It is something you know you should be doing. Many companies talk about it, but are you doing it?
Are you creating an experience that renders well on a mobile devise?
If not, Google is giving you one more reason to do it. Adwords Quality Score will now take into account the mobile experience for your landing page. Greg Sterling, in a Search Engine Land post gives good background on the motive behind this move.
So, now what?
If you have a mobile version of your site, and an appropriate landing page, your campaign segments should already include a dedicated mobile effort. This has been part of best practices for a while. However, until now, many companies have allowed users to ‘suffer through’ a sub optimal experience on mobile by keeping mobile devises targeted with desktop devises in their campaigns’ setup. Now, it is time to stop; not just talk about stopping, but really do it.
To ensure you don’t get dinged, any campaign that combines all devises where the landing page has not been specifically reviewed for mobile quality should have the mobile targeting removed (and if it is a good mobile experience, the campaigns should be separate anyway). If you are unsure of the campaign settings, then it is a pretty good bet that you are on the default settings – this includes mobile.
But I want the traffic!
At one point, you may have gotten away with the argument that the extra traffic (about 11%) is worth ticking off some users (not an argument I accept, but I have heard). Now, it will hurt all your AdWords traffic.
If you don’t have an immediate fix, Google does provide an option (temporary, in my view.) The Google Mobile Landing page creator will allow you to create a simple landing page for mobile. If you absolutely have no resource to create a mobile landing page now, this is an option.
However, I recommend getting serious about mobile. Put the time and resources into understanding how mobile is used by consumers in your category, and build it out accordingly. As for the landing page and Adwords Quality Score, Google’s mobile practices is a place to start. However, I caution that this is just a starting point. Every industry is different, and consumers are looking for everything from a simple phone number, or the nearest location up through online quotes and purchasing. So, don’t stop at the landing page. Think through the whole process.
A final thought
Understand that, by doing this, Google may potentially be limiting the monitization of ads – loss of revenue. However, there must be enough demand (mobile searches), and now, supply (advertisers with mobile ready sites) that the risk is minimal. In other words, there are enough advertisers ready to make this jump that Google must not see a risk to it’s revenue.
If you’re not one of those advertisers, this should give you heartburn.