For about the past
three years, mobile
marketing has been
on the verge of
breaking out and
changing the way
we interact with our
That time has come. There are some strong
signals that show 2011 should be the year that
mobile finally “arrives” and makes a major impact
on your marketing strategy. According to
a recent Search Marketing Now Webinar on
• 49% of smartphone owners have purchased
from their phones in the last 6 months.
• Mobile commerce is expected to reach
$119 billion in sales by 2015.
• In 2009, 78% of marketers that experiment
with mobile said their goals were met; 9% state that expectations
If you’re ready to go mobile with your business, one of the
fastest ways to get started is through Google AdWords. And if
you’re already running a PPC campaign using AdWords, the
entry into mobile should be seamless.
Device targeting in Adwords
You might be shocked to hear that you may already be targeting
mobile devices in your AdWords account. When creating
an AdWords campaign, the default setting is to target all devices
— this includes laptop and desktop computers, and all
I suggest segregating standard search campaigns from mobile
campaigns. Their performance will differ greatly and the strategies
employed to optimize both devices (computers and smart
phones) will be unique to each. You can target specific types of
mobile devices such as Android or the iPhone, as well as specific
carriers such as AT&T, Sprint or Verizon. However, my company
has not found a great amount of variation between AT&T
users and Nextel users (except that the iPhone is on AT&T and
now Verizon). When getting started, deciding which carrier to
target is low on the list of priorities.
Website-targeted ads vs. Call-only ads
Once you’ve created your mobile-only campaign in AdWords,
it’s time to start engaging with users on smartphones. There are
a couple ways to set up mobile PPC ads:
• Send users to your mobile-optimized website. PPC ads can
send mobile searchers to your mobile optimized website.
• Mobile users can call you directly from their Google search.
Instead of sending users to your website, your PPC ad displays
a clickable phone number and users call you directly
from their phone.
Below are two examples of mobile PPC ads. One ad is focused
on click-to-call — the only clickable element is the phone
number. In the second image, the headline of the mobile ad is
the clickable element, sending users to the website.
Choose the ad option that best suits your business objectives.
If your website is not optimized for mobile devices, focus on generating
calls. Also, if your lead close rate tends to be higher via
phone, you may want to focus on click-to-call.
To set up the click-to-call option in Adwords, enter the ad
extensions tab of your mobile targeted campaign and choose to
create a new Phone Extension.
Call metrics in AdWords
You also have the option to choose “call metrics.” Call metrics
allows you to measure phone calls generated by PPC ads.
Google assigns a custom Google Voice number for each campaign
— calls to this number are rerouted to your business
The metrics provided with call metrics include:
• Total Calls: The number of calls to the custom phone number
that was displayed with your ad on computer and mobile
devices with full Internet browsers.
• Received Calls: The number of calls to the
custom phone number that were answered.
• Missed Calls: The number of calls to the
custom phone number that were not answered.
• Average Call Duration: The average duration
per call received; in hours, minutes
• Total Call Duration: The sum of the duration
of all received calls.
To see these statistics in your AdWords
campaign, you must activate the call metrics
feature. These metrics can help gauge user interaction
with your PPC ads on mobile devices,
but you will need internal tracking
mechanisms to measure the ROI of these
calls. I suggest assigning a unique phone
number to your click-to-call ads to measure
leads and sales.
As of this writing, call metrics is free but
this may change in the future. For calls initiated
with a call-click on a high-end mobile
device, the standard click charges will apply.
As you can see, mixing mobile advertising
into your PPC campaign within AdWords isn’t
a laborious process. However, pay close attention
in order to set up your campaigns properly.
If you send users directly to your
mobile-optimized website, you should be able
to gauge ROI similarly to your other PPC efforts.
However, in order to determine the success
and ROI of phone calls generated by your
PPC ads, you need to have some sort of tracking
in place. Now is the time to take action
and get your mobile campaign running.
About the Author: Joseph Kerschbaum is Client Services Direct
with Clix Marketing, a search and
social advertising agency. With David
Szetela, Joseph is the co-author of PPC
Marketing: An Hour A Day, from
Wiley/Sybex. Joseph speaks regularly
at search industry conferences and his
writing appears regularly in Search Engine
Watch and the Clix Marketing Blog.