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How to Use Mobile Paid Search to Drive Thousands of Customers to Your Business

Posted by Jamie Turner

05/12/12 21:11

If you’re like a lot of people, you’re probably trying to figure out how to use mobile marketing to grow your sales and revenues. You may already have a mobile website and may even have explored creating a mobile app for your business. But after that, things might have come to a standstill.

So, the question is – what to do next? What’s the next easy thing you can do to acquire new customers via mobile?

The low hanging fruit in the mobile world just happens to be mobile search. Mobile search differs from regular search in that it appeals to prospects who are on the go and actively searching for a product or service. In fact, recent research indicates that 70% of all mobile searches result in action within an hour of the query. For desktop searches, that figure drops to 30%.

mobile marketing and customer engagement

In Go Mobile, the book I co-authored with Jeanne Hopkins, we provide a variety of tips on how mobile paid search differs from desktop paid search. What follows are some of the key things we learned while researching the book.

It All Starts with Your Keyword List. Remember, when you’re creating a keyword list for your mobile campaign, it’s a good idea to consider what people are doing when they’re searching from a mobile device. People who conduct searches from their smartphones are on the go. They want information quickly and information that can be acted upon right away. They’re not looking for in-depth company bios or details about your corporate philosophy. But they are looking for short, quick answers about your street address, your phone number or your customer service department.

Google has a keyword tool that lets you research keywords people use on their mobile devices vs. their desktops. That’s important because when people are doing a mobile search they’re often looking for something immediate.

So, as you develop your keyword list, be sure to add some mobile spin to it. For example, if you own a chain of restaurants, you’ll not only want to buy “Tony’s Italian Pizza,” you’ll also want to buy “Tony’s Italian Pizza Locations” and “Tony’s Italian Pizza on Peachtree Street.” Also, don’t forget to buy zip codes (“Florists in 30342”) and urgency terms (“Plumbing Emergency Repair”).

Okay, now let’s take a look at how to go about buying mobile keywords:

  1. List all the relevant keywords for a campaign. Let’s say you’re a florist. If that’s the case, you’d want to list all the keywords and keyword phrases that might attract people doing searches for florists. This would include the obvious terms like Florist and Flowers for Birthday but it would also include broader terms like Anniversary Gifts and Birthday Gift Ideas.

  2. Split your keywords into themed ad groups. Florists typically have seasons where sales skyrocket (e.g., Valentine’s Day) but they also have non-seasonal triggers, too. So, in keeping with the example we’re talking about here, you’ll want to divide your keyword ad groups out by themes. Of course, one theme will be Valentine’s Day, but other themes could be groups like Birthday Gifts, Special Offers and Summer Promotions.

  3. Refine your list. Once you’ve done everything outlined above, it’s time to review and refine your list. For example, you won’t want to bid on terms like Flowers since your ad would show up every time a gardener, biology student or artist did a search for that term. You’ll also want to avoid using the same keyword in multiple ad groups within the same campaign since that would effectively put you in competition with yourself. (Why is that a bad thing? Because you’d artificially bid the price of the keyword up.) Also, using negative match keywords like Free will prevent your ad from showing up when someone is looking for free stuff – people looking for free stuff are not in your target market. We’re trying to make some money here, right?

    Mobile search

Writing Your Ads. Here are some tips you can use to get a head-start on what works and what doesn’t work in mobile paid search.

  • Focus on Your Product, Not Your Company. A common mistake many people make when writing their first paid search ad is that they focus on their company instead of the product. In paid search, people aren’t buying your company – they’re buying your product. And, preferably, they’re buying your product at some sort of discount. So be sure to focus the ad on your product or your special, not on your company. For example,Valentine’s Day Specials would be a product-focused ad.  Peachtree Road Florist is a company-focused ad, which is not as effective.

  • Provide Benefits in the Body Copy. Your ad should help people understand why your product or service is exactly what they’re looking for. Focus on the benefits of buying your specific product or service, not on a generic, fluffy description.

  • Include a Call-To-Action. Research shows that ads perform better when there’s a specific call-to-action in the copy. Be sure to have a sense of urgency in your call-to-action – you’ll get better results when you give people a deadline.

  • The Ad Should Link to a Mobile Landing Page, Not Your Home Page. In the example we’ve been using here, the florist would want the person who clicked the ad to land on a page that was selling Valentine’s Day flowers at a discount. Driving people through to a generic home page is a waste of money. More importantly, be sure your landing page is mobile optimized – there’s nothing  more frustrating than clicking on a mobile paid search ad only to be driven to a page that’s too small to read.

  • Use Keywords in Your Ad. According to Google, the best-performing ads are the ones where keywords are used in the headlines. For instance, if you’re running an ad that has “Valentine’s Day Discounts” as a keyword phrase, you’ll want to regularly use that phrase in the headline of your paid search ad. That way, the user knows the ad specifically matches what they’ve searched for.

Measuring the Success of Your Campaign. One of the great things about mobile marketing is that it’s digital. Things that are digital are easily tracked. In fact, the very first thing you should do when you’re setting-up a mobile paid search campaign is to figure out how you’re going to track the results of your ads.

With that in mind, here are some things you should be measuring in your paid search campaign:

  1. Click Through Rate (CTR): As mentioned earlier, your CTR is one of the fundamental things you should be keeping an eye on. As a rule of thumb, a click through rate of less than 1% means your ad is not targeted properly. In other words, the ad you’ve written isn’t matching the keywords people are searching for. If you have a CTR of below 1%, then you’ll want to double-check that the keywords (e.g., “Valentine’s Day Specials”) match what your ads are promoting (e.g. “Valentine’s Day Sale”).

  2. Average Position: Be sure to check your average position to find out where you ad is appearing on the search results page. On a regular paid search campaign, there are up to 11 ads shown on any given page. But in mobile, that’s usually limited to two or three. So, if your average position in your mobile paid search campaign isn’t better than three, you’re really not showing up where you need to be.

  3. Conversion Tracking: Of course, all roads in mobile paid search should lead to conversions. A conversion in a classic sense is when a customer buys your product. For mobile paid search purposes, you may have to provide a coupon to track conversions. In other words, since many mobile searchers are searching for locations (rather than e-commerce web pages), you can’t really sell to them via your mobile landing page. What’s a business to do? Simply provide a mobile coupon on the landing page that can be scanned (and, thus, tracked) at your store location. By doing that, you’ll be able to drive people to your location and measure the results of your campaign when the coupon is scanned.

That covers a lot of the key points you’ll need to know to run a successful mobile paid search campaign. Currently, there’s a great deal of attention being focused on mobile websites and mobile apps, but I’d encourage you to zig while other people zag and dive into mobile paid search today. There’s plenty of low-hanging fruit and low-hanging fruit translates into increased revenues.

This article by Jamie Turner was originally posted on the 60 Second Marketer blog.

 

 

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Topics: mobile marketing, mobile customer engagement, mobile strategy, mobile web, mobile apps, acquisition, SEO

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