December 7, 2011
All the scrolling I have to do to use your site on my phone is hurting my head.
There’s no way you’ve existed in the PPC world for any amount of time without hearing that you should have mobile sites and should segment your PPC campaigns by device to better target mobile users. But, there are still some companies out there running PPC campaigns that haven’t invested in a mobile site, yet. Yes, you read that correctly—there are still lots of people in charge of their or their company’s PPC campaigns that don’t think mobile sites are important enough to push to the top of their priority list. I just have one question: WHY?! Let me go ahead and tell you that your answer isn’t good enough. Let me explain:
Comscore just published a study that found 38 percent of smartphone users have used their phones to make purchases. Comscore’s senior vice president, Mark Donovan, said that furthermore, “In September we saw two-thirds of all smartphone owners perform shopping activities on their phones, including comparing products and prices, searching for coupons, taking product pictures, or locating a retail store.” This study also cites that there are currently 90 million smartphone users in the US. Let me do that math for you: that’s over 34 million people making purchases on their phones, and about 59 million using it for some sort of shopping. How much of your audience is in this 59 million that you’re missing? How much of this audience is your competitors capturing because they’ve been smart enough to prioritize a mobile campaign?
From the data in that study, you can get the picture that even if mobile users are directly purchasing from you on their phones, it could be filling the top of the sales funnel. Imagine someone in a store shopping for a product. They pull out their phone, search for the product, click on your PPC ad, and see you have it for a better price. But, they wait until they get home later and buy it through their desktop. This sort of thing happens all the time. In fact, CNET’s article says 28 percent of people surveyed said they comparison shop on their mobile devices in stores.
And, let me take this chance to tell you that while you’re segmenting by device, you should also be segmenting and optimizing for tablets.
CNET’s article, which goes over a recent study by JiWire, states that tablet ownership has doubled over the past year, and 82% of these users are perfectly happy buying items via mobile devices, which compares to what JiWire found with smartphone users—which is that only 76 of them are OK with it. Another interesting tidbit from that article is the discovery that people were found to be more likely to buy an expensive item on their mobile device if they’re more than 20 miles from where they could buy it in a store.
So, while you don’t need a mobile site for targeting tablets since they have full browsers, you still need to optimize differently. Get Elastic has a nice, little blog post about targeting for tablets. I’d like to add to their advice and say that calling out the device in the ad is a nice touch. If people see that, they automatically know the site will work with their device. That goes for mobile, too!
Lastly, you can make a mobile site for free. Yes, for free. Use Google, Zinadoo, Onbile, or whatever you like best. So, if that excuse from earlier was anything to do with your budget, you can stuff that story in a sack!
If I haven’t convinced you enough yet, check out Amy’s article from this past summer, where she outlines more reasons you should optimize for mobile, and even some mobile landing page best practices.