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Whilst mobile still represents a small overall share of search volumes, its fast growing. Smartphone, iPhone, iPad and Android device use is on a steep upward curve, so this is a great time to start focusing your time and effort on building effective mobile search campaigns.

It’s not simply a case of adding in smartphone users from the setting page of your AdWords campaign: you need to answer a couple of questions first:

1. Are you using a mobile website?

Although smartphones make a good stab at browsing normal websites, they’re much more suited – as are all other phones – at mobile optimised sites. These tend to be simpler, with less content, bigger buttons and often a call to action such a click-to-call button.

Your campaign will almost always get a better result from a mobile site, but you need to decide how to deliver it. Are you going to automatically redirect smartphone users, or give them the option? If you do automatically redirect, then you need to make sure you’re tracking mobile devices correctly – more of that later.

2. How will you track phone calls?

As mentioned above, mobile sites often have prominent click-to-call buttons. The fact that the user has the phone in their hand – will mean your campaign is likely to generate a higher number of phone calls. Therefore you need a dedicated number or a dynamic numbering system – read the Euston Digitial guide on how to track phone calls from AdWords campaigns.

How to set up a mobile campaign

Having answered the questions above now is the time to start setting up your mobile campaign.

Here’s our guide:

1. Set up a specific mobile campaign

The first and most important thing is to have a specific campaign for mobile. This is because the type of keywords that users search with – and their propensity to convert – are very different on mobile devices.

For example, a user searching for a good Italian restaurant in Waterloo from their desktop might use ‘Reviews for Italian Restaurant in Waterloo’. They’d then read the reviews, possibly share them, or maybe bookmark them for later. It might be worth bidding on this keyword but the user is not showing much immediacy to purchase, so you’d probably bid quite low.

By contrast, someone using a smartphone performing a local search because they want to eat lunch might simply use ‘Italian restaurant’. They might then use the click-to-call button to make a booking. This user is about to purchase – so it’s worth bidding up to get them on your site.

So build a new campaign with a new bid profile and be sure to include more general search terms.

You might find that many of your campaigns are already opted in for smartphone devices on Google and AdCenter: Take time to opt out of these settings and set up a specific mobile campaign.

2. Ad Copy

Whilst smartphone users can see normal AdWords ads, WAP devices can only see WAP mobile ads, so make sure you’ve got both.

We’ve previously discussed whether or not it’s a good idea to put a phone number in your AdWords ad, and a mobile campaign is one place to test that.

The other trick you might like to try is to make clear to searches that your website is mobile optimised by including an indicator in your visible URL, such as In these cases, having a mobile optimised site not only boosts your conversion rates; it will help CTR too.

3. Tracking

Tracking and filtering clicks from mobile devices is an essential element of having a mobile search campaign. For all the reasons above, mobile users will interact differently with your website than normal users. Read our guide on how to track clicks from mobile devices.

That’s it

With the explosion of smartphone handset use, there’s never been a better time to set up mobile search campaigns. Follow these steps to make sure you do it right.

Nick Leech runs Digital Marketing Agency Euston Digital

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