The Rise of Mobile Ads

It’s the year 2000. Computers have not crashed. The Nokia 3310 is the most popular mobile handset on the market. You have probably seen Gladiator at the movies – what a year that was!

And then comes Google with a revolutionary online advertising model: AdWords. At first, it has 350 customers only. What makes it standing out is that you can set up a campaign in minutes and immediately generate traffic to your website. The most interesting aspect of all being that you only pay when someone clicks your ad. No more CPM!

Fast forward 16 years. No one has a computer anymore. Nokia is now owned by Microsoft. You will probably watch Back to the Future on Netflix tonight – how things have changed!

Google AdWords has changed too, adapting itself to the world we live in today and renaming itself as Google Ads – and the evolution of online mobile advertising has been nothing short of phenomenal. Let’s have a look…

Mobile Internet Usage – where are we now?

Once only focusing on Desktop formats and loosely adapting them for mobile exposure, platforms such as Google Ads have embraced worldwide mobile marketing domination: two years ago, the long awaited Tipping Point occurred – mobile usage finally overtook fixed Internet.

And there will be no coming back.

While the raw number of mobile users is great, it all comes down to time spent on devices. And again, mobile usage is a clear winner with recent estimates of 51% of total daily time spent on mobile versus 42% on desktop (US data).

The implications are clear – more people are accessing the internet on mobile and, although they tend to spend most of their mobile Internet time on apps, this is the device they are searching information for most of their day.

How can a mobile advertiser benefit from the current state of play?

Typically, mobile research starts on Search Engines – not on branded sites, not on apps. When individuals are looking for something, whether informational, navigational or transactional, this happens on their preferred Search Engine.

Google recently published an infographic providing detailed data on how individuals use their mobile devices when looking for answers, at any stage of the buying process. The numbers are astonishing – in a connected world such as ours, people rely on the Internet. They trust what they see, learn to recognize new brands and make decisions on the go.

This is where and when advertisers need to make the most of it. By delivering these individuals in quest of an immediate response, idea or buying advice the appropriate message – your message.

How can you implement such a flexible system, that will allow you to be on the forefront, to be responsive, to listen, and to supply answers to your prospects at the exact time they are looking for it? How can you adequately identify their needs and offer the most suitable option?

This is where Search Engine Marketing should come to mind. Its main benefits are:

  • Audience segmentation: advertize only to specific demographics
  • Campaign fine-tuning: tweak and perfect your message, your offer
  • Budget control: have your ads show when and where it matters most
  • Acquisition cost management: establish specific Cost Per Lead rules

You are in total control. You have a marketing scenario in place and generate data along the way, allowing you to make instant sound business decisions. You fish where the fishes are.

Google AdWords and the rise of mobile ads

Google sees trillions of searches happening on its search engine each and every year – and currently over half of those happen on mobile!

As the leading SEM platform, Google Ads is obviously conscious of emerging trends and willing to provide mobile-interested advertizers with a complete arsenal of tools, in order to maximize their exposure and hopefully their profit.

Until recently, you had the opportunity to run an Ads campaign on multiple device types and offer a mobile-friendly declination of your ads to mobile users. This was great and quite useful, but earlier this year, we witnessed the emergence of mobile-specific improvements.

Mobile bidding

Individual device bid adjustments are coming! Yes, you will now be able to bid on Mobile only. This is a massive change as it allows for more granular and efficient bidding, based on the device type.

Expanded Text Ads for all devices

Expanded Text Ads are a much-welcomed improvement, and caused much stir when they started to appear during a testing phase in 2016 Q2. And for a good reason: they are two times bigger than current text ads! With a bigger headline and an extra-long description, those ads are designed to maximize your presence (and hopefully performance) on mobile.

Early testing advertisers reported increases in clickthrough rates of up to 20% compared to current text ads; why not test it out for yourself?

Responsive ads for Display

In the past, some display ads which were not perfectly designed could look clunky on mobile. Newly introduced responsive ads for display adapt to the content of the website they are posted on, matching its look and feel. They are automatically designed by Google when supplied with some basic information about the ad itself.

Extended location sitelinks

Fact: 30% of all mobile searches are related to location, whether specified in the search query or just by using search terms such as “near me”. In order to provide advertisers with new options, Google is now introducing new local search ads across and Google Maps; and additional options to traditional Ads advertisers in the form of improved location extensions. This is great for business owners with a physical store who want to improve foot traffic.

Wrapping up…

Those exciting updates are game-changers! They allow savvy advertisers to reap the benefits of a mobile-specific SEM campaign while keeping the costs under control.

We live in a mobile-first world. Ready to get the most out of your mobile marketing? You are probably using Google Ads already. Make sure you use it to its fullest!