You’re Closer to Being Mobile-Traffic-Ready than You Think: PPC Case Studies

Now that you’ve used Kayla Kurtz’ amazing tips to get buy in from your clients on targeting mobile, it’s time for you to actually go out there and do it.  Often, people put off targeting mobile devices with their paid search campaigns until mobile-optimized landing pages are ready to go.  But, and I mean this in the kindest way possible, sometimes web development takes FOREVER.  If you aren’t targeting mobile devices, you’re losing clicks right now, and you’re a lot closer to being ready to handle that traffic than you think you are.  For reals.  We’ve done the testing.

First, some mobile landing page best practices (courtesy of this wonderful blog called PPC Hero):

  • Be as concise as possible.
  • Don’t use flash.
  • Put the important info at the top.
  • Make people scroll down instead of across.
  • Make conversions easy and obvious, including making your conversion button easily clickable.
  • Keep page titles short.

If you apply this logic to your existing landing pages, it’s possible (or if you’re feeling brave, downright probable) that your pages for desktop follow many of these best practices already.  And even though you most likely aren’t following all of them right now, keep in mind that these are best practices and not necessities.  So what if your users will need to do some sideways scrolling?  Mobile users are most likely adaptable and willing to go the extra thumb swipe to get to your content.  They’ve probably seen worse.

Don’t believe me?  I currently have a client without a mobile-optimized site, and even though they’ve been sold on the importance of mobile time and again, they are still having problems getting the functionality of a mobile site to integrate with their existing lead tracking system.  Tired of waiting for some glorious day in web development that may not actually ever come until a year or more down the road, we created mobile-targeted campaigns and let them direct to their desktop landing pages.  The results of the past 30 days are below:

Mobile Performance on Desktop Only Site

Mobile traffic actually converts better than our desktop traffic on the desktop-optimized site.  That’s something that I would never have guessed without just giving it a shot.  To be fair, this client has spent a whole lot of time and resources making their landing pages as optimized as possible (a 15.7% conversion rate for desktop isn’t too shabby), but for some reason mobile traffic likes the same stuff as the desktop users, only more so.  Delving into the twisted psyches of mobile users is a practice best left to someone else, but these are the kind of numbers that can justify further expanding mobile PPC targeting.  The volume of traffic is definitely lower than desktop, but those are sixteen conversions that we just would never have had any chance of getting if we had remained so by-the-book on our mobile targeting.

Now, it may seem like this is a fluke and that possibly this one client’s web site was just somehow magically made for mobile and desktop to live together in perfect harmony.  So let’s take a look at another account and see how their mobile traffic is doing in the past 30 days:

Further mobile performance on desktop-only sites

Another lead gen. client with a non-mobile optimized site, another example of mobile traffic converting at a higher rate than desktop.  Again, this client has a wonderful desktop site that they’ve spent years testing, but odds are that you or your clients are in the same boat.

Both of the examples we looked at so far were lead generation clients whose conversion forms were relatively simple.  In the interest of full disclosure, it’s possible that some of your sites will really need to go the extra mile with development and get that mobile-optimized content.  The performance of one of our e-commerce clients is below:

E-commerce Performance of Mobile Traffic

Now this is more like the type of performance that we’d expect without a mobile site.  Even still, we are all about making our clients money, so those eight conversions created income and because of that we are eternally grateful.  But here is an instance where the need for increased web development becomes apparent.  Show these types of numbers either to your clients or your in-house web development team to prove that in your specific case a mobile site is needed.

The lesson of the day is that it’s possible that you could be advertising in mobile today.  Just copy over those desktop campaigns and see what happens.  Not all sites are screaming out for a mobile version.  Your existing content might just work out fine on its own.  And even though it’s surely best that you create mobile content in the long run, in the interim you can direct to your desktop site and watch the results.  Even though your content may not be visible at arm’s length (a traditional mobile best practice), you don’t want to keep potential customers at arm’s length either.  So test your site out.

Have you already tested mobile campaigns on a desktop site and seen poor results?  Stay tuned to PPC Hero for this week’s ongoing mobile series.  Tomorrow, Amanda will cover how you can create a new site using Google and DudaMobile.  Even if you’re capturing traffic successfully with your desktop-only site, in the long run it’ll be good to have content that follows even more mobile best practices.