From 2011 to 2013, smartphone adoption in the U.S. grew from 36% to 61% (source). And tablet owners grew significantly. 4 in 5 consumers use search engines to find products, services, or experiences nearby. 84% use search engines on their computer or tablet and even more (88%) do so on their smartphone (source). Retailers are waking up to the power of capturing mobile demand. According to Digby 70% of top retailers now offer mobile apps. Further research indicates that 78% of fast food chains, 75% of casual dining brands, 77% of big-box retailers, 59% of specialty stores, and 58% of grocery stores have mobile apps (source). You can use the Consumer Barometer to understand the multi-screen world, the smart shopper, and the smart viewer, and share the graphs or export them as GSVs or PNG. “The Multi-screen World, The Smart Shopper, and the Smart Viewer can be used to understand the customer journey. 68% of mobile searches occur at home(source). W88% of clicks on mobile search ads are incremental to organic clicks. In certain industries, this figure can be as high as 97% (source). 80% of smartphone users use mobile phones for shopping research, and 80% of those shoppers do their mobile research in-store (source).

The use of mobile phones in stores has led to the phenomenon of “showrooming,” which turns brick-and-mortar stores into showrooms for products that are then purchased online or via mobile. Mobile can help you promote your app, drive calls to your business, drive online leads or sales, drive in-store sales, and help you build awareness. Apps offer unique ways to engage with your best customers, including connecting through social and gaming. They can also aid the offline experience,  driving e-commerce and loyalty. The biggest challenges of promoting an app are driving discovery and installation, driving engagement, and driving conversion of your most valuable customers. For many businesses, re-engagement is fundamental

  1. More usage (since you monetize by serving ads in your app, like a traditional media publisher)
  2. More brand awareness (e.g., for key brands, driving continued awareness of the parent brand or specific product launches)

The key is identifying whom you want to re-engage and deciding how you’ll do it. app indexing,  deep-linking, formats and targeting that are optimized for re-engagement. The easy-to-use remarketing lists leverage YouTube (videos watched), Google Play (automated), and Google Analytics (user segmentation), along with first- and third-party data.

  1. Build remarketing lists: Define in-app triggers (e.g., dropped out of purchase flow) or key segments (e.g., lapsed users) to target

  2. Do proactive outreach: Consider available channels (e-mail, app push notifications, back of register tape, in-app) to re-engage

  3. Offer something unique: Provide a unique experience (in-store reward, exploding offer, or discount)

  4. Deep-link: Develop your app so it directs people into deeper, more targeted sections

  5. Track: Measure everything beyond installs to understand your most valuable customers and their behaviors (subscriptions, retail purhcases, etc.)

Mobile app revenue comes from in-app purchases. Measure the lifetime value (LTV) of your users with Google Analytics. AdWords lets you track conversions with a  codeless solution, use conversion tracking, and target cost-per-action (CPA) optimization. You can also identify and target customers based on segments.


  • Creating a seamless checkout: For in-app purchases or e-commerce, make checkout a breeze (e.g., log-in/pay button, fewer clicks and fields, 1-click purchase)

  • Tracking purchases: Measure each customer’s (or segment’s) lifetime value and shopping behavior by monitoring conversions

  • Offering something unique: Consider reputable third parties that can help with more-complex tracking/reporting (e.g., x-device, x-platform). Drive specific conversions (e.g., camera, location, QR codes, alerts, offline)


Consumers want a choice in how they reach your business — sometimes it’s easier to call. Consumers are calling more frequently than ever Don’t miss out on the demand for calls; they can generate sales and real results for your business Using SEO keywords/search ads and then using retargeting ads to lower CPA. Call extensions give you the ability to dial a number and should be used if you want to focus exclusively on driving calls. Call-only ads are a great option for advertisers with no mobile site or low mobile conversion rates. Google forwarding numbers enable rich call reporting. Calls are seamlessly routed through a dynamic number (different for every campaign, ad group, ad, and keyword). Your phone rings normally but the forwarding lets you:

  1. see which keywords, ads, ad groups, and campaigns might be driving calls to your business
  2. understand your return on investment (ROI) and make better-informed decisions about your ad spend
  3. use flexible bid strategies (such as target CPA and target ROAS) that automatically optimize campaigns according to your business goals

You can see all the calls your ads drove to your business, including when they were made, whether they were connected, their duration, and their area code.  Count conversions from cross-device sessions calls sourced from click-to-call actions, in-store visits, and purchases facilitated by store locator searches from smartphones, and those from your mobile app. Target consumers at the right locations, Drive them to your business with the right ad, Measure the offline impact of your online spend, and Optimize for omnichannel performance.

Use location bid adjustments to reach people nearby. If a mobile user is near your store, use location bid adjustments to raise bids by a percentage that you’ve pre-set. This gives your ad a higher rank and more visibility with these people. Relevant ads can show on Google Maps when someone does a search. They show on both desktop and mobile, and include a title, text, and link for directions. Location extensions let prospective customers instantly get directions to your business or make a call from your ad. They give mobile users extra information, saving them from having to hunt down details. With one click, they can find out how close your store is and also get directions. Image-based local inventory search ads tell people you’ve got what they want, and how close they are to your store. When a shopper clicks on your ad, they go to a Google-powered local storefront that displays other inventory and prices in your store, based on your local inventory data feed. It’s easy for a prospective customer to pop into your store and pick up an item . . . and maybe more.

The AdWords geographic report can help you assess performance at different levels of targeting and identify location bid adjustment opportunities. You can see certain queries near your store, which can help you understand the offline impact. And you can use other tools, including store visits reporting and store transactions attribution, to help determine how online ads lead to store visits and drive in-store transactions. When people are in your store, for instance, searching for a different color or size of an item, they can also view your local inventory in the local storefront, helping them shop inside your shop. Budgeting and bidding decisions must incorporate the value of consumers’ offline actions that were influenced by your online advertising. Omnichannel seeks to provide the customer with a seamless shopping experience. To optimize omnichannel performance: online, app, offline. Google My Businessis a good starting place. consumers do searches related to your business, they see your location, store hours, and phone number. If search gets you 2 offline sales for every online sale, and you’re not measuring that, you’ll undervalue your search spend. Your bids will be too low and you’ll leave sales and profits on the table — online and offline. In the long term, you won’t be able to compete with those who measure and bid based on a complete picture

A recent study found that 56% of impressions aren’t even seen. With YouTube’s huge scale (it reaches more 18-34-year-olds than any U.S .cable network), you can quickly connect with your audience. Ultimately, there are 5 reasons: mobile reach, ad formats that drive engagement and value, campaign performance and tracking optimization, integration with Google Play for tracking and targeting, and inventory transparency.

Across the mobile landscape, Google has a global reach:

  • Mobile app network with more than 650,000 apps (source)
  • Top mobile search engine
  • Mobile web display network with more than 500,000 mobile-optimized sites on the GDN (source)
  • Mobile video platform with half of YouTube views on mobile devices (source)
  • Mobile email client with Gmail

Measure mobile actions that users take (e.g., purchase, call, app download, directions) across channels (e.g., search, video, display, in-app), and across devices. Google lets you turn data into action with its bidding, targeting, and optimization tools. You can turn cross-channel and -device insights into bidding and optimization decisions.

  • Conversion Optimizer for apps: AdWords automatically takes into account dozens of signals (e.g., location, time of day, CTR, device) and adjusts bids accordingly across search and display inventory to help advertisers hit desired cost-per-install goals
  • Confirmed clicks: Google’s mobile display ads help prevent accidental clicks by verifying each person’s intentions before directing to the app download page
  • Automatic exclusions: Google’s mobile app promotion template ads are automatically excluded from showing to people who’ve already downloaded the app

Google Play, you get unique insights and custom targeting.

  • Similar app installers: Target users who’ve downloaded apps in the same category as yours (e.g, a hotel-finder app could target those who’ve already download travel apps)
  • In-app purchasers: Target users who’ve either paid for apps or made a purchase within an app (e.g., a gaming advertiser might target people who’ve previously spent money in game apps)
  • Codeless Android app install tracking: Google lets advertisers track their Android downloads without having to add code to the app

The best practices below are part of Google’s Best Practices Series,



Apps can offer features that mobile sites can’t, such as notifications, camera integration, and one-click purchasing.To that end, companies should develop their apps to enable “deep linking,” which makes it possible for online ads to direct users into deeper, more targeted sections of an app than the homepage. This can be an invaluable tool for engaging with existing app users and immediately driving them to new offers, products, or features that can be accessed or bought within the app. Select events that are likely to take place within a short time frame, such as 30 days, in order to identify valuable users early. Include actions focused on engagement, such as opening the app or searching within it, in addition to transaction-oriented actions.


Set your mobile bid based on the value mobile generates.

  1. From the Campaigns tab, click Segment and choose Device  
  2. Choose campaigns with enough data for consistent results (90 days/more than 20 conversions on both Mobile and Computer)
  3. Find Computer conversion rate and mobile conversion rate using Estimated Total Conversions column.
  4. Divide mobile conversion rate by computer conversion rate -1

For example:

  • Mobile conversion rate = 4.43%
  • Computer conversion rate = 3.96%
  • (4.43% / 3.96%) -1 = 0.118 = 12%

mobile bid formula:

Mobile bid = (mobile conversion rate / desktop conversion rate) – 1

  • Display Planner generates ideas for all the ways you can target the Display Network. Targeting ideas are based on your customers’ interests or your landing page. They include keywords, placements (websites, videos, mobile apps, mobile app categories), topics, interests (affinities, in-market segments), demographics (age, gender), and remarketing.

You can find the Display Planner under the Tools.

Mobile devices

Mobile devices are products people use while they’re on the go. New mobile devices are constantly being released, so we don’t have a comprehensive list of all of them. However, here are a few common types:

Mobile phones

“Mobile phones” usually refers to smartphones that have a screen smaller than 7 inches. Keep in mind that in AdWords, mobile phones are sometimes to as “mobile devices” or “mobile devices with full browsers.”


Tablets resemble both mobile phones and computer in many ways. But unlike mobile phones, tablets typically have a screen that’s 7 inches or larger. And unlike computers, tablets have touchscreens. Keep in mind that in AdWords, “Mobile devices” is sometimes used to refer to mobile phones and tablets.


Wearables—like smartwatches—are devices that people can use to connect to the internet on the go but are typically smaller than mobile phones. At this time, AdWords doesn’t show ads on devices that don’t have a screen.

Types of mobile ads

Image aAds

Customize ads with real-time updates: Tailored messaging: Ads are hyper-specialized to each search or webpage being viewed.

  • Time-sensitive calls to action: The COUNTDOWN function can say that time’s running out to take advantage of a promotion.
  • Scalability: Customizers let a single text ad have hundreds of variations and show the most relevant variation to each potential customer.
  • Reporting: The automatic updates that happen when an ad is triggered don’t reset the ad’s performance data.

Manual Extensions: Apps, Calls, Locations, Reviews, Sitelinks, Callouts

Automated Extensions: Consumer Ratings, Previous Visits, Seller Ratings, Dynamic site link extensions, Dynamically structured snippets, Customizers fill in your ad text using ad customizer data that you upload, the COUNTDOWN function, or both.

  • Ad customizer data: This is a data set you to upload to AdWords in a spreadsheet file. Customizers reference the name of this data set, as well as an attribute it includes. For example, the customizer {=Discounts.PercentOff} references a dataset named “Discounts,” and one of its attributes, named “PercentOff.”
  • The COUNTDOWN function: Customizers with a COUNTDOWN function include arguments, or directions, for that function within parentheses (like this). The customizer {=COUNTDOWN(Discounts.CountdownDate,’fr’)}, for example, includes a COUNTDOWN function with 2 arguments.
    • The first argument (Discounts.CountdownDate) tells the customizer what date and time to count down to, which is specified in a file named “Discounts.”
    • The second argument (“fr”) tells the customizer to display that time in a particular language (French).

Customizer data can include anything you like

Customizers work like the keyword insertion feature, which uses the {keyword:default text} parameter to put the keyword used for targeting into your ad text. Ad customizers can insert any type of text at all.

  • Are you running a sale? Customizers can display certain discounts with certain products, for sales that change periodically, or that are limited to a specific time period.
  • Are you managing a large inventory? Customizers can use brand-related keywords to display specific details about the product someone’s looking for.
  • Do you sell your products in multiple cities and regions? Customizers can use someone’s physical location (or the location they’re interested in) to show location-specific pricing, product availability, or calls to action.

When you use customizers well, they give people confidence that you have what they’re looking for, as well as an incentive to buy it from you.

Enhancements: A product must have at least 3 reviews in order for product ratings to be eligible to show on “Special offers” with Merchant Promotions, Product Ratings, and Trusted Stories.

Where mobile ads can appear

On mobile phones or tablets, Text ads, Image ads, App promotion ads, and HTML 5 ads built with Google Web Designer.

Within apps on mobile phones or tablets

  • Text ads
  • Image ads
  • App promotion ads
  • Image app promotion ads
  • Video app promotion ads
  • TrueView for app promotion ads

Call-only ads show only on devices that can make calls

Mobile image ads requirements

To create image ads, your campaign must be opted into the Display Network, either as “Display Network only” or “Search Network with Display Select”. If you’re using 3rd party ad serving to create ads, make sure to use the accepted sizes for images and follow the requirements:

  • Mobile phone: 320 x 50, 300 x 250, 336 x 280 Interstitial
  • Tablet: 300 x 250, 728 x 90, 468 x 60, 336 x 280 Interstitial

Create Effective Mobile Ads: Google Best Practices




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