Mobile is the now and future of search engine marketing. Last year there were more searches happening on mobile devices than on desktop, and the need for mobile search optimization has never been more essential. To help achieve better results there are quite a few different tools to manage and optimize your SEM campaigns, without having to segment each device and risk hurting campaign performance or managing each device-specific campaign individually.
The most noticeable and impactful change to the SEM landscape is the shift to Expanded Text ads, which impacts all devices. Ads can now feature 140 total characters between the headline and description, which is 47% larger than the typical ad copy limit. Advertisers can now promote a specific product name with a full description, along with pricing information and where to buy it, all in one ad. This is especially helpful for mobile viewers who are looking to consume and react to information with as few steps as possible.
Another way to strengthen search engine marketing campaign performance and ROI is the ability to adjust bids based on device type, time of day, and/or location. This will allow advertisers to prioritize any or all of these components without having to change or duplicate a campaign. Foot traffic tends to be most important for local businesses, for example, and allocating higher bids for mobile devices in a local geography can be vital to a campaign’s success. To further expand on the importance of localized advertising, advertisers can also reach users with Local Search Ads. These are specifically designed for Google Maps, where a matching ad can be displayed within the listed results underneath the map. These ads will consist of headline, a short description, and hours of operation, with the option of one-click calling.
Price Extensions further improve mobile search optimization capabilities, by offering itemized listings of goods or services below the existing text ad on mobile devices. Clicking on the desired ad will bring users directly to the specific item URL instead of the campaign’s general landing page URL. This will give a menu feel to the mobile ad and give users the options to check out several items before clicking through to the advertiser site.
The next feature that is on the horizon is Demographic Targeting. Google is still in beta testing but it has the potential to be another game changer within search engine marketing. Advertisers will be able to target by age range and gender, and combine it with all of the other strategies currently being offered. Google will also allow you to set specific bid multipliers, which will make it incredibly useful for gender or age specific products and services.
Using a combination of these tactics, our team has seen a huge jump in performance in 2016, with our clients’ click-through rates up 39% from 2015. For those campaigns that are also tracking user engagement with Google Analytics, pages viewed, and time spent metrics have also increased year over year. These improvements are directly tied to the ability to drill down and more aggressively optimize bidding strategies for mobile devices, as well as the more informative ads consisting of more text and relevant extensions which promote user engagement.
Learn more about mobile search engine marketing trends we’re seeing for 2017, or ask us more about our mobile search marketing and PPC campaign successes.
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