Mobile Paid-Search Bid Management Best Practices


Marketers need to keep in mind the nuances for bidding on keyword terms in mobile paid-search campaigns. The top two positions will become the most important. There's no right rail in mobile search results, and users tend not to scroll down to the bottom of the page. Tying conversions back to mobile campaigns will become increasingly important, whether the campaigns stand on their own or combine with traditional or emerging applications built on coupon codes, radio frequency identification technology (RFID) or near field communication (NFC).

Consumers searching on mobile devices want to quickly find content and tend not to scroll through multiple pages. Queries tend to peak during lunch hours, at night, and during weekends. More QR codes are turning up in physical newspapers. For instance, in the entertainment section of the Sunday OC Register, a QR code allowed readers to find more information about the artist write-up in the article. Mobile search queries will not replace desktop queries, so dayparting should become a major consideration when planning campaigns.

With a few exceptions, bid management best practices for mobile search are similar to those on the desktop. Mike Solomon, vice president of marketing strategy at The Search Agency, served up some tips for bidding on mobile search paid-search keywords at the tail end of a Google webinar with the AMA. There is enough content with merit to call out a few steps and points that will support these campaigns.

Solomon says there are only three best practices when it comes to mobile bid optimizations. For starters, set a separate bid on mobile compared with desktop. Compare cost per click (CPC) on mobile vs. desktop. Most marketers that are managing mobile and desktop ads in the same campaign are likely to under- or overbid for both because they can't accurately analyze the data. Conversion rates will differ.

Next, launch new mobile "general" keywords more aggressively. It will help to set a strong quality score and secure the top two spaces from the beginning of the campaign. Higher quality scores will lead to lower CPCs over time, according to Solomon.

Finally, test and bid more aggressively on general keywords. Search keyword phrases on mobile are shorter with local intent, compared to those on the desktop. Don't forget to put a maximum cap on bidding.

To successfully improve the return on investment (ROI) from mobile search campaigns, understand the percentage of traffic coming from mobile, break out mobile search from desktop, and target by mobile device by separating tablet from handset traffic. Solomon says not to forget call to action in ads, test click-to-call option, and define conversion metrics and CPA goals.


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