“Mobile-ize” Your Paid Search Strategy


By Brian Jones

Google research pre­dicts that over one-fourth of all searches will be per­formed on a mobile device by 2016.  Here are action­able steps every dealer should take to ensure their mobile mar­ket­ing strat­egy cap­tures this rapidly grow­ing audience.

1. Build a mobile site: Seems like a no-brainer, but 67% of smart­phone users are more likely to pur­chase a prod­uct or ser­vice from a mobile-friendly site*. A mobile opti­mized web­site will help mobile shop­pers find the prod­ucts they want quickly, eas­ily locate and con­tact you, and increase conversion.

2. Seg­ment mobile-specific cam­paigns: Track mobile per­for­mance on a cam­paign level and seg­ment for inde­pen­dent opti­miza­tions, bids, key­words, ad copy, tar­get­ing, etc.

3. Write mobile spe­cific ad copy: Stud­ies show that click-through rates increase when device-specific ad copy is used. When the ad speaks to the user, it becomes more rel­e­vant to them. Wouldn’t you want to have a dif­fer­ent mes­sage for a shop­per who is down the road rather than one who’s across the state? Your desktop-specific ad might read “Browser Our Entire Online Inven­tory,” whereas your mobile ad might say “Browse Our Mobile Site Now.”

4. Layer your search ads with loca­tion exten­sions: 94% of smart­phone users have searched for local infor­ma­tion and 90% of these users acted within 24 hours, accord­ing to a recent Google study. Shop­pers will be able to find you and if they are nearby, a dis­tance marker will show up in the ad indi­cat­ing how close your busi­ness is.

5. Bid for top posi­tions: Since the view­ing area on a mobile device is con­sid­er­ably smaller than that of a desk­top com­puter, it is impor­tant that your deal­er­ship shows up in the top 2 posi­tions, so shop­pers can find your website.

6. Test and appoint a ‘mobile cham­pion’: What does your site look like on a mobile device? If you don’t know, take five min­utes to try it on a few dif­fer­ent phones. Empower some­one within your com­pany, maybe your Inter­net Man­ager, to man­age and mea­sure your mobile initiatives.

7. Track your results: Make sure you reg­u­larly check in to see how well your mobile cam­paign is doing, and adjust as needed. Like any good adver­tis­ing cam­paign, it may require some tweak­ing to find the per­fect balance.

Amongst our vast net­work of deal­er­ships, we’ve seen the power that mobile adver­tis­ing has and its impor­tance. For Dealer.com sites that use Google AdWords as part of their Paid Search strat­egy, desk­top usage has decreased 14.70% from August 2011 to August 2012, whereas mobile and tablet usage has increased by 84.71%.

A Marin Soft­ware study shows that the click-through-rates for smart­phones out­per­formed that of tablets and desk­top com­put­ers. On aver­age, smart­phones have a click-through-rate of 4.12% whereas com­put­ers and tablets have rates of 2.39% and 3.12%, respec­tively. Fur­ther­more, the cost-per-click of smart­phones is less than for com­put­ers and tablets. The cost-per-click on a smart­phone is only $0.53 but $0.83 for a com­puter and $0.63 for a tablet.

It is clear that mobile usage is on the rise and deal­ers need to get on board in order to remain com­pet­i­tive and deliver cus­tomers a good brows­ing expe­ri­ence, no mat­ter what device they are using.

Brian Jones is Senior Man­ager of Search Oper­a­tions for Dealer.com and can be reached via the con­tact page.