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Digital Marketing News & Best Practices - Adlucent Search Pros(e)

Five keys to mobile paid search success

Posted by Andrea McFarling on April 23, 2012

A recent survey by the eTailing Group shows that mobile commerce investments, traffic and revenue are up significantly over 2011.  Retailers are investing more time and energy into developing mobile (smartphone and tablet) friendly websites, driving traffic to ecommerce sites and local stores, and tying together online searches to offline purchases.

According to a 2011 report by eMarketer, the projected spend in mobile advertising will reach $4.3 billion by 2015, with paid search accounting for 40.2% of it. While we still have more work to do to close the marketing loop between online and offline shopping, Retailers should be investing time into optimizing the mobile search experience to maximize their return.

Here are five keys to mobile paid search success:

1. Set your mobile search goals
Start by determining what you’re trying to accomplish from mobile search. You may be serving local ads to drive shoppers into nearby stores. Perhaps you’re hoping to drive mobile search conversion. Set your projected multi-channel goals before you get started.

2. Create a mobile-friendly website
It may sound intuitive, but designing a user-friendly site for mobile shoppers is an important element of conversion. Factors such as load time and success rate are critical. Check out the websites for Sears, Office Depot and Amazon who are leading the way in mobile site performance.

3. Adjust ad copy, bids and keywords for mobile ads

Your audience of smartphone users may vary greatly from those who search on a personal computer. Your ad copy, keywords and bidding strategy may be different for smartphones, tablets and personal computers to reach these different users. Based on goals, you may be attempting to drive someone to a local store with your ad, or you may be trying to drive an actual purchase. Also, consider the length of the search queries as they will be significantly shorter on smartphones.

4. Be willing to pay more for the top placements

Shoppers are less willing to scroll through search results on their smartphones so anything below the top two placements will result in lower CTR’s.

Here are a few tips for mobile search design and bidding:


  • The top two ad positions appear above the fold
  • Mobile optimized landing pages
  • Click-to-call feature in ads
  • Shorter ad text
  • Optimize for time of day


  • The top three ad positions appear above the fold
  • Desktop landing pages
  • No click-to-call feature in ads
  • Longer ad text
  • Reach consumers on the evenings and weekends






5. Measure and optimize

As with any paid search campaign, it takes practice. You won’t necessarily get it right on the first try, but keep testing, measuring and optimizing for performance.

Interested in learning more about mobile paid search for retailers? Contact us at solutions@adlucent.com.

Image courtesy of 51 blocks.

Topics: Keywords, Mobile, mobile paid search, New Customer Acquisition, Strategic PPC


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