Get the Most Out of Targeting Mobile on AdWords with these New Features

It is now thought that roughly one in seven searches are happening on mobile devices, and  in 85% of cases mobile searches result in action within 5 hours, so it’s a great way to target consumers when they are engaged and likely to take action.

With new AdWords Enhanced campaigns, Google have made it even easier to target mobile devices and are actively encouraging you to do so.

This post will cover some of the most useful features in AdWords, which allow you to get the most out of your mobile advertising.

Should you target mobile devices?

Although it is important to target users searching on mobile devices in order to maintain a strong presence in online marketing, it’s also important to make sure you are going to get a valuable return if you are going to invest in mobile advertising.

Do not target mobile devices if your site does not work well on them. To test this, I would recommend looking at your site from various mobile devices and making sure that a user can easily complete a conversion using your site on a mobile device. Your conversion might be completing a purchase or signing up to a newsletter. If they cannot easily complete the conversion using your site on a mobile, there is no point wasting money sending traffic to it.

You can use this tool to test your site on iPhones and you might want to consider investing in a responsively designed website if you do want to target mobile devices.

Responsive design is also useful now that AdWords Enhanced Campaigns target tablets as standard.

Mobile Bid Adjustments

Mobile bid adjustments are a new function which allows you to target all device types within a single campaign. You can set a mobile bid adjustment which is a percentage of your standard desktop bid.

Always bid lower than your desktop bid for your mobile bid, so your mobile bid adjustment might be -30%.

When you switch to AdWords Enhanced Campaigns Google will suggest a mobile bid adjustment, but I would advise bidding slightly lower than their recommended bid as mobile traffic is generally much cheaper than desktop.

Consider the following factors when deciding your mobile bid adjustment:

  • your current actual CPC on mobile devices
  • your current mobile bids (if you have separate mobile campaigns at the moment and are upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns)
  • how well mobile devices convert (AdWords and Google Analytics data)
  • The more advertisers move to mobile, the higher ad costs will be, so you may need to increase bids in the near future

Average Position

Although average position isn’t a mobile feature as such, I have included it in this post because it’s really important. You must make sure your average position is at 2 or above when bidding on mobile devices because there is often only room for one or two ads on mobile devices and so ads in any lower positions receive a poor CTR.

Create Mobile Ads

AdWords Enhanced Campaigns allow you to set mobile preferred ads – these are ads which Google will show when your keywords are triggered by users on mobile devices.

Create your normal text ads and then copy them and tick the box in AdWords Editor which labels them as ‘mobile preferred’:

You should use a mobile specific call-to-action with these mobile ads such as ‘view our mobile site’.

Call Extensions

Call Extensions aren’t a new feature on AdWords, but Enhanced Campaigns have seen a fantastic increase in their functionality.

Call Extensions enable you to show your phone number directly below your ad. These are particularly great for mobile advertising as if the user is on a mobile device they can click the ‘call’ icon and call you directly from the ad: 

Call extensions are free on tablet and desktop devices, and they cost the same as a regular click on mobile devices. This is excellent for advertisers as the engagement of a phone call is much more valuable for you, than the simple engagement of a click through to your website.

Schedule your call extensions so that they only show during office hours, when there is someone present to answer the phone. This means you can use your ad spend more effectively and not waste it.

Using a Google Forwarding Number is highly recommended because Google show these type of call extensions over other kinds of call extensions. A Google Forwarding Number allows you to enter your normal phone number when you set up the extension but when it shows on your ads Google dynamically generate a unique phone number which allows the call to be tracked down to the keyword which triggered it. This allows you to see which keywords in your account result in phone calls.

You should also select a minimum call time to be counted as a conversion. For example if you were an estate agent and someone clicks through to call you from your ad, and they are only asking if a property is still available, but it’s not then the call probably doesn’t last very long. If however, the user asks if you have any similar properties or requests to be added to your newsletters then the call is likely to last longer and could be considered a lead. You can set the time when you create the call extension: 


You can now select ‘mobile preferred’ sitelinks. This is great if you are targeting mobile devices because users searching on mobile would benefit from slightly different sitelinks than those on desktop devices. For example a user on a mobile might want your directions page as a sitelink. 

You can also schedule sitelinks now if you wish to. 

Geo Targeting

Geographic targeting is another feature which isn’t new, but is now enhanced. You can now increase your bids when users are in a specific location. For example you may wish to increase your bids if a user is within 1 mile of your shop.  Increasing your bids allows you to appear higher up in the results, which is valuable if a user is searching on a mobile device near your business. For example if you are a restaurant trying to drive footfall into your shop you could increase your bids within a mile radius of the shop:

These are just some of the features which can enable you to get the most out of targeting mobile devices on AdWords. If you have any questions about them please feel free to tweet me @Koozai_Tara. You can read more of my blog posts here

About the Author

Tara is an experienced SEO & PPC Specialist at Koozai. Having run campaigns for a wide variety of industries, her AdWords experience includes the Search Network, Remarketing, Display Advertising, Product Listing Ads and much more!

She regularly contributes to the Koozai blog as well as having written guest posts for sites such as 123reg and OMN London. Creating whitepapers and video tutorials are also part of her activities at Koozai. She has previously presented at OMN London and Guest Lectured at Bournemouth University.

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