Why Mobile Matters: 3 Crucial Optimization Areas

Previous posts in this series have discussed the importance of getting serious about mobile and some handy AdWords tools and features for mobile ad serving. In this post, we’re going to look at a few mobile-specific optimizations for these features.

As has been discussed, the birth of Enhanced Campaigns early last year presented both new challenges and new opportunities for mobile AdWords advertising.


1.) Ability to set bid modifiers for mobile ads

Set separate bids based for your mobile ads by assessing the channel’s true contribution to the conversion funnel. For example, if both the direct and indirect contribution of mobile to your return is 20% lower than desktop, set a bid modifier to -20% for mobile ads.

Some things to remember:

  • Bids aren’t the only thing that affects mobile performance! Make sure you optimize other components of your mobile advertising — mobile-optimized site, mobile-specific creative, landing page optimizations — before you attempt to determine the overall worth of mobile to your advertising efforts.
  • Mobile often plays a crucial part in driving conversions via other channels. Consider attribution factors before determining optimal bid modifiers.


2.) Mobile Ads and Sitelinks

  • Ad Messaging – AdWords gives you the ability to designate your ads as “mobile-preferred”. This is important because it’s often beneficial to feature mobile-specific ad messaging and extensions in your mobile ads. The idea is to use mobile ad messaging to capitalize on user context. For example, use mobile-optimized ad promoting your local storefront.
  • Sitelinks and Call Extensions — Highlight in-store deals via mobile-only sitelink extensions and schedule them to run only during business hours.
  • Ad Scheduling – This is extremely powerful. The ability to control when call extensions show means you can avoid wasting money on click-to-call actions after business hours.
  • Location Extension — These will direct users to their default map application and provide directions to your storefront.



Some things to keep in mind when when using the “mobile-preferred”setting:

  • If all active ads within an ad group are set to mobile preferred, all ads will show on all devices
  • If no active ads within an ad group are set to mobile preferred, all ads will show on all devices
  • If some active ads within an ad group are set to mobile preferred, and others are not, mobile preferred ads will show only on mobile devices, others will show on desktop only


3.) Set Click-to-Call Conversion Windows Based On Performance

AdWords provides the ability to track calls as conversions by estimating the amount of time the call must last for the conversion to take place. For example, if you run a bed and breakfast and assume that a call lasting more than five minutes suggests someone is making a reservation, you can count all calls lasting five minutes or longer as a conversion. Keep in mind that call extensions are set at the ad group level, so you can set different conversions for each ad group. This might be beneficial if you’ve arranged your ad groups to feature different products or services, each with different values or conversion types.



  • Set bid modifiers for mobile ads only after considering both direct and indirect value of mobile
  • Take advantage of mobile ad messaging and scheduling
  • Use location and call extension features
  • Use mobile click-to-call conversion setting for better reporting