How many more blog posts that scream 2010 Will be the Year of Mobile! can you take? Hopefully the answer is at least one more.

Dont worry though, Im not going to cram this down your throat and tell you that Mobile is big and its only getting bigger. I already did that with a post back in January where I discussed my 2010 PPC Resolutions.

What I am going to do is give you a more practical approach to Mobile, and whats more practical than a list of 5 Steps to Getting Started with a Mobile Campaign? Let me answer this question for you " nothing is more practical.  You dont need 10 steps, not 3 and not 7.  This list of 5 is the most practical thing youll ever readperiod. (this is me being facetious with a hint of bravado)

5 steps

The 5 Steps Are:

  1. Set Your Objectives
  2. Ensure Your Site/Landing Page is Optimized for Mobile
  3. Get Started with AdWords
  4. Evaluate Additional Mobile Networks as an Option
  5. Analyze Your Campaign Data


Now, before you jump on the mobile bandwagon, Step # 1 is Setting Objectives:

This sounds fairly obvious, but just because Mobile is new and exciting doesnt mean its a good fit for you, your company or your client.

You need to ask yourself:

  • Am I promoting a mobile application and will my main KPI be downloads and/or installs?
  • Do I want to drive actual sales through my mobile campaign?
  • Do I want to increase local presence " maps, phone number etc...
  • Do I simply want to increase awareness and drive more traffic to my site?

The strategy you set is completely dependent on your objectives " if you want to drive downloads of an iPhone Application, you cant just mirror a campaign that is meant to increase phone calls through a Click-to-Call campaign.  Again, sounds obvious, but without having a clear objective for your mobile campaign, chance is youll get lacklustre results.

mobile use

Step # 2 is to Ensure Your Site is Optimized for Mobile Use. The last thing you want to do is put together a fantastic campaign only to send people to a page that offers a poor user experience on their mobile device, or worse, sending them to a page that is all Flash.

Im not going to go into too much depth on making your site mobile friendly, so I encourage you to read all about it with the post 8 Steps for Making Your Site Mobile Friendly.

If youre going to be using existing pages to send people to, pages that havent been developed specifically for mobile, I would suggest that you simply pull out your own mobile phone and navigate to the site.  How does it look?  Test it out on an iPhone, on a Blackberry etc

If youre promoting an application, such as an iPhone App, you can send people directly to the application page within the App Store.  This will automatically open the App Store and from here, the user is 1 Click away from installing the application.  This is a crucial point to make because if youre basing success on Downloads or Installs, you may find that downloads are cut by upwards of 50% if you send them to a landing page, which will then redirect them to the application.

If you are in fact promoting a mobile application, I suggest that you look outside of AdWords.  Weve seen tremendous success with networks such as AdMob and Quattro, both of which have been key components of mobile campaigns where weve been tasked with not only driving application downloads, but also improving Application Ranking within the app store.

If your main objective is sales, then make it easy for people to buy.  People are willing to make purchases on their smartphones, with 37% of users making a purchase within the past 6 months.

Whats the biggest factor that stops people from making a purchase? The shopping cart - 45% of users abandon the sales process because the shopping cart didnt load properly.

There it is, Step # 2 " make sure that whatever it is you want people to do on their mobile device, the landing page you send them to makes it easy for them to do that exact thing.

google mobile adwords

Now that youve set your objectives and youve made sure your site/landing pages are optimized for mobile, you can move onto Step # 3, Setting up a Mobile Campaign with AdWords.

A mobile campaign, managed through AdWords, should be approached the same way you approach a Content Campaign.  What I mean by this is that you should create a campaign that targets ONLY mobile devices, excluding all traffic from Desktop and Laptop Computers.

In terms of Networks, you can target either Search or Content.  Again, I would recommend splitting this up, creating a Mobile - Search campaign and a Mobile - Content campaign.

An example of why you would want to take advantage of the Search Network is the implementation of a Click-to-Call campaign.

An example of why you would want to take advantage of the Content Network is In-App Advertising which we have found to provide a high-level of traffic, at CPCs that are lower than a traditional content network placement.

What do one of these ads look like? Take a look at the below screenshot:

While I was using an iPhone App to find out the nutritional information for one of my vices (gotta love Burger King!), a Subway ad came along to remind me that there were some healthier options out there.

If you run a placement report and see on your list of placements, this is what that means.  As of right now, you cant target specific applications, but we expect this to change in the near future.  For now, your ads will be placed contextually, as your see with the above example of Subway being placed within a fast food application.

You may have noticed that with my first screenshot, you can also select the Device and the Carrier that you target.  This is a new feature, released in the last couple of weeks.

There are various reasons why you would want to target only specific devices " if youre promoting Android applications, you can only target Android Users.  If youre selling iPhone cases, target only those with iPhones.  How cool is that!?!

The last point I want to make goes back to Step 2, where I suggested that if youre promoting an application, that you send people directly to the app store.  This was previously only possible on mobile networks, such as AdMob or Quattro.

You can now do this with AdWords " all you need to do is set your Destination URL to your applications link within the app store, and set the Display URL as either or, followed by the app name.  This will automatically display as Download iPhone App or Download Android App within the ad.  No word on when we can expect support for Blackberries.

That is, in a nutshell, how to set up a mobile campaign within AdWords.


Step # 4 is Looking Beyond AdWords, to a mobile network such as AdMob or Quattro.  I struggled with whether this should be an actual step or not because for the large majority of you, AdWords will be all you need for a successful mobile campaign.

I decided to include this as a step because although it may not be the right move for everyone, I do think it should be evaluated as an option by everyone.

I continue to mention AdMob and Quattro as examples of mobile networks for a couple of reasons " the first is that both have been thrust into the spotlight due to their recent acquisitions " AdMob being bought up by Google and Apple following suit by picking up Quattro.

The second reason I mention these two are that we at Search Engine People have had great success with both networks, but this doesnt mean you shouldnt research and test out some of the other mobile networks that are out there.


Lastly, we come to Step # 5 " Analyzing Your Mobile Data.  You set your objectives in Step 1, you ran your campaign and now its time to measure the success of that campaign.

How do you do it?

Right off the bat, if youve properly segmented your campaigns, breaking out Mobile vs Desktop and Search vs Content, you easily get a high level view of your traffic within the AdWords Interface.  This is simple enough.

Also within the Interface, you can easily segment by Click Type, which will give you insight into the number of calls generated through a Click-to-Call campaign.

If you want to dig a little deeper, then Google Analytics is the place for you.  Ill defer to this post on Mobile Tracking, which gives you the lowdown on GAs newly released ability to track Mobile traffic without having to create custom segments or advanced filters or any of that fancy jazz.

Lastly, if youre using AdMob or Quattro, youll need to log into their own interface, both of which offer fairly robust reporting centres.  If youre promoting a mobile application, I highly recommend that you install tracking codes within your application that can be generated by both AdMob and Quattro, allowing you to track application downloads.  This is extremely important given that app promotion can become a costly endeavour and you need to be measuring ROI for each and every Ad that you have in market.

There you have it folks, my 5 Steps to Going Mobile with Your PPC Campaign.

Have fun, and good luck!