Mobile Search Advertising in 2019


This is the year that you can’t ignore for mobile search advertising.

In March 2018 Google announced that it was rolling out mobile first indexing.  This update to Google’s core algorithm served as a wake-up call to any business running paid search activity with Google (so basically a lot of people…!) . Most people are searching for information, products, and services on mobile devices now. Yet most businesses are still running ads with desktop priority to desktop focused sites, putting mobile on the backburner.

If most traffic is coming from mobile searches, yet you focus optimisation on desktop, you are dinging yourself both organically and in paid search.  In 2019, we will see Google continue to roll out more updates that put priority onto mobile first optimisation, and if your business isn’t focusing on this area then you are likely to get left behind for both organic AND paid search.

The fact of the matter is, mobile is vastly different and simply thinking that your desktop site can convert mobile users is dangerous for your bottom line.



The great news is that Google AdWords has multiple amazing options for advertising strictly on mobile.  There are some quick wins you can implement if you want to get started, and equally you can really start to differentiate yourselves from the competition by adding further complexity as your learnings grow.


Call Only Ads

Google AdWords has multiple amazing options for advertising strictly on mobile.  For instance, you can run call-only ads on mobile that feature a click to call option. These are great for driving fast calls to your business. We think this will definitely be on the rise in 2019.


Mobile Based Gmail Ads

You run mobile-based Gmail ad campaigns with beautiful layouts that utilise images and links rather than large landing pages with tons of text (that most people on mobile skim anyway).  This is a great option to build brand awareness and bring users back to your optimised mobile site where they can continue the great experience they found with your Gmail ad.


Adjust your targeting settings

When creating your next campaign, be sure to adjust your targeting settings and create mobile-only campaigns.

For Display Network Campaigns:

In your dashboard, you can navigate to the campaign settings section on a given campaign. From here, expand your “Additional settings” and locate the “Devices” tab.  From there you can customise the specific devices that you want to target by selecting “Set specific targeting for devices.”

Check off the devices that you want to target. In this case, mobile (or both mobile and tablet) is what you want to choose.  If you want to get even more specific, you can sort by operating systems or device models depending on what types of campaigns you are looking to run.  This is an excellent option for display campaigns, but what about the search network?

For Search Network Campaigns:

If you are running a search network campaign, things get a bit more complicated.  That lovely device selection setting isn’t available for you. And simply navigating to the devices tab on your dashboard gives you no options either.  So, what do you do?

You set some new bid adjustments – Since there isn’t currently an option to remove computers and tablets from your targeting, bidding is your best bet (and pretty soon this option will come).  If you want this to be a truly mobile-only campaign, select both computers and tablets.  Decrease their bids by 100%.  For instance, if you were bidding £10 on each of these, they’d be set to zero, making mobile the only focus of your bidding and clicks.  While not perfect, it’s an easy way to eliminate non-mobile traffic from your campaign to specialise it.  If you want, you can always create a second identical campaign targeted for just desktop traffic, too.

This will allow you to capitalise on both desktop and more importantly, mobile visits, while providing mobile with their own specifically tailored experience.


Ad Extensions Tailored to Mobile

Next, you can start to set-up ad extensions tailored toward mobile devices.  For example, phone call extensions that display your business number next to your website, giving users the option to call or click to your landing page.

Sitelink extensions are a great way to provide more relevant links based on your ad text.  This works well on mobile because it allows users to instantly navigate to the page they find the most interesting, rather than forcing them to use poor menu navigation on your mobile website itself.  Meaning they have a lower likelihood of getting frustrated with your UX and bouncing.

Include 2-3 relevant sitelinks for each ad and be sure to relate them to the products you are advertising.  Now, just sit back, relax and adjust your campaigns as results come in.



2019 is the time to invest in your mobile optimisation.

Let Google’s changes serve as a wake-up call that mobile traffic is increasing and the demands of consumers are shifting to better mobile sites.

Don’t forget that if your mobile site is slow and has an average or worse, poor interface, you can expect both bad organic results and wasted money on clicks that don’t convert. The mobile-first index shows that users and Google care about the website experience, not just content.

Even if your offer is gold, a bad experience could set you back big time.

  1. Ensure your targeting is specifically set-up for mobile – so you don’t lose out by bunching devices together.
  2. Set-up ad extensions so they are tailored toward mobile devices & reduce media/web friction
  3. Lastly, start running more mobile targeted ads on AdWords – obvious but still few are doing it right.

Focus your campaigns on mobile users and reap the rewards of growing mobile traffic with a perfectly optimised mobile site.

We’re here to help and get you ahead of the game and ready for the challenge of 2019 – The Year of the Mobile.

To discover more about how your brand can benefit from the mobile activation, visit or drop us a line.