This is a guest post from Magnus Nilson, Search Marketing Director at Banner Corporation
While the year of the mobile seems to have come and gone several times over the past few years, many marketers are yet to fully launch a mobile search campaign. Here’s a checklist to make sure you’re getting a head start.
1) Make sure the landing pages are mobile friendly. If you get this wrong you might as well stop the campaign right now. By now we’ve probably all heard the expression “running on rails” to avoid the need for horizontal scrolling or constant zooming in and out on text and graphics. Also particularly consider the page loading time, complexity of forms and finger friendly button-sizes.
2) Optimise your assets. Make sure any downloadable assets are mobile friendly. Even in big cities you’re not always blessed with perfect 3G connection and without it it’s no fun downloading a 4MB white paper PDF (and it will significantly eat into light users monthly download allowance). The same goes for video and any other kind of band-width hogging assets.
3) Use a toll-free number in PPC ads to improve click-to-call rate. But make sure it’s actually accessible through a mobile phone. I recently tried to call a local plumber through a PPC ad, and was rejected as the toll-free number in the ad wasn’t actually accepting calls from mobile. Big fail.
4) Separate your PPC campaigns. Just like it’s best practise to separate search and display campaigns, you want to increase your optimisation control and creative testing by separating mobile and desktop campaigns.
5) Show off your mobile website in the ad copy. Even if the latest smartphones can render full sites pretty well, people still prefer to click-through to optimised websites. Let them know already in the ad copy that the can expect a brilliant mobile experience at the other end of the click.
7) Search for yourself. Don’t just copy across your existing desktop search campaign into a mobile campaign and hope for wonders. You can pretty much forget about the long-tail, so instead take the time and test search for your products via your mobile to discover possible misspellings and shorthand’s that other searches could perform.
While it’s no exhaustive checklist, the above should help you move in the right direction. What are your best mobile search tips?
Caption: TopTable’s mobile site provides a finger friendly touch interface. I arrived here by doing a search on Google maps.
Caption: A simple form with just three fields is all that’s needed to book a table. Note that to keep the site “on rails” the field names are placed above the forms instead of aligned to the left. These are small touches that make a big difference to users.
By line: Magnus Nilsson works with integrated search campaigns at Banner Corporation and frequently shares his thoughts on his search marketing blog.