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<em>The following is a Guest Post Contribution from <a href="https://plus.google.com/u/0/104497710991624583240?rel=author">Akvile Harlow</a>, Internet Marketing &amp; Advertising Operations Manager at <a href="http://searchmarketingexpo.com/" target="_blank">Search Marketing Expo</a> (<strong>SMX</strong>).</em>

As marketers we’re always optimizing, striving to gain more traction in search, and eventually converting our efforts into sales. Within the web playing field, it’s always important to stay on top, if not ahead of, trends, competition, and changes in technology. Sure, we’ve been hearing more frequently how mobile is a versatile channel, however, if you’re not expanding your marketing efforts over there yet, you may be missing out on a substantial amount of traffic and sales. With smartphone and tablet sales growing exponentially each year, more and more users are searching and buying on the go. Are you there to be found? If not, it’s time!

Get Started

Assuming you’ve already optimized your website to be mobile friendly, keep reading to learn how to optimize your mobile campaigns for maximum exposure and return on investment. If you haven’t created a mobile friendly website, do so before setting up any paid search campaigns so your budget doesn’t go to waste. Not providing a user friendly and attractive experience on a mobile device will ensure bouncing users and lost customers.

As you begin setting up your mobile paid search campaigns, check trends in your analytics so you can have a better understanding of your mobile and desktop user behavior. Pay attention to percentages of the types of visitors you attract and which types of devices your visitors are using to find you so you can strategize your campaigns and targeting options appropriately. When determining your budget for mobile paid ads, calculate the ratio of your mobile to desktop users and allocate that percentage of funds to those campaigns.

Be Found

Mobile user behavior is quite different from desktop user behavior, which is why it’s important to create keywords more relevant to their search queries. While desktop users can download whitepapers or read extensive content, mobile users tend to want a more quick and simple answer to their needs. Mobile users may be looking for your contact information, directions, phone number, or to complete a simple transaction. Determine what your mobile users want to accomplish and base your ad copy on their needs. A great exercise to perform ever so often is to create a few search query scenarios and try them out with a mobile device. Take notes on what stands outs in search results, what doesn’t, and the things you appreciate and find challenging on your own mobile site. Nothing like some first hand experience to get your creative and strategic juices flowing!

To improve your mobile ads, you’ll have to get extra creative in writing compelling copy considering the lesser amount of characters available and be sure to use relevant keywords that your mobile audience would use. If you’re using AdWords to set up your mobile ads, there are some excellent add-ons you can take advantage of. Try out some of the following:

  • Add an additional 1-2 landing page links to your ad by using sitelinks. According to a Google study, using site links generates a 30% increase in click through rates. Sitelinks are available at no extra cost to your ad.
  • If you have a call center, add call extensions so users can click to call you. Metrics are available in your AdWords account.
  • If your business model involves selling products, add product extensions, which provide product information.
  • Do you have a Google+ page for your brand? Add social extensions so you can share +1’s between Google+ and AdWords.

These extras can maximize your ads retail space in search results and if it generates more clicks and relevant traffic to your site, there’s no reason you shouldn’t at least test them out.

Manage Campaigns

When setting up your mobile campaigns, be sure to separate them from your non-mobile campaigns because targeting and bid management is quite different between the two. You also want to observe trends that happen between your mobile and non-mobile visitors so you can test and optimize your campaigns going forward.

Since smartphones and tablets have much smaller screen sizes than standard computers, there is less space for paid ads. With fewer positions available on the results page, it’s important to manage your bids on a regular basis since there are usually only one to two ad positions visible. With less space and numerous competitors, get to your customers first by bidding higher to be in those top positions because that will ensure visibility, clicks, and possibly more conversions. Mobile ads may have less positions available and smaller character limits; however, one nice thing is that they are also less expensive when compared to non-mobile paid ads.

It’s surprising how many companies discuss mobile marketing but are not doing it yet. If your potential customers are using multiple devices, there shouldn’t be a reason for you, as a marketer, to not to be as well. Create a mobile friendly website, set up mobile targeted campaigns, and begin reaching those potential customers through every screen size currently out there!