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Adwords 2011: Strategies Sure To Fire Up Your ROI

First introduced in 2003, Google Adwords opened up the world of pay per click advertising, now a solid staple in the marketing portfolio of countless businesses. The ability to effectively target online search advertising to the individual interests and search patterns of Google’s visitors quickly gave Internet business the boost it needed to become a predominant way of reaching consumers today.

Eight years later, exciting changes are happening in Internet commerce, starting with the beginning of a shift away from desktop PC dominance. Mobile technologies, starting with smartphones and now rapidly extending into tablets and other new devices, are driving pay-per-click innovations to better target users on the move. From changes to the Adwords platform to important shifts in how today’s consumer manages their information, savvy strategists are working hard to stay ahead of tomorrow’s trends.

At Lounge Lizard, we point out that Adwords is still a very profitable advertising venue, but realizing its full potential in 2011 requires focused, targeted strategic priorities. This is what we recommend:

Become device-aware. Google recently announced that in coming weeks, the Adwords architecture will be expanded to include the ability to target specific mobile devices, from the latest smartphones to advanced tablet devices such as the iPad 2 and the Motorola Xoom. It is no longer enough to simply target mobile devices in general, much less keywords alone – in order to succeed in 2011, your new Adwords strategy must account for the individual mobile device preferences of your targeted demographics.

Enable your website for mobile access. Does your website include special functionality for mobile users? Many businesses still lack a mobile web presence, negatively impacting their Adwords ROI as more and more mobile-driven clickthroughs become lost conversions on the company website. Ensure that your mobile users reach an effectively engineered website designed specifically to cater to their needs, and they will reward you handsomely for it.

Win over the dual-screeners. Recent studies have turned up evidence of an intriguing trend. While in the past consumers would choose between their desktop PCs and their mobile devices, increasingly mobile users aren’t choosing. Instead, they’re doing both at once: surfing their phones while sitting at their desks, watching their HDTV while Googling on their tablets, today’s most plugged-in digital consumer is becoming a “dual screener”. This particular market segment is especially robust and full of commercial promise, and your Adwords strategy should be designed to take the multitasking dual-screener into account.

Prepare for “click to call”. Coming very soon to Google Adwords, the “click to call” functionality already present in Gmail is soon to be extended into the world of PPC advertising. With these new features, mobile users will be able to immediately click through your online ad and call your business. As this feature matures into a universal staple in online advertising, we expect to see a whole new range of metrics become available for targeting, from call duration to repeat visits. Be prepared to accommodate “click to call” targeting in your Adwords strategies this year.

If you think you know Adwords, you probably don’t. Changes are happening rapidly now, and the exploding variety of mobile devices in the marketplace – and the significant behavioral impacts they are having on the everyday digital consumer – are making the PPC advertising world both more complex and infinitely more rewarding.

Think strategically and be prepared. Your Adwords profits in 2011 depend on it.

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