty to cus­tomize these specif­i­cal­ly for mobile devices.

Exam­ples of mobile-cus­tomized sitelinks:

  • High­light your store loca­tor
  • In-store deals near you
  • Hours and direc­tions
  • Infor­ma­tion ses­sion loca­tions

7. Promotion Extensions

Offer searchers a per­cent­age dis­count at the bot­tom of the ad copy. Pro­mo­tion exten­sions can be set up by chang­ing the device pref­er­ence to mobile (under advanced options).

8. Message Extensions

This is a very under-used exten­sion but has a lot of poten­tial if the adver­tis­er is a small- to medi­um-sized busi­ness and has sys­tems in place to react to text mes­sages from poten­tial cus­tomers.

I would per­son­al­ly respond to more ads if it was a text, instead of a call.

Below you can see the set-up screen. Once the searcher responds to the “Text us for more infor­ma­tion”, the adver­tis­er-sup­plied mes­sage is auto­mat­i­cal­ly sent to the ad respon­dent, via text mes­sage or for­ward­ed email.

The adver­tis­er can even spec­i­fy mes­sag­ing that the respon­dent can auto­mat­i­cal­ly use as their return mes­sage. Easy peasy!

9. Location

As not­ed in every exam­ple, if you have a phys­i­cal loca­tion you should make it easy for the mobile user to find that loca­tion.

Your ad mes­sag­ing should assume the searcher is includ­ing in their search “find a loca­tion near me.”

If you have a Google My Busi­ness (GMB) page, your call-only ad will auto­mat­i­cal­ly include:

  • Dis­tance.
  • Street name and city.
  • Clos­ing time.

A tap on the includ­ed loca­tion icon will bring up your GMB page with more infor­ma­tion and a link to your web­site.

10. Communicate Ease of Use

Con­trary to intu­ition, mobile shop­ping doesn’t need to suf­fer from small screen size, and is becom­ing more and more preva­lent.

For exam­ple, site own­ers who use a one-click pay­ment method offered by Pay­Pal or Ama­zon can elim­i­nate the need for the shop­per to man­u­al­ly enter address and cred­it card infor­ma­tion.

Anoth­er way to improve shop­per con­ve­nience is to uti­lize a sign-in mech­a­nism that lets the cus­tomer begin a trans­ac­tion on a mobile device and com­plete it on a desk­top device.

This type of mech­a­nism lets the shop­per put items into their shop­ping cart on a mobile device, and then see their cart pop­u­lat­ed with the prod­ucts once they sign into their account on a desk­top com­put­er.

Ama­zon shop­ping is a per­fect exam­ple of this capa­bil­i­ty, as is Sepho­ra.


Now, reach­ing and con­vert­ing your audi­ence on a mobile device can yield big results – if you’re using the mobile-friend­ly ad tips avail­able to adver­tis­ers.