Get All Access for $5/mo

The Top Tips You Need to Know About Local Mobile-Optimized Ads If your ads aren't optimized for mobile devices, you're missing a large chunk of your market. These strategies will help you get on track.

By Perry Marshall

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

aradaphotography |

In Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing, Google AdWords expert Perry Marshall and lead generation expert Talor Zamir introduce you to the basic framework behind a successful local marketing campaign. In this edited excerpt, Perry and Zamir offer advice on running mobile ad campaigns on Google AdWords.

It's now impossible to go outdoors without seeing people with their heads buried in their mobile devices. At the store, at our kids' soccer games, at a restaurant, and even in our cars, we're addicted to our smart­phones. And your prospects are no different (in fact, many of those people you see buried in their phones are your prospects).

So it should come as no surprise to hear that mobile search has been skyrocketing year after year. Mobile search has become one of the biggest areas of profitability for Google, and it's only going to continue to grow.

Here are just a few statistics that underscore the huge importance of mobile search in local markets:

  • According to a 2015 poll by BrightLocal, almost 40 percent of U.S. adult mobile phone users had searched for a local business on their phone at least once a month over the previous year.
  • Research from BIA/Kelsey estimated there would be 81.8 billion U.S. local search queries done via mobile in 2015. They estimate that by 2019 that number will be 141.9 billion!
  • As of mid-2015, the number of mobile searches now exceeds desk­top searches.

There are two key factors that make mobile so powerful for local businesses. One is that local businesses have an especially high percentage of prospects searching for them on mobile devices. The other is that, for most local businesses, you're trying to generate a phone call, so having a prospect already on their smartphone makes placing a call even easier. All it takes is one click, and they can instantly call you.

This makes it critical to make sure you have "click to call" enabled on the phone numbers on your landing pages. You also want to make sure your landing page is mobile responsive, so when prospects look at your landing page, it's mobile friendly and they can easily read the copy and see all the benefits. Then they just need to tap your phone number to place a call to you. Having this in place will lead to higher conversion rates.

Mobile leads can also be higher-quality leads, depending on the niche. One prime example is someone who was just in an accident and does a Google search on their phone for a car accident lawyer. That's someone who is going to be a very hot, very motivated lead. That's true in a number of niches, and we often find that high-quality leads come from mobile. If someone is searching specifically for a local business from their mobile device, they're probably not just browsing. People tend to browse a lot more from their computer than from a mobile device.

Mobile ad positioning

Typically the best "bang for your buck" for ad positioning is around 2.5. In that position, you're usually showing up in one of the top three spots, yet you're not overpaying for your clicks just to be number one.

However, things are a bit different for mobile. Whereas with desktop searches there will usually be three ads above the organic search results, in mobile, there will only be one or two. Because of this, it's very important to watch your mobile stats and make sure that your average position for mobile is two or preferably higher.

You don't want to be at position number three on mobile, because it means you're probably dropping to the very bottom of the page or possibly page two. And that means you're going to get a lot fewer impressions, a lower clickthrough rate, and miss out on a bunch of potential leads.

Mobile conversions are something you want to keep a close eye on, especially in the first week or two after launching a campaign. If you notice you're getting really good leads from mobile, you may want to consider raising your bid higher to be number one and maximize things to capture even more leads from mobile.

Google used to give you the option of running mobile-only search campaigns in AdWords. Unfortunately, that's not the case anymore. Instead, advertisers now have the option of adjusting their bids for mobile devices in their campaigns.

If you find mobile traffic isn't converting well for you, it's possible to decrease your mobile bids by 100 percent, which will effectively stop your ads from showing up in mobile searches. Or if mobile traffic is converting at a little higher cost per conversion than you'd like, decrease your mobile bids by 10 or 25 percent or whatever percentage you think makes sense based on the data. If mobile traffic is converting well, you can increase your bids for mobile anywhere from 1 percent to 300 percent to improve your mobile ad positioning.

Creating mobile optimized ads

In AdWords, you have the ability to create mobile-optimized ads. It's very easy to do. When you are creating a new ad, there's a checkbox for "Device preference" where your only option is "Mobile." Checking this box doesn't guarantee the ad will only run on mobile devices, but they are given "preference" on mobile devices.

It's not mandatory to do this and set up separate ads for desktop vs. mobile traffic. However, there are a few benefits to doing this.

First, it can help you better split-test your ads because, in each ad group, you can create two mobile ads that you can split-test against each other and two desktop ads that you can split-test against each other. Even more important is that you can better customize your ad copy for mobile devices. For instance, it's good practice to emphasize the words "Call Now" in your mobile ads because you really want people to call you rather than click through to your website.

Make sure you give mobile traffic the proper amount of attention it deserves in your campaigns. It may just turn out to be the most profitable source of traffic you can get!

Perry Marshall

Author, Sales and Traffic Expert, CEO and Founder of Perry S. Marshall & Associates

Perry Marshall is the president of Perry S. Marshall & Associates, a Chicago-based company that consults both online and brick-and-mortar companies on generating sales leads, web traffic and maximizing advertising results. He has written seven books including his most recent, 80/20 Sales and Marketing (Entrepreneur Press, 2013), Ultimate Guide to Facebook Advertising (Enterpreneur Press, 2014), Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords (Entrepreneur Press, 2014), and Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing (Entrepreneur Press, 2016). He blogs at

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Editor's Pick

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Thought Leaders

10 Simple, Productive Activities You Can Do When You Aren't Motivated to Work

Quick note: This article is birthed out of the urge to do something productive when I am not in a working mood. It can also inspire you on simple yet productive things to do when you're not motivated to work.


This Car Dash Display Is Only $90 Through June 26

Compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, this display is designed to make your commute safer.

Making a Change

Invest in a Lifetime of Learning for $100

Skill Success features a wide variety of e-learning courses on business, finance, and more.

Business News

Amazon Is Thinking About Charging Extra for AI Alexa

"Hey Alexa, how much are you going to cost?"

Business News

SoftBank CEO Says AI 10x Smarter Than Humans Could Be Here in a Matter of Years

SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son spoke to shareholders during the company's general meeting on Friday.