Mobile advertising: best tips & practices

With the rate of mobile phone usage rapidly increasing, there is no greater time than now to reconsider your mobile advertising strategy. In this article, we will outline how to best optimise your mobile advertising strategy to maximise efficiency and drive leads to your business.

Following the outbreak of COVID-19, smartphone and mobile phone usage is up by 70% for all internet users, and with more people making purchases on their mobile phones, m-commerce is predicted to hit 44% of e-commerce by 2024. Mobile advertising is a huge opportunity that retailers do not want to miss out on, especially during this upcoming holiday season.

Adapt your ads to the mobile experience

Ad copy is a user’s first encounter with your online brand, and it is important for your ad to stand out within the competitive landscape. The more tailored your ad copy is for your target audience, the more likely they are to engage and visit your site, thus improving ad click-through-rate. Therefore, when optimising for mobile, ad copy needs to be targeted to the mobile user experience.

IF functions

IF functions allow you to insert a specific message in your text when a condition has been met, or a default message when it has not been met. You can tailor your ad copy with a specific message for mobile users and show a default message when consumers are on other devices.

For example, whilst using a desktop, your description might ask users to ‘Click here’, but on mobile it might be adapted to ‘Tap here’. Including phrases such as ‘Visit Our Website On Your Mobile’ or ‘Find Out More On Your Mobile’ is a great way to adapt your message specifically to mobile users.

To utilise an IF function, create a text ad as you normally would in the Google Ads interface using the ‘+’ button. When creating the descriptions, enter the ‘{‘ symbol and click on the IF function option. Select ‘Device’ and then use ‘Mobile’ as the IF condition. Lastly, type in the description that you would like to be shown on a mobile device and your default text.

Location extensions

With over 20% of Google searches being related to local products, services, or places, it is integral to optimise your campaigns to drive consumers to your brick and mortar store. With mobile phones giving users the ability to search whilst on-the-go, location extensions are a great way to provide the information you need to get consumers to your storefront and drive conversions.

Location extensions can show a user lots of useful information about a store across the Search and Display Network, as well as YouTube. The information a business can share includes:

  • Business hours
  • Business photos
  • Distance to your business location and its city
  • Directions 
  • Call extensions (clickable call buttons that show with your ad)  

Location extensions can be created via the curated locations option, which provides a list of pre-selected stores that are deemed to be a good fit with the country associated with your account. If your business does not show here, you can create location extensions linked to your Google My Business (GMB) account.

Ensure you have a mobile-friendly landing page

Once a mobile user has seen your optimised ad and clicks through to your site, their page experience is the next important step in the customer journey towards conversion. Landing page quality is paramount, as users are five times more likely to leave a website if landing page quality is poor. Landing page quality also impacts your Google Quality Score, which affects your Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) ranking and maximum cost-per-clicks (CPCs). To lower bounce rate and improve your position, landing pages need to be mobile-friendly.

One clear way indicator that your landing page is not mobile-friendly is a poor mobile conversion rate. If your mobile IF functions or device parameters have high clicks but low conversions, it is likely that mobile users are having a poor user experience.

There are multiple ways to help create a mobile-friendly landing page:

  1. Ensure that your site is suited to mobile users – responsive design can ensure that sites are tailored to both mobile and desktop, with a site dynamically changing based on how it is being accessed.
  2. Make sure your main call-to-action is clear on a smaller mobile screen.
  3. Test your landing page speed – assess how fast your content loads on your page using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. If your landing page speed is poor, this could be due to low compression images or high file requests through Javascript.

Device optimisation

Alongside age, gender, and location, you can optimise your campaigns by device, including desktop, tablet and mobile. Changing device bid modifiers enables you to push spend towards devices performing well against your Key Performance Indicator (KPI) target, while pulling back on areas where you are seeing poor performance. This ensures that what you invest in mobile is benchmarked, and you can review this spend to make sure that you are achieving return on investment.

Review your device parameter data once every fortnight and consider your engagement metrics (clicks and impressions), conversion metrics (conversions, conversion value and conversion rate), KPI (cost per acquistion (CPA), return on investment (ROI)), and cost. Where you see high conversions or strong ROI/CPA, increase your bid adjustment for that campaign. Conversely, if you are seeing high costs and poor ROI/CPA targets, you should pull back on your bid adjustment. Croud recommends optimising between +30% and -30%.

When optimising for mobile, it is important that this is not done in isolation, as it is vital to consider other device optimisations. For example, if desktop and computer are on +10% for a certain campaign, pushing mobile to 10% as well will only push bids higher without favouring one device over the other. Staggering bid adjustments will always ensure that better performing devices are optimised.


Mobile users are an audience often not considered when optimising performance, but there are many ways we can improve mobile targeting. By implementing tailored creative, mobile-friendly landing pages and optimised bids based on device, we can create a successful mobile campaign that will not only improve reach but drive conversions for your business.

To learn more about mobile advertising, or to speak with Croud’s PPC team, get in touch!

by Croud
2 October 2020



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