… Because Facebook and AdWords will be sending you mobile traffic and charging you for it by default.
Is your site optimized for mobile shopping? If so, does mobile convert at the same rate as your desktop traffic? Is it as valuable as your desktop traffic? For many online retailers, these questions have become increasingly important recently. As you work to figure out answers to them, it is worthwhile to check your advertising accounts to ensure that you aren’t spending money to advertise to mobile audiences if that isn’t what you want.
With most pay-per-click, self-serve advertising channels (Google, Bing, & Facebook) your campaigns will be automatically opted in to serving mobile ads. That’s right: by default, you are paying for clicks from mobile devices, and you are paying the same rate you are for your desktop clicks. For most of us, even if we do have a solid mobile strategy that is generating sales, those mobile clicks aren’t as valuable as their desktop counterparts. If your campaign was automatically opted in when it was created, odds are good that you are paying the same price per click for your mobile traffic as you are for your desktop traffic.
It should be relatively easy to determine through Google analytics how well your mobile traffic is converting, what is selling best, and through what channel. These metrics will help you optimize your pay-per-click ad spend to ensure it is as efficient as possible. If your mobile traffic normally converts at half the rate of your desktop traffic, you are overpaying for those sales and hurting your ROI.
So, even if mobile traffic converts well for your site, you may still be paying too much, thereby driving the cost per sale up past your ROI threshold. To figure out if you’re paying too much for mobile, start by breaking out and tracking your mobile traffic separately (Google analytics now makes it very easy as you can see below) so you can view its performance more accurately.
Once you have done this, you can begin monitoring and optimizing to see if you can move the needle in terms of ROI. While it is a little more complicated to break out and manage the mobile traffic separately, the lift in terms of ROI makes it worth it. Google has made it relatively easy to manage mobile traffic with their last AdWords update, and in typical fashion, so has Bing. Doing it in Facebook is a bit more difficult and requires navigating the power editor.
While it may seem a little deceptive that you have been paying for mobile clicks you did not want or need, it may be just the test into the mobile world your brand needed. More and more, we are seeing consumers using their phones to shop and PURCHASE, but since it is so new to us and the publishers, it will take some time for them to develop a mature offering. In the meantime, we should all begin tracking, testing, and optimizing our mobile channels, because as with all things advertising, it’s up to us as marketers to figure out how to make it work.