Mobile vs. Desktop—What You Need to Know Before Launching Your Next PPC Campaign

It’s no secret that over the course of the last 2 years in particular, mobile traffic has increased so much that it now accounts for approximately half of all internet traffic. Strangely, many advertisers have been slow to add a mobile strategy to their SEM efforts. With such a potentially huge portion of internet browsing taking place on mobile devices, this can be a costly mistake. Googles new “enhanced” campaigns introduced last year removed the need to run separate desktop and mobile campaigns as has been done for years, however, it’s important to remember there are still some things to keep in mind when approaching the mobile aspect of your campaign.

Conversion Goals

Depending on what you deem relevant conversion goals, they may perform quite differently on mobile, and the campaign and its conversion metrics should be created to reflect that fact. For example, you may see far more visits to your directions page/s, but fewer completed online orders for products, so you may want to track visit to your mobile directions page as a goal. The ad copy could also use a CTA to encourage or speak to the ease of the directions look up page in an effort to capitalize on that foot traffic.

On-site Behavior

You should also be aware of the fact that on mobile devices, getting the user to info relevant to them is even more important than on desktops. This is because mobile pages have a much smaller display area and because mobile net browsing tends to be done while on the go. Keep in mind that often, ad copy will be truncated and only the 1st line will appear. If your user is looking up directions or just wants to compare prices while out running errands, the ad and subsequent landing page that gets the desired info to them the quickest is the one most likely to win their business. Keep this in mind when creating compelling copy for both the ad, and it’s landing page.


Because the mobile space is seeing this relatively sudden explosion in traffic and only the top 2 ads tend to show, it can be a much more competitive ad space than desktop. This in turn means you should be prepared to have a higher CPC if you wish to make mobile a bigger part of your strategy. You’ll need to be prepared to use the mobile bid adjustment feature of AdWords aggressively in some cases.

Device Type

Remember, mobile devices themselves are varied. Users may trend to behave differently on tablets than on phones. Tablets have a habit of being used more similarly to desktops than phones do, so in some cases you may not need to be as generous with your bids. While phone traffic is more likely to become foot traffic if you have a brick and mortar storefront, tablets and desktops are more likely to convert online if possible, or for the research phase of the conversion funnel.

Don’t forget, mobile is so large now it accounts for roughly 50% of all traffic and that number is increasing each season. Even if you’re not chasing direct response, that’s a segment of traffic that shouldn’t be neglected even from a branding perspective.

For more PPC tips and best practices, download this free eBook, How To Transform Your PPC Campaigns Todayand learn thefundamentals of creating powerful and productive PPC campaigns that drive real results.

Dale Harley is a PPC Strategist at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia area advertising agency.

Dale Harley


No comments!

There are no comments yet, but you can be first to comment this article.

Leave reply