Earlier this week Google announced the launch of the ability to target iPhones and mobile devices which have full (html) web browsers on the Adwords blog. As always happens with these announcements the news spread like wildfire and it is now all over the blogosphere and shouldn’t really be news to anyone who works in search engine marketing.
All campaigns are automatically opted in to the iPhone search results by default but to the intelligent search engine marketer this new functionality offers new opportunities for trial, refinement and maximisation of mobile search.
To the lazy or uneducated this box will remain ticked and the PPC campaign will continue to run on both standard web search and the new iPhone and advanced mobile search. Using the same keywords, same ad text, and directing to the same website. There is no harm in this as such given the volume and the way it follows standard search specifications. But in many industries this would be massively missing an opportunity. Location specific products such as hotels and national companies with regional branches could do so much more with this functionality if they put their minds to it.
Mobile campaigns need treating differently to standard web search campaigns because users interact with mobile Internet in a different way. To realise the opportunity then there are a number of steps I would recommend;
Campaigns: deactivate iPhone search in your main campaign and set up a new campaign targeting ONLY THE NEW iPHONE SEARCH. This will allow you to build a campaign aimed solely at the mobile users and mean you can make the necessary amends.
Keywords: build a keyword list based around mobile users. This tends to mean simplifying your keyword list and using more broad keywords and dropping the long tail. But make sure you include location specific keywords if your product fits with people using destinations in searches. Most people using mobile search to find things want to find something nearby so will often include a town or area name in their search.
Ad Text: Obviously follow the standard Adwords guidelines of making it relevant the search phrase but also consider making it specific to mobile users. If you are going to offer something special (see point below) then include it in the creative. Also consider reaching out to mobile users in the creative, a message such as “welcome mobile Internet users!” might sound cheesy, but it’ll also make you stand out.
Website/Landing pages: It is still best practice to have a tailored site for mobile visitors even as mobile Internet advances. But by splitting out the campaign so you can be sure the visitor is coming form a mobile device, why not send them to a page targeted at their needs? Or even offer them something special? If you have local stores why not have a splash page offering a discount for all users who show the page in-store and make a purchase? this would work great for hotels, coffee shops etc. 20% off if you show this page in store.
Tracking: Make sure you track it separately so that you can judge performance. This probably wont be performance by way of conversions but it will certainly help to see bounce rates and site traffic stats.
Bid strategy: Use the fact you have split the campaign out to your advantage, use the tracking you have installed to judge keywords based on mobile search performance rather than web search performance.
Keep testing!: your unlikely to get this right first time but by trying different things you are bound to find some successes so don’t be afraid to try. iPhone’s and other mobile devices with full browsers are set to revolutionise mobile Internet, it is better to make your mistakes now and learn from them, rather than in a couple of years when you are already behind the game!
Mobile strategy shouldn’t be something which gets lumped together in the general web pot, in the same way search shouldn’t. Making sure you have a clear strategy and objective for mobile activity will ensure that as mobile Internet grows, you are best placed to take advantage.