If Your Mobile Conversions Suck– Should You Really Just Ignore Mobile PPC?

By Brad


Google Ads Insights

You’re already using a –80% mobile bid modifier and yet mobile still just feels like its draining your budget each month. You’d rather spend money on tablets than mobile devices.

Your mobile CTR isn’t bad, but when you look at your cross device conversions; they are 0. And you know its working as you had 3 cross device conversions last month and have checked and double checked – they are really just 0.

When you spend $1 on search, you make $2.05. When you spend $1 on mobile, you make $1.11 – and that doesn’t take into account hard costs – mobile is actually losing you money.

Should you just turn off mobile devices and make your mobile bid modifier –100%?




The CMO of this company kept watching his competitors and realized that the best competitor had taken the plunge and turned off their mobile ads. He was finally fed up with mobile devices, and armed with the knowledge that his top competitor had bailed on mobile – he had the paid search team just turn off mobile. It took him only two weeks to realize something wasn’t quite right. It wasn’t a huge change, but he knew something wasn’t right with the new numbers he was seeing.

This company has 5 main competitors. One of them is very good. One of them is average. The other three are being managed by an agency that gives the good agencies a bad name.

However, those those 3 poor competitors were doing something that would end up hurting this company – buying the company’s name on all devices.

This is the danger in blanket statements and not segmenting everything before making decisions. There was a place mobile was doing well – branded terms. The competitors were buying this companies branded terms and as soon as this company stopped buying their own name  – they started losing a lot of branded traffic to their competitors on mobile devices.

Here’s their two brand campaigns (notice how even though the bid modifiers are –80% the mobile CPC is the same as desktops – I find that strange):



In the end, there are three main takeaways:

General data gives you worthless results. If you don’t segment your data at least once – you’re probably seeing poor data.

You might not want to buy your mobile brand terms – but it is a good defensive measure to make sure others aren’t or at least making sure you’re controlling as much real estate as possible on mobile devices for your brand. As many mobile searches now have 3 ads; the top organic listing often isn’t even displayed on a mobile device, depending on the device’s size.

Even on mobile devices, it’s worth buying your brand terms. Now, this isn’t a statement just because of this one story – mobile is slowly taking over and even for demographics and B2B companies where mobile doesn’t work right now; it will some day, and by buying your branded mobile traffic – you’ll see the trend.

When the economy took a huge downturn a few years ago, many people drastically cut marketing budgets and sometimes even entire channels. Those that kept something going are the ones who saw the end of the downturn in their industry and were better able to quickly shift and capitalize on that change.

Be ahead of the curve.

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