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The hype around mobile advertising is not a new phenomenon, with every year supposedly being the year that mobile advertising finally takes off. However, having carefully analysed our client’s traffic statistics for the past 12 months; it certainly seems that 2011 could well be the long awaited year that mobile advertising finally takes off!

With mobile devices forecast to outsell PC’s by 2015, I thought it would be a good time to analyse a selection of our client base in order to see what shift our clients are experiencing in terms of customer behavior.

The results were impressive and are depicted in the chart below. A total of 12 client accounts were analysed in our research covering E-commerce, Travel, Entertainment, and B2B industries.  Mobile visitor behavior was compared between 2009 and 2010, with the results showing a compelling uplift in traffic, especially for Travel and B2B clients, who enjoyed a staggering 600% increase in visitors from mobile devices.



In addition to uncovering an overall increase of 400% in mobile device traffic, our research also confirmed that users are prepared to fully engage with sites on their mobile devices. Our e-commerce clients were extremely surprised by the amount of sales and revenue being generated by visits from mobile traffic with there being some very healthy revenue per visitor statistics.

From fashion accessories to expensive holidays, we have seen a significant increase in the number of transactions and sales leads generated from mobile traffic over the past 12 months, and we fully expect this trend to increase throughout 2011.

Being armed with wonderful mobile traffic statistics has increased the number of clients willing to test mobile campaigns within the AdWords system and my team is certainly enjoying the impressive ROI figures that we are currently generating for our clients.

Getting Started with Mobile Campaigns

Creating a mobile campaign is relatively straightforward and with careful planning, research and our best practice guidelines you should be up and running in no time!

I would suggest the first place to start being with your own web analytics system as this will allow you to establish the quantity and quality of your existing traffic from mobile devices.  Have a look at mobile traffic over time and ask yourself the following questions;

  • Am I experiencing an increase in mobile traffic?
  • Are my customers already engaging on their mobile devices? 
  • Is there a particular mobile device or carrier driving the high quality leads?
  • What keywords are my mobile customers using?
  • What is the bounce rate of mobile traffic and should I invest in custom landing pages or even a separate mobile site?

Once you have established your existing level of mobile traffic and its engagement, we suggest following our top 6 mobile campaign hints for best practice mobile advertising.

1. Create Separate Mobile Campaigns

We strongly recommend separating your mobile campaigns from your desktop campaigns as this gives you greater control with regards to budget, bid prices, ad creative and testing keywords without impacting on your regular search campaigns.

To create a separate mobile only campaign simply create a new campaign, opt out of Desktop and Laptop computers and select ‘iPhones and other mobile devices with full internet browsers’.




If you are using AdWords Editor, this process is even quicker as you can copy an existing campaign and simply edit the campaign settings!


AdWords Screenshot

2. Keyword Selection

In our experience, mobile users typically use fewer keywords when searching on their mobile devices and as such, this should be reflected in keyword selection.  Google research shows the average number of words per query for a mobile user is less than three, so we recommend focusing on shorter keywords that your visitors are more likely to use on mobile devices.

The AdWords mobile keyword suggestion tool is an excellent resource, which will give you a greater understanding of the mobile traffic available for your products or services.


Another AdWords Screenshot


We recommend using a combination of broad, modified broad and phrase match for more general keywords, whilst ensuring that you have an effective negative keyword strategy in place to eradicate any unwanted impressions

3. Mobile Friendly Ad Text

Providing visitors with mobile friendly ad text can significantly increase your mobile CTR, and our research has confirmed that visitors react much more favorably to ads that contain specific mobile messages, two examples of which are shown below.

 Ad Text  Another Ad text

With mobile ads it is important that, where possible, you talk directly to your potential clients and make them aware that you know they are on a mobile device.  The aim of the ad is to encourage user engagement so let users know what you are offering and how they can contact your business.

4. Click-to-Call Phone Numbers

Making use of click-to-call phone numbers is an absolute must for anyone thinking of creating mobile campaigns!  Click-to-call extensions allow visitors to contact your business directly from their handset, and remove the need for them to even visit your website.  This is perfect for targeting individuals on the move that want to find out more information about your products and services. There are two options for advertisers who wish to display phone numbers in their campaigns:


A. Click-to-Call Location Extensions

Advertisers can display their local business phone number to visitors who are close to the business location via the Ad Extensions tab.  You can either link to your existing Google Places Account or manually enter a business address for each campaign.


B. Click-to-Call Phone Extensions

Phone extensions allow advertisers to display a national phone number (or vanity number) to all users on mobile devices with full internet browsers. 


Call-Only Format Option: By selecting the call only option your adverts will still appear on mobile devices but only your phone number will be clickable; users will not be able to click through to your website. Therefore every click you pay for will be a direct phone call. NB- When using this option iPads can be removed from the targeting.  


Click-To-Call Tips

  • Use lower cost numbers where possible- 08 numbers are chargeable from mobiles and are not included in ‘free minutes’, meaning 01 and 02 numbers may be better as they are cheaper and included in allowances for people on mobile contracts.
  • Isolate the most effective click-to-call keywords and bid aggressively on these.
  • Use a strong call-to-action in your ad text that encourages user engagement and action.
  • Use a unique phone number for click-to-call campaigns, so you can easily measure the quality of calls generated from your mobile campaigns.
  • Adjust ad scheduling to reflect your business / call centre opening hours.

5. Bid Competitively

There are only 5 advertising slots on mobile results pages (11 on Desktop) and with only 2 advertising spaces above the traditional search listings, the competition for the top positions can be extremely competitive. 

As users have to scroll down to see ads 3, 4 and 5, your exposure and CTR for these positions will be much lower, so we highly recommend starting your mobile campaign with an aggressive bidding strategy.

6. Track, track and track again!

There are numerous reporting options that allow advertisers to better track mobile campaign activity. We would suggest that the following three key reporting features be used in assessing the quality and quantity of your mobile traffic.

Within the campaign tab in AdWords you can simply apply a segment to your top line campaign data by selecting ‘click type’. You are then able to see a breakdown of click and call activity by campaign.


AdWords Stats


The Ad Extensions tab shows performance statistics for your business phone numbers and therefore enables you to compare campaign and phone extension performance across your mobile campaigns.


AdWords Account 

For advertisers who are using Google Analytics to track visitor activity there is plenty of data and available.  The Mobile report within the Visitors section gives you an in-depth insight into mobile visitor behavior and allows you to compare the performance of individual devices and carriers.




Once you have identified the devices, carriers and keywords that are driving the quality traffic that delivers the strongest ROI, the next challenge is to apply this knowledge to your paid search campaigns and maximize your mobile presence.

This is where my team really adds value to our clients, as we interpret statistics, draw meaningful conclusions and then apply our skills and knowledge to our client accounts. 

Your Customers Are Mobile, Make Sure You Are!!

The statistics below clearly show that consumer behavior is changing and that mobile device usage will only increase further in the coming months and years. This means that it is now time to realise that your customers will be using their mobile devices to look for your products and services, so why not contact us today to discuss the mobile potential for your business?

  • Three quarters of mobile phone owners say they do not leave home without their mobile. (Source: Synovite, 2009)
  • 42% go to bed with their phones nearby. (Source: Synovite, 2009)
  • Smart phones will overtake PC sales by 2013. (Source: Mobile World Congress, 2010)
  • Half of all new internet connections are mobile. (Source: Mobile World Congress, 2010)
  • 12% of all UK shoppers use mobiles to research before they shop. (source:, 2010)
  • 20 Million mobile internet users in the UK (source:  Mobile Squared, Oct 2010)
  • 79% of large online advertisers do not have a mobile optimized site (Google research 2010)

Get Your Fee Mobile Campaign Set Up Today!

Our qualified advertising professionals are offering a FREE mobile campaign set up for existing AdWords advertisers for a limited time only. Contact us today for more information on +44 (0)1525 715520 or email