5 Mobile Adwords Best Practices

By clariondevelop

  • Article summary

Mobiles are still surpassing the highest expectations and Google constantly updates its algorithms and products, Corey Padveen looks at mobile AdWords best practices that improve results and drive a new generation of search traffic.

Mobile advertising is nothing new. The concept was first introduced in Finland (via SMS text messages) in 2000, elaborated upon in textbooks in 2002 and launched at scale with AdWords in 2006 by AdMob, and acquired by Google in 2009.

Then, in a seemingly exponential fashion, mobile advertising took off. It makes sense when you think about it; research shows that 80% of people will not leave the house without their mobile device. What’s more, nearly two thirds of smartphone users are using their mobile devices to conduct searches (almost exclusively on Google). With these numbers continuing to grow day-over-day, it is understandable that this year, 2016, marketers will be spending over $100 billion on mobile advertising.

According to eMarketer, that number is projected to increase significantly over the next few years to nearly $200 billion by 2019. That’s a twofold growth in just three years. Of course, one can’t discuss mobile advertising without mentioning, at the very least, Facebook (and Twitter, Yahoo, LinkedIn, etc.) but here we’ll simply be discussing a few best practices when it comes to mobile-specific ads on Google, as they still own over 30% of the market share, and are far more receptive to gaming ads.

That said, marketers in gaming should be cognizant of what Facebook offers, and leveraging the social network wherever and whenever possible. With that said, let’s take a look at a few mobile advertising best practices for iGaming marketers.

Clearly define your audience

Why would anyone who sees your ad be bothered to click on it if it isn’t tailored specifically to their tastes and preferences? They wouldn’t. When it comes to mobile, intent is going to be a driving factor behind whether or not users click on your ads. Generally, a mobile search is action-driven. Therefore, you’ll need to know exactly who you’re talking to with each of your ads.

There are, of course, traditional demographics that can be targeted with an AdWords campaign, but you’re going to want to get much more specific, taking into account the time of day, their interests and, of course, the intention behind their search. Think more in terms of longer tail keywords (discussed below) as opposed to the more generic ones that might work on desktop. With this mindset, it will be much easier to build a target persona for each one of your ad and keyword groups.

Develop keyword groups specific to mobile

As noted, defining a more evolved view of the customer means thinking in terms of the intent-driven keywords that people use when conducting a mobile search. While your AdWords campaigns on desktop searches might drive clicks for keywords like ‘best online casino’ and ‘online casino bonus’ your mobile AdWords campaigns will benefit greatly from more specific mobile keyword and ad groups.

A great way to evaluate this is by using Google’s free Keyword Planner. As you can see from Figure 1, there is an option whereby your keyword analysis can be limited to mobile search volume and the subsequent keyword bid suggestions will adjust to focus on mobile bids as well. Considering the single space available on a mobile search, however, expect these bid suggestions to be higher than desktop.

An additional point to remember here is that when searching for a casino or sportsbook on a mobile device, there is a high likelihood that a prospective player wants to make a bet right away or is looking for the highest rated mobile options. This may on the face of it seem like a somewhat trivial practice, but it’s extremely useful. Put yourself in the shoes of the player, and determine how your searches might differ when made from a mobile device. Instead of ‘best online casino’ you might be looking for ‘best mobile gambling app’. Instead of ‘football odds’ you might be looking for ‘best Premier League odds for today’s matches’ or ‘best live Premier League odds’ for players on the go. There is a lot to consider from the perspective of mobilespecific keywords, but it’s an important set of considerations.

Pay close attention to your Quality Score

If you’ve run AdWords campaigns in the past, then you know all about your Quality Score. Your Quality Score is the variable that Google uses to determine both your ad placement and, in a lot of cases, your cost-per-click. To review your Quality Score, simply visit your Campaigns list, choose your Keywords tab from the menu and hover over (or click) on the speech bubble under your selected keyword’s Status.

There you’ll see your overall Quality Score, relevance, click-through rate (CTR) and your landing page experience (more on that below). It is always a good idea to maintain your Quality Score above a 6 (at the very least) and aim for 8 or higher (obviously, 10 being the highest). There are a lot of factors to consider when trying to improve your Quality Score, such as past CTR, ad relevance, on-site performance, device performance, keyword relevance and landing page experience.

But one practice you’ll want to start implementing right away is the ongoing maintenance of your account. What exactly does that mean? Start turning off ads, ad group and keywords that are underperforming. The reality is that your account performance factors into your Quality Score, and if, for example, 60% of the ads that you’re running are generating no results, your entire account (which includes things like CTR and ad position) will suffer the consequences.

Develop mobile-specific landing pages

As noted, one of the major contributing factors to your Quality Score are your landing pages. Landing page experience is a major factor to consider when running an AdWords campaign, and the importance of this factor has increased tremendously as mobile has moved further into the core of the search experience.

Today, organic search rankings will plummet unless you’ve created a mobilefriendly or, better yet, fully responsive website. The same holds true for your paid campaigns. If you’re directing a user to an offer page, make it a mobile offer page. If you want a higher conversion on that offer, make it easy to use. Updating technology for one-touch login or deposit on a mobile device makes the mobile experience seamless, and that is what leads to results.

Create effective rules

You shouldn’t be afraid to make changes to your ads if you’re not the top result. Once again, on mobile, there is only one spot on top of the search results for a paid ad, and you’ll need to make any effort to capture that valuable space - even if it means spending a little bit more. But don’t worry, even with rules in place to adjust your budgets, you won’t necessarily go above your monthly budget.

Creating rules is a simple and effective practice. In the menu above your account data, you’ll see the ‘Automate’ tab. Here, you can begin creating rules that adjust your bids, create or pause campaigns or alert you when a specific event takes place (see Figure 2). Let’s say, for example, that your bid on the mobile search campaign for ‘best mobile casino app’ isn’t reaching the top position. You can use this AdWords feature to automatically increase the bid to a new maximum bid value or percentage amount until such a value that it reaches the top spot. Of course, there are other factors at play (discussed above) but this helps tackle the budget issue.


Google is constantly updating its algorithm and products, so keeping up with the best practices can often be a significant chore. But as we see the importance of mobile surpassing even the highest of expectations, it is crucial that we begin to place the medium at the forefront of any strategy. These mobile AdWords best practices can help improve results and drive a new generation of search traffic to your property.

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