Mobile Ads: Targeting 405 Million People on the Go Just Got Better

Mobile Ads: Targeting 405 Million People on the Go Just Got Better

Have you ever caught yourself surfing the web on your phone, when yet an actual computer may be a stone’s throw away? If you answered yes, then you’re with the rest of the world that sometimes “prefer” to utilize their quick and easy handheld device, rather than their sluggish and bulky, traditional PC. With last year’s 107% growth in mobile internet users, the demand for answers on the go is now more than ever. All of this means a few things for advertisers:

Mobile Ads are now

  • Getting more exposure than ever
  • Becoming even easier to create and specifically target
  • Are featured on multiple platforms and applications

Heavy Increase in Mobile Internet Users

With the ever increasing capabilities of mobile phone browsers, it’s even easier for consumers to find exactly what they’re looking for, and in an instant with smart phones. Not only are these mobile internet browsers safer than PC browsers, but they can support full HTML pages and soon to come, flash. It’s predicted that by 2011 the amount of mobile searches is going to exceed the amount of 2007’s PC searches (240 Million). This leads us into the realization that, if you’re unaware of the vast capabilities with this ever growing trend, you stand the possibility of losing out on potential market share in the mobile space, throughout the upcoming years.

Iphones and Android Devices Are Your Friends

The 30 Million “high end” mobile phones that are truly game changers are classified as Iphones, Android Devices, and any other full HTML phones. These phones’s account for more than 50% of all Mobile web traffic, which makes it even more important to understand their advertising capabilities. If you already have Google AdWords ads running, it’s very simple to convert your current ads to just display on these high end phones. Not only do these ads not require a customized mobile website, but they do allow advertisers to direct users to various other properties such as Google Maps, the iPhone App Store, the Android Market, and YouTube.

The transition away from older WAP devices is not going away, which makes the opportunity to hop on the less competitive HTML browser landscape now, a secure investment.

What devices should I target?

Even though HTML phone devices account for more than half of all mobile web traffic, there’s still the other half that are still using WAP devices. When deciding which devices to target, there are a few things to consider.

WAP Devices (Think Dial-Up)


  • Optimized for mobile
  • Minimal Navigation
  • Quick Loading


  • Limited Content
  • Low-fidelity browsing
  • Limited functionality

Full Scale HTML Devices (Think Broadband)


  • Comparable to PC
  • Multiple page support
  • Zoom in and out
  • Good choice for new mobile advertisers


  • Need high-end device
  • Need reliable connection
  • Flash not supported (yet)

What Type Of Mobile Ads Should I Use?

If you thought that the opportunities to display mobile ads on the content network and use Ad Sense was enough, Google is now allowing to bid on ad space within Apps, called Ads for Mobile Apps. Over a million impressions happen within these application centers a day and the spots where your ads shows up are exceptional. So, when deciding what type of ads to use and what platforms, there are a few things to consider.

Text Ads


  • Click to call feature from the ad
  • Can be displayed in Search Results or Ads for Mobile Apps
  • Target Specific Carriers

Display Ads


  • Contextually target or hand select channels to appear on
  • Powerful branding tool
  • Target Specific Carriers
  • Maximum of 1 image ad per page means more share of mind for advertisers

Ads for Mobile Apps


  • Banner or text ad display
  • Placement target specific apps
  • Huge reach with millions of impressions per day

Bottom Line

As the majority of the world continues to be dependent of their cell phones, the opportunities to grab their attention is only going to keep growing and feature more advanced options. If you’ve found success in internet advertising in your life, you’ll contest to the fact that you arrived there with a careful combination of luck, risk, intuition, and science. Use those same best practices you have found in your normal campaigns and cleverly apply them to a new mobile campaign. My advice to you is experiment in the mobile market now, develop best practices, and scale your investment before growth in mobile search advertising explodes.  For more information on these topics, you can visit:



By: Jerrold Burke

Paid Search Analyst

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Scott Covert

    Please send out another email announcement (like the one Glenn just sent) about this blog when I can subscribe to new post email alerts.

    Thank you.

  2. Patrick

    Interesting post. To me, the obstacle with mobile ads is still twofold.

    All the mobile ads I’ve seen are being displayed while I’m doing something else that’s fun and interesting, like playing a game, or checking on movie times. The chance that the advertiser is going to write an ad that’s going to capture my interest away from that is much slimmer than a search ad or even a content network click.

    Second, how do you get the conversion? If I did click on a mobile ad, and wasn’t interrupted by something in the real world while reading the ad copy, how am I going to give you my contact info?
    Typing in my email address is a pain in the neck, and you still don’t have my first name, so you can’t personalize the email.
    My new iPhone has an “Autofill” feature now, but it doesn’t work very well yet.

    I’m not saying this doesn’t have potential, but I’m not convinced this is an area that’s ripe to spend money in yet. It seems to me like the conversions would be pitifully low.

    That said, I guess you could split the traffic to a separate landing page, from a separate ad group, and track total visitor value. That would really be the proper way to test it.

  3. Joshua Houk

    Patrick, I completely agree with your comments. As a Pre user it’s a lot easier for me to interact with websites, but it still takes a concentrated effort to do so. I find that ads sending me to a site needing a lot of interaction are very annoying.

    However, I am noticing a lot more advertisers using the mobile ad space for branding purposes. For example, I have seen lots of mobile Microsoft Bing ads that lead me to simple webpages that mimick their traditional online counterparts. While the mobile web pages aren’t interactive, they drive home the main components of the larger Bing ad campaign.

    Another use for the mobile ads is for companies pushing their mobile applications. With the places like the iPhone app store becoming more and more saturated, companies have to try that much harder to promote their apps.

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