When to Defy Best Practices for PPC Management
I recently experienced an all-too-real case study in which I reluctantly engaged in by-the-book best practices. An ecommerce client I work with does not have a mobile-friendly site yet. In this case, best practices dictate that I should add a negative bid adjustment as high as the full -100% mobile-bid adjustment in order to eliminate mobile traffic completely. So I did. Big mistake.
I should have a flash or rebellious inspiration and rallied against traditional wisdom. Instead, I added a -80% mobile bid adjustment as a test. Sales fell the following week by 30 – 40%. I pulled the plug on the test a week earlier than I intended to as a result.
As I’ve intimated, my gut told me that mobile shoppers are essential for both macro & micro conversions within the conversion funnel. But, unlike lunchtime, I didn’t listen to my gut and fell back on all of my trainings that led me down this path.
Soon after, when fate was either illuminating me or pouring salt in the wound, I had a Google training pushing how vital mobile-optimization was to any campaign, regardless of the nature of the business or the type of conversion they seek.
According to Google, by 2019, mobile calls to businesses will double into the hundreds of billions. Google also states that 90% percent of interactions are Cross-Device, meaning that they started on mobile/desktop and the conversion concluded on desktop/mobile. This type of conversion has become less elusive to track, as Google has made it possible if the converter is signed into their Google account. Furthermore, for businesses that calls are of importantance, 70% of mobile searchers have used click-to-call ads.
As you can tell, Google is really hammering the mobile nail home in the wake of “Mobilegeddon”; the push to make all sites mobile-friendly. But Google is simply the weather vane for the future of digital marketing and technology usage in this scenario. Personal mobile devices, such as phone, tablets & the increasing array of hybrids being released, seem to be the wave of the future. That means increased search volume, which will produce leads and sales.
Large-ticket items are traditionally researched on desktops, but even the conversion itself can be cross-device and completed on a mobile device at the users’ convenience. In addition, Google is also stressing the importance of mobile devices in the Assisted Conversion Path. Now, mobile devices will receive credit for all of the conversions they eventually were parlayed into, as we are all familiar with the pre-purchase research users initiate on mobile devices during their free moments on the train or subway, waiting in a doctor’s office, oil changes, etc.
Circling back to the original point, my gut instinct was merely a reaction based on the in-depth training I receive at 1SEO.com Digital Agency as a pay per click specialist. The older idea of negative mobile bid adjustments for non-mobile friendly sites was eclipsed by the growing mobile trend I highlighted. Since then, I’ve had additional trainings on this very topic, illuminating moments where defying best practices can be beneficial. That is why we maintain a high level of staff trainings here; because “best practices” should not become static pillars to navigate around, but rather ideas that are beneficial to clients and their accounts as the winds of change blow through the digital marketing field.