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The ‘Mobile First’ World: Tips on leveraging Google’s recent AdWords and Analytics changes

We are addicted to our mobile phones; this is not a cliché, it’s a fact! On the tube, trains and buses, people have more eye contact with their mobiles or tablet than they do with their surroundings. Mobile has taken over. During Google’s performance summit in May, the Search Engine Giant announced that there are over two trillion searches in year carried out on the platform. Interestingly, about half of these are on mobiles. What’s more, these mobile searches aren’t necessarily conducted on-the-go – 77% of mobile searches occur at home or work. The surge in mobile searches motivated Google to develop the micro-moment framework that categorises searches into I-want-to-know, I-want-to-go, I-want-to-do and I-want-to-buy moments. The change in consumer search behaviour, fuelled by the convenience and advanced functionalities of smartphones inspired Google to propose certain changes to its AdWords and Google Analytics platform.

Here are the changes and our tips on making the most from these innovative ideas.

Ad Words and Analytics Changes and leveraging tips in a mobile first world  

1) Gaining more attention with Expanded Text ad: One of the key changes announced by Google is the introduction of expanded text ads. The current ad structure limits the headline to 25 characters and the first and second description lines to 35 characters respectively. With the new structure, Google will allow for more characters in the headline within a new two-headline structure, with an increase of the description from 35 to 80 characters.

Tip: With mobile phones getting larger in size, Google is now enabling advertisers to capture the attention of searchers a bit better. More characters do not equate to telling users a bit more about all your achievements; it gives you more opportunity to emotionally connect to them. The double headline is your chance to capture the interest of users before they consider looking at the long description line. Most people are naturally self-centred, so convince them why your product or service will help them achieve their goals, overcome their fear or address a frustration. First impression matters, so make sure the first line of the ad addresses the silent and salient question that most searchers have: ‘What’s in it for me?’

mobile first world Google optimisation tips

2)Breaking up mobile and tablet bidding: A common irritation of most AdWords advertisers is the inability to be able to bid separately on tablet devices via appropriate bid adjustments. Following the recent announcement, Google will enable advertisers to bid separately on tablets and mobiles with bid modifiers ranging from -100 percent to +900 percent. Based on device performance, advertisers can now easily increase or reduce bids.

Tip: Advertisers will have to spend a bit more time reviewing performance metrics on the device section on AdWords to ascertain devices that require a negative or positive bid adjustment. Also, advertisers that sell products for kids might consider keeping a close eye on the tablet metrics as mums can easily browse products on their children’s tablets which tend to be a constant companion to keep them engaged.

mobile first world optimisation tips

3) Local advertising is paramount in a mobile first world: As mobile usage continues to reach higher heights, Google is looking for ways to make businesses more visible to users within a close range. Interestingly, local searches are growing 50 percent faster than overall mobile searches. As such, companies will be able to have “promoted pins” or “promoted locations” on maps. This is very important in a mobile first world where proximity is important.

Tip: To make the most of these features, advertisers will have to enable location ad extensions on their AdWords campaign. As Google maps is now part of Google search, choosing just ‘Google search’ in the campaign set up will be fine. It is also important to keep your promotions and opening time details up to date and accurate. For promotions, having a limited offer time will create a sense of urgency for customers.

mobile first optimisation tips

4) Expansion of store visits or online-to-offline tracking: Google revealed that it has measured over a billion store visits resulting from an online campaign since tracking began in 2014. The store tracking functionality is currently available to 1,000 advertisers in 11 countries. Google’s aim is to expand the store tracking functionality to more advertisers which will help retailers effectively measure ROI for mobile campaigns. Recently Nissan UK was able to show that 6% of ad clicks resulted in a trip to a dealership, which generated an estimated 25x return on investment.

Tips: When this feature is rolled out to a wider audience, it will be important for advertisers to monitor the data on AdWords. It will also help if advertisers encourage their employees to ask customers how they found the store during the transaction or via the customer feedback email as this will help to evaluate the impact mobile clicks have on the overall retail performance.

These innovative changes announced by Google have been positively received by most within the search marketing world. Businesses, agencies and advertisers need to ensure that the benefits of these strategies are leveraged to attain a greater ROI. Ad Words optimisation tips are always important in ensuring advertisers get the best available results from their campaigns. Whilst Google’s performance summit is an annual event, your PPC optimisation strategies should be a daily or weekly process.

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