In many countries the majority of Google searches take place on mobile devices and not on computers anymore, which is changing the way digital marketers approach their customers. With an increase of 29% in Google searches on mobile devices in the past year, it is very important to always be experimenting new mobile strategies.
In Search of the Best Mobile Structure
One test that we did served the purpose of creating mobile specific campaigns rather than going with Google’s enhanced campaign structure. We aimed at finding out whether a separate mobile campaign drives better results than activating mobile within a desktop campaign. The advantage of such campaigns is that you can adapt more to mobile behaviour by setting unique day parting and geo-targeting rules. At the same time you can set more sensitive bids and bid adjustments.
A selection of high performing “mobile only” campaigns were created for this test – three in total. We duplicated the initial campaigns, set lower initial bids for the keywords and used the maximum mobile bid modifier (+300%) to ensure that the campaigns attract mobile traffic only. The visitors coming from desktops and tablets during the test period accounted for less than 1% of the whole traffic.
Gaining High Traffic on Mobile Devices
Initial performance was poor with CPCs being significantly higher than the mobile segment of the initial “desktop campaigns”. Efforts were therefore focused on reducing CPCs. After a couple of weeks CPCs had decreased – even as average positions improved – but still remained at a high level. The high mobile bid increments of 300% made bid management difficult to control as even a 0.01 max bid change would drastically alter average CPC and position.
Conversion rate and therefore COS also improved over this period but still could not keep up with the performance of the mobile segment within the normal enhanced campaigns. The higher average position leads to a higher CTR in all mobile-only campaigns. Moreover, it reassures the fact, that being on the first position on mobile is extremely important and increases CTR strongly.
At the same time we can see click volume is significantly higher on mobile only campaigns. This is particularly visible in the “Mobile Campaign 2”, where the click amount is 14 times higher than in the normal campaign`s mobile segment
The results of our test setup leads us to the following conclusion: while having a mobile only campaign gives you the possibility to generate higher traffic volume, the negative effects are too severe. This includes specifically:
- Higher CPCs,
- A lot of effort involved in managing duplicated campaigns,
- Difficult control of bid optimisation (low max bids with 300% bid modifier),
- Keyword duplication cannot be avoided.
If you want (or need) to generate higher traffic volume on mobile devices however, this could be your only solution, as enhanced campaigns are capped at a mobile bid modifier of +300%.