Changes in Google AdWords – Mobile Devices

by Sarah Stone



Earlier this month, Google unveiled the biggest changes to the AdWords platform over  the last few years in a bold move to make AdWords work in the mobile world we all occupy and use. Designed to simplify campaign management across multiple devices, and to increase adoption rates of mobile advertising among small and medium sized businesses.

Google is highlighting three key features of enhanced campaigns:

  1. Simplified budget allocations: Manage bids across location, time of day, device type and more from a single campaign.
  2. Customized ad delivery based on where, when and how a user is searching: Show ads across devices with the right ad text, sitelink, app or extension, without having to edit each campaign for every possible combination of devices, location and time of day.
  3. New conversion types for more comprehensive reporting: Track multiple types of conversion including app downloads and calls from smartphones.

Here are 4 key mobile SEO trends to look out for, based on all of the new changes that are happening in the world of paid mobile search.

1. Local Organic Search is More Valuable than You Think.

One of the main drivers behind the recent redesign of AdWords was that it was getting difficult to measure the ROI of mobile search. For example, someone might:

  • View or click on an advertisement, then later walk into a local store and make an offline purchase.
  • Call a business straight from the Search Engine Results Page rather than converting on a “thank-you” page, or even visiting your site in the first place.
  • Start a purchase transaction on one device and complete it on another.

These same challenges exist in the SEO world, too. If you’re doing mobile SEO, you can’t track all the benefits you’re getting.

2. Mobile Search Is Really Way More Valuable Than You Think!

When it comes to quantifying the value of mobile search, it’s not just a matter of trying to track the aforementioned difficult-to-measure conversions. Furthermore, it’s worth pointing out that mobile-optimized ad formats do way better than regular ad listings – ads that employ a click-to-call ad extension and/or location extension enjoy an average 6-8% uplift in click-through-rate.

3. If You Must Have a Mobile Site, Don’t Dumb it Down

Some businesses have made the mistake of oversimplifying their mobile sites – what Chatterjee called “dumbing them down”:

The key takeaway here is, don’t strip your mobile site of information; just organize differently.

4. User Context is the Key

This has to do with a new concept of user context in search, which refers to the time, location and device from where a search was executed. According to Google, user context is the single biggest predictor of what users will search for, and what actions people will take after having conducted that search.

As an example of just how powerful user context is, consider that Google Now – the new App that provides you with all the information you need before you search for it – leverages your user context data (time and location) to determine exactly what it is you’re looking for before you search for it.

So now in AdWords, rather than creating specific ad campaigns to target different types of devices and hardware, search engine marketers are being asked to just create a single campaign and adjust the ad copy and bidding strategy based on user context.


Lets see what happens next.