Do you fall into the “anti-mobile PPC” camp? I’d be willing to bet that mobile advertising could be worthwhile for you and I have 5 data-backed charts to prove it. Dead set on using -100% mobile bid modifiers? You won’t feel that way soon! Game on.

#1 The Search Landscape Has Officially Changed

When I started managing paid search accounts back in 2011, mobile advertising was an afterthought. I had to beg clients to include mobile in their strategic plans for the coming year. In fact, I distinctly remember sending emails titled “It’s time to Go Mo!” (cringe-worthy, I know), urging them to allocate resources to developing mobile landing pages and set up mobile-specific campaigns. Most who took the plunge considered it to be a pretty progressive, experimental way to test the waters.

mobile ppc charts when i was a kid meme

Oh, how times have changed.

mobile vs. pc local search volumes

Source: BIA/Kelsey

As you can see from the BIA/Kelsey chart above, the number of mobile searches has officially surpassed desktop and this trend is expected to continue. It goes without saying, mobile should no longer be an afterthought for any paid search advertisers. The search landscape is evolving and it’s high time that PPC advertisers prioritize their mobile strategy.

#2 Organic Performance Takes a Beating on Mobile

breaking down the impact of mobile search ads

Source: Think With Google

Thought you could rely on your organic listings to nab mobile searchers? Think again! As you can see in the chart above, when you nix your mobile ads, total clicks from the SERP to your website plummet dramatically. Why the big difference? Let’s put ourselves in a mobile searcher’s shoes:

  • You just ran into a glass door and your tooth fell out. You need a dentist STAT. So, you do a search for a dentist in Boston and this is what you find:

mobile landing page dentist

When I did this search, it took a solid scroll and a half before I even caught a glimpse of an organic listing. Given my toothless status, I certainly wouldn’t bother scrolling down until I found a non-ad. We all know there’s significantly less real estate on a smartphone’s SERP. What’s even more disheartening for SEOs, is the recent news that Google is moving to showing three ads at the top of mobile SERPs, rather than just two. Kiss those freebie organic clicks goodbye…

  • Ok now, envision that your shower won’t turn off and you’re desperately in need of a plumber. Given the choice between these two fine plumbing professionals, which one would you contact?

mobile ppc ad plumberOR mobile organic listing plumber

If you said the latter, I don’t believe you. Who wouldn’t call the dude who claims to be #1, shows up on time AND will give you a $50 discount to boot? Not to mention, you can call him with just a click on the little phone icon? Come on, let’s just all agree that having the ability to craft your own ad copy PLUS offer bells and whistles like site links and call extensions rocks.

#3 You Want People to Use Your App

So, your company built an app. And you’re really proud of it. It’s beautifully designed, with state-of-the-art UX…and it cost you a pretty penny. Now, how disappointed (slash irate) will you be if no one actually uses it?

mobile ppc womp womp

Believe me, I feel you. The Marketing Team here at WordStream HQ recently developed a PPC University app and it was no simple feat. After all of the extensive planning, designing, development and testing, we’re dead set on ensuring its success (read: you should totally download it!!!) and paid search will certainly play a big role in our promotion of it.

mobile ppc 1 in 4 app users

Source: Think With Google

In order for your app to really take off, you need to get it in front of a new audience. Paid search is the perfect venue to do this. According to Google, 25% of app users find an app through search. These ads are particularly effective because you have the opportunity to highlight the app directly within your ad copy using app extensions. Even better, once a user has downloaded your app, you can use mobile app engagement campaigns to promote usage. This new format allows you to deep link directly from your search ads to your app. The bottom line is, if you’re not running PPC ads, you may be shooting your app in the foot.

#4 You Want Prospects to Call You

marketing channel effectiveness chart

Source: Ifbyphone

You’re not alone!According to a 2010 BIA/Kelsey study, 65% of businesses consider phone calls to be their highest quality lead source. I mean really, who actually likes the thrill of the chase when you could have a warm lead calling you directly?

desktop vs. mobile conversion funnel

Consider a desktop search conversion funnel. A searcher sees your ad and, ideally, he clicks on it, which leads him to your landing page. Unfortunately, most landing pages are somewhat “leaky” (they have a 3% conversion rate on average!), so there’s a high likelihood that you will never convert many people who come in through a desktop search. On the flipside, with the advent of click-to-call, you can avoid the landing page altogether, cutting out the middle man and capturing the lead more efficiently.

alexander graham bell

Reminder: Alexander Graham Bell designed phones to make calls…

Where better a place to promote calls than on a phone screen itself? Between call extensions and call-only campaigns, AdWords gives you exactly what you need to push searchers to give you a ring!

#5 Mobile Is Even MORE Important For an International Audience

There’s no disputing that traffic from mobile devices in the United States is significant. However, our overall mobile web traffic pales in comparison to many other countries. Check out the graph below to better understand which regions’ populations frequently access the internet from their phones. If they fit in your target market, it’s a no brainer that you should be prioritizing your mobile strategy!

mobile share of web traffic

Source: StatCounter via We Are Social

As you can see, if you’re skeptical of whether to invest in mobile advertising, there a ton of valuable data out there worth exploring! Now that you’ve see these stats, are you planning on revisiting your mobile strategy?

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