AdWords Mobile PPC Performance: How it Stacks Up Against Desktop

In the online world, mobile technology is undoubtedly taking up everyone’s attention as mobile users are increasing day after day. Google, for instance, has been rolling out updates for AdWords with focus on mobile strategy.

But what happens if mobile and tablet campaigns are required to be included with desktop? What impact would it have on the PPC results? Most advertisers have no specific mobile strategy and this is much attributed to their rather slow embracing of mobile strategies, probably thinking it will pass anyhow.mobile-ads-performance

The following provides a snapshot of observations made on mobile and tablet behavior on “average” clients for a short period of time.

  • Impressions. Search impressions on mobile or tablet ranged from 7 to 40 percent of the total impressions. It showed a low mobile display rate of only 6 to 30 percent based on search by type of client. Impressions aren’t clicks or visits. It helps provide an idea as to volume and opportunity.

  • Click-through rate (CTR). It showed that mobile tends to have the same CTR as desktop, or in some case better CTR. You can pump up CTRs by optimizing with mobile specific creative and offers.

  • CPC best deals. Lower CPC results from “mobile with full browsers” campaigns. CPCs are 30 to 60 percent lower than the average. This means there are more opportunities to further explore the bargain CPCs. However, CPCs for tablets were higher than desktop. This is interesting because there is no bid adjustment in Enhanced Campaigns for tablets.

  • Conversions. Conversions for all mobile campaigns targeting all devices pre-enhanced features are at 3 to 12 percent of the total account conversions. Conversion is leaning heavily towards tablets. Some of them were even tablet only conversions.

The conversion results from mobile devices are not that impressive and instead rather disappointing. There are a host of factors that this can be influenced by – volume, usability of the mobile landing page, or offer.

A study by Google/Nielsen which was released in March showed that 3 out of 4 mobile search queries done on mobile devices trigger follow-up actions, regardless if it’s further research, store visit, a phone call, purchase or word-of-mouth sharing. With this, mobile activity may just be the starting point driving multi-channel conversions if you know the right approach.

  • You should look at the overall mobile traffic on the website from all sources. Compare these data to paid search results to understand its similarities and differences.

  • Check and evaluate the page every time you visit – check the time spent on site and conversions from mobile, and engagement from mobile. If the results are low, even if you have new mobile campaigns, you may still get the same results. The solution is optimization of the website experience.

  • Optimize the site for a more mobile experience, which means more specific pages, conversion paths, or offers that are easier or quicker for users.

  • Dig into paid search settings. You can do this by reviewing previous mobile CPCs and making the necessary adjustments on enhanced campaign percentage to similar. Identify the trends by reviewing locations or time of day and consider bid adjustments to capture this.

  • Plan ahead. There are many ways to increase conversions – based on what you know and what you will learn. You need to know if you will focus on bids, ad copy, landing pages, conversion path, or all of the above.
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