Mobile doesn’t just dominate traffic, but it’s also beginning to consume ad spend, too.
For advertisers, that means big change.
Mobile advertising isn’t the same as desktop advertising and it shouldn’t be treated that way.
But this doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch or scrap your entire keyword list.
It just requires tweaking of existing setups.
Here are five ways to increase your Google Ads mobile conversion rates fast.
Running standard Google ads campaigns targeted at desktop users and producing carbon-copies for mobile won’t produce the same impact.
As much as we’d all like it to, conversion rates won’t carry over just because it worked on desktop.
You’ll likely see your conversion rates tank if you tried that strategy.
Mobile is fundamentally different in user experience and behavior, thus requiring different tactics.
Here are the ones we would suggest to those of you who want to improve their Google ads mobile strategy and start seeing results right now!
1. Increase Your Mobile Pagespeed To 3 Seconds or Less
Nobody likes a slow website, whether it’s on desktop or on a mobile device.
But mobile is heavily skewed in favor of fast websites.
Meanwhile, Google benchmark data shows time and time again that mobile sites are loading too slow:
The best practice from Google is just three measly seconds. But most of us are near the seven-second mark.
So, why is this happening?
It is likely many factors working against you. But chances are, it’s because your site is designed with desktop at the forefront and mobile as the backburner.
You might have extremely high-res images that aren’t compressed.
Or you might have page elements like carousels that add to your page size, causing reductions in speed:
Whatever the case may be, speed is an issue on mobile and page weight is a main factor.
Longer load time = less conversions:
This is especially troubling in PPC campaigns on Google Ads where you are paying for clicks.
Letting them go down the drain due to speed isn’t a (viable) option.
So, what do you do?
You have two distinct options here:
- Improve your pagespeed by testing it with a tool like Test My Site, and follow the suggestions they provide based on scanning your site elements.
- Adopt a mobile-first design
I recommend starting with easy wins on Test My Site. This involves cleaning up JS and CSS, compressing images, removing page elements, etc.
It’s a great jumping off point that can get your pagespeed low.
Adopting a mobile-first design will take longer and cost more, but results speak for themselves.
2. Remarket Your Mobile Visitors by Their Site Search History
Remarketing options on Google Ads can produce good results.
But going off Google Ads and creating audiences on Google Analytics can produce better results.
The fact is: most people are using basic remarketing lists on Google Ads. And we all know what basic efforts get you: basic results.
Instead, you can leverage easy wins in Analytics and turn them into audiences.
For instance, on-site search.
On-site search is essentially free keyword data in the world of no keyword data.
On-site search in Analytics shows you all of the keywords that users are searching for directly on your website.
Why is it important? Because it shows you exactly what your audience is looking for. No more guessing at ad creative because you have it right there.
Sort this data by mobile device and you have specific keywords that mobile visitors are looking for on your site.
To turn this goldmine into a new remarketing list for Google Ads, you just need a few different steps.
In your admin section of Google Analytics, find the Audience Definitions tab:
From here, create a new audience definition based on all of your website traffic data.
Next, you have two easy steps:
- First, navigate to the conditions section under Advanced. Here, create a filter based on site search category. Now reference your on-site search data and input one specific (or multiple very closely related) keyword.
- Next, click “And” to add a second filter. Select “Device Category contains mobile.” This ensures you are targeting only mobile searchers.
Save this audience and link it to your Google Ads account:
Now you can use this directly in Google Ads as a remarketing list to target your mobile searchers by on-site search data.
Deliver exactly what they are looking for in your ads based on their search and watch your conversions explode.
Specificity wins on Google Ads. And it doesn’t get more specific than this.
3. Run Mobile-Friendly Ad Types (But Prepare in Advance)
Google has some amazing ad types for mobile device targeting that you can take advantage of.
For instance, call-only ads:
This ad type showcases your business phone number directly on SERPs without forcing a user to browse your site.
This can be a stellar option for those without premium mobile sites designed for conversions.
If your website is slow or clunky and uses forms as the number one converter (with little to no success), ditch it.
Focus on call-only ads.
Call-only ads can be created directly from the search network campaign type by selecting “Get phone calls” as your setup goal:
Call-only ads might not be feasible for everyone, though.
A big mistake is running these mobile-friendly ad types without the proper setup in place to handle it.
Do you have people to answer potentially dozens of calls per day? Do you have a phone system that won’t put people on hold in case multiple users call at once? Do you have proper conversion tracking established? Are calls set to only display during business hours?
A ton of people run call-only campaigns to find out that they had none of that setup, leaving tons of calls unanswered, money wasted, and few conversions that they could actually credit to Google Ads calls.
Attribution on offline events is hard, but there are plenty of call tracking software on the market. If you are serious about generating results with mobile ads like call-only, they are worth the minimal upfront investment and many have free trials.
Another option for mobile-friendly ad types is simply running a search network campaign with a dedicated, mobile-first landing page.
A big mistake is running search network campaigns and expecting mobile to convert on your desktop designed landing page.
You know, that clunky page with a huge form and way too many page elements that takes 100 swipes to reach the bottom of the page? Oh and then it forces you to scroll back up to convert?
Yeah, that ain’t gonna fly.
An example that I recently saw blew me away. Lyft’s landing pages on mobile, search network ads:
That’s it. Literally. You can’t scroll down further.
They simplify the process dramatically. All you gotta do it type in your phone number to convert, and chances are, your phones auto-suggest features will do it for you.
That’s essentially a zero-step conversion process.
And because the page is so small (due to lack of elements and images), it loads within a second of clicking.
Want more info? Expand the driver or riders tab. Don’t want it? Just convert.
If you don’t want to do call-only ads or don’t have the infrastructure yet, you can run search network ads too. But to increase mobile conversions, you need to produce landing pages that were specifically designed for mobile, not desktop.
Meaning your “responsive design” isn’t enough. Just because your forms shrink to fit a small screen doesn’t magically trick mobile users into thinking it’s not a long, tedious form that’s annoying to fill out on a tiny device.
If you use a landing page builder, build on the mobile tab, not the desktop tab. If you have a developer, put ‘em to work on mobile-first pages.
But how do you target only mobile sites on the search network?? Isn’t that only a feature on the display network?
Yes and no….
4. Combine Mobile-Friendly Ads With Mobile Bid Modifiers
If you have ever run a campaign on the display network, you have the handy option of tweaking device campaign settings to fit your goals:
Simple, easy, clean.
But then you go to run a search network campaign and you can’t find those settings anymore.
Gotta love it, right?
On search network ads, you can’t select device targeting specifically yet. This is pretty annoying if are looking to fire up a search network campaign with mobile-first landing pages.
You quickly run into the problem of designing for mobile but getting desktop searches in the mix.
It’s not good.
Thankfully, with a little workaround bidding strategy you can target only mobile devices.
This works by adjusting bidding modifiers on your device settings tab in a given search network campaign.
Within the devices tab, you will see three options:
- Computers (aka desktop)
If you want to run just mobile device campaigns, you obviously don’t want computer and tablet traffic clicking to your site.
To eliminate bidding on computers and tablets, click on the “Bid adj.” column for each and set the bidding adjustment to decrease your bids by 100%.
Type in the new bid adjustment and Google Ads says:
“Example: a $10.00 bid will become $0.00.
To remove a bid adjustment, leave this field blank.”
That’s what you want to see. This means that when a user is searching for your keyword but browsing on desktop and tablet devices, you will bid zero dollars to get their clicks, resulting in no ads showing for them.
Conversely, when mobile users search, your bids will run like normal, grabbing only mobile browsers.
5. Align Your Ad Extensions With Each Ad’s Goal
Google Ads extensions are freakin’ awesome. With ad text limits, you can expand on them tenfold with useful info.
But this benefit also opens the door for serious downsides.
People just use ad extensions to use them because they “work” and “increase results.”
Cause they do. Duh.
But the truth is: most people have no clue why they are using them.
Don’t believe me? Conduct a random search for a keyword and see what ad extensions they are using relative to:
- Keyword funnel stage
- Keyword intent
- Call to action
Does it match? Probably not in most cases:
Yeah, that’s a company telling you to call for $50 bucks off but not providing a single way to do so, and instead using two forms of extensions that don’t relate to intent or CTA.
With ad extensions, don’t be like Oprah. Not everyone gets ad extensions like it’s their birthday.
For mobile especially, ad extensions fit specific goals and intent based on what keywords you target.
Here are some general guidelines to follow:
Sitelink extensions: these are great for targeting broad, top of the funnel, content and research based keywords. For instance, “SEO tool.” This broad term could mean dozens of different things, giving sitelinks the chance to shine by providing very similar products under the overarching umbrella of an “SEO tool.”
Call extensions: call extensions have one simple goal: generate calls. If you aren’t able to take them or don’t have infrastructure for them, or they simply don’t match your goals, don’t put them on.
Location extensions: are you a local business? Even if you are, that doesn’t mean location extensions fit your specific ad. If you want local visits, use it. If you don’t, don’t. Because everytime someone clicks that address you are paying, whether they visit or not. So if your goal is to generate calls, don’t provide a location extension.
You get the point. When using any extensions on mobile ads, remember, you have to take these factors into account:
- Keyword funnel stage and intent: do they want research options or are they looking to buy? This could be the difference between sitelinks and promotional codes, polar opposites that will surely impact conversion rates.
- Offer: Is your offer specific to calling? You need call extensions. Is it local? Display your address. Match the offer with the extension, always.
- Call to action: What are you telling them to do? Visit your site for more? Call for more? This will determine what extension fits the goal.
With mobile traffic dominating, mobile advertising is seeing a boost.
But traditional desktop tactics don’t play well on mobile. Big landing pages and forms don’t convert as easy. Even bidding styles can make an impact.
For low-hanging fruit, start by improving your website speed.
This is a plaguing factor as to why conversion rates are low despite having high CTR.
Remarket your mobile visits with Google Analytics audiences.
Run more mobile-specific ad types. They are mobile-specific for a reason!
Align your ad extensions for mobile users and directly with your goals.
Lastly, use mobile bid modifiers, they have been proven to increase conversion rates.
Mobile is different, so start treating it differently.