Mobile search campaigns: Get the most out of them with DoubleClick Search

It’s become a cliche for good reason: the future is mobile.

A few relevant statistics:

  • Smartphone users now account for 9% of all online traffic
  • Mobile searches have grown by 400% since 2010
  • By 2013, more people will use mobile devices than PCs to get online

All of these figures are growing rapidly, with many analysts predicting mobile web activity to increase by several times in 2012.

Most advertisers will benefit from targeting mobile searchers, but not everything you’ve learned from your experiences optimizing for desktop search applies to mobile.

Here are some best practices for managing mobile campaigns, and specific instructions for doing so within DoubleClick Search.

1. Create separate campaigns for each platform you’re targeting.
Because everything from your budget to your landing pages to your keyword list will differ for your desktop, smartphone, and tablet campaigns, it’s highly recommended to create separate campaigns for each of these. Some advertisers find it easier to manage their mobile and tablet campaigns in completely separate engine accounts.

DS3 note: Tablet-specific targeting will have to be set directly in the search engine user interfaces.

2. Write specific ad texts for different device operating systems
Especially useful if you’re selling smartphone-related products such as apps or content, you can use AdWords’ additional settings to target only Android or iOS devices, and write ad copy that highlights your user’s device preference to increase engagement.

DS3 note: Create separate campaigns for each device platform in DS3 as above, setting the Advanced mobile and tablet options in the AdWords interface.

3. Bid differently
Smartphones and tablets will have fewer ad slots available per page of search results, and as a result, you may need to target a higher position in your mobile campaigns to receive traffic.

DS3 note: Employ position-only bid strategies or CPA strategies with a position target to bid for higher ad slots for your mobile campaigns.

4. Direct users to a mobile-optimized landing page
While the resolution of smartphone screens keeps increasing, they still don’t approach that of desktops and laptops, so all advertisers serious about getting mobile traffic should create a mobile-specific site to use as a destination for your mobile search campaigns. provides great tools to help advertisers and agencies optimize their sites for the small screen.

DS3 note: When copying keyword lists from a desktop campaign, test your landing pages on a mobile device or using a device emulator to make sure they go to the mobile version of the site, either directly or via a redirect.

5. Tailor your keyword list to the mobile searcher
It’s still a good idea to copy the keywords from your desktop campaigns as a starting point. However, mobile searches still tend to contain fewer terms than desktop, so it’s likely long-tail keywords that receive traffic on the desktop will be less effective in smartphone campaigns and may even bring down your quality score. Also, many mobile searches (over 20%) contain geomodifiers; be sure you’re including those city and region names in your keywords for stronger matches.

DS3 note: If you have longer-tail terms in a desktop campaign you don’t want to appear in your mobile campaign for QS or other reasons, it’s faster and cleaner to delete them from your keyword create bulksheet before uploading into DS3 rather than creating and deleting later.

6. Bridging online and offline
Mobile click-to-call campaigns can be powerful lead generators. When setting up a click-to-call campaign, consult with your DoubleClick Search Technical Account Manager to learn how DS3 can import data from your advertisers’ call tracking solution to allow optimization on both online and offline conversions.

With a lightning-fast UI, efficient workflow, and best-in-class infrastructure, DoubleClick Search allows you to quickly and intelligently manage and optimize your mobile search campaigns at scale.

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