June 25, 2019
Effects of Google’s New Mobile Search Ad Format
With the ever-increasing consumer reliance on mobile phones, mobile ads demand more of our attention and ad budgets than ever before. But what happens when you assess mobile PPC performance and see an overwhelming amount of spend with an underwhelming ROI or conversion rate? It can be tempting to drastically decrease your mobile spend or contemplate shutting off mobile advertising altogether.
Before you make any decisions, you should realize that significantly reducing your investment in mobile ads can have a detrimental impact on the overall performance of your digital marketing across all channels. Mobile searches are now an instrumental first step in the consumer purchasing process. In fact, 87% of smartphone users admit to having their device by their side day and night, according to a report from Google, and the average person spends 177 minutes on their phone per day. Of course, a number of mobile users don’t complete purchases on their mobile devices, which is why you may see higher CPAs or lower ROAS from mobile traffic directly. However as an advertiser, it is critical that you maintain a presence for the entire purchasing process – not just attempting to show immediately before the purchasing decision.
When a consumer conducts a search on their phone, it’s likely they are looking for an answer or solution to a problem. If you aren’t advertising on mobile, then you are missing out on the chance to capture potentially valuable customers when they are in the research stage of the marketing funnel. Google reports that 33% of smartphone users purchase from a different brand than originally intended because the different brand’s information was provided when they needed it.
Let’s walk through a basic example that demonstrates this in more detail. I am fixing my sink and need a new part. I grab my phone to find which store has the part in stock. Let’s say you are the store and are not showing a mobile ad. Frankly, I might not know you exist. However, if you do show an ad telling me you have the part I need, I am more inclined to interact with your advertisement and consider your business.
Finally, I make the purchase. Whether it’s finding directions to your store to purchase the item, or ordering the part on a desktop computer, it was the mobile advertisement that drove the conversion. Your business’ complete mobile presence throughout my decision-making process allowed you to enter and remain in my consideration set as I arrived at a final decision.
Not only can mobile ads increase your chances of a conversion, but they can also aid in building brand awareness that will result in more purchases from other channels and even stronger conversion rates from better brand recognition. In fact, you can increase your unaided brand awareness by 46% by showing up on mobile search results, according to Google. By showing mobile ads, you can provide your potential consumer with the opportunity to interact with and become loyal to your brand when they ask for it.
Just because you may not see the same direct performance from mobile ads that you expect from desktop traffic does not mean you should not expect results from your mobile advertising. Consider adding a second conversion event that is easy to complete on a mobile device. Or use AdWords attribution modeling for a stronger understanding of the role that mobile ads play in your purchase funnel.
Mobile ads can propel a brand or product through the consumer purchasing process. If your mobile site is poorly designed or provides a sub-par user experience, then it’s time to address that and fix your mobile site.
When setting your mobile advertising budgets, remember that your mobile presence will allow your brand to reach consumers when they need your products the most.