A lot of marketers just getting started with mobile traffic tend to confuse the optimization process. Webmasters don’t go to traffic sources and say “I have X amount of iOS traffic, Y amount of feature phone traffic, etc.” They simply say, “I have mobile traffic and I want to monetize it.” So as a marketer a lot of times you have to take what you can get and make your campaign work. Inside our Private Forum I talk a lot about how I rarely leave a traffic source without a profitable campaign. Normally as long as I can get traffic, I can find something that works. Part of this is due to my initial optimization strategy:
1. Device Operating System – The way your page formats on the end user’s device is everything! I once had a landing page targeted to iPhones and the call to action was below the fold. My CTR to the offer was a crappy 2%. Once I moved the call to action above the fold, it increased to 25%! It doesn’t matter if you’re just direct linking or if you have your own landing page, you need to make sure everything formats! When I can, I breakup my campaigns per device operating system which allows me to isolate these variables (ie: one campaign for iOS, one campaign for RIM, one campaign for Android, etc.). Mobilizer is a great free mobile phone emulator you can download and quickly check across a variety of devices!
2. Site Placement – User engagement has a lot to do with getting a good conversion rate. When you’re buying traffic from an ad network it’s important to ask them if you can track by placement/site ID. A lot of times you may find that the traffic coming from a particular app or mobile website doesn’t convert. If you’re able to identify that and cut the losing placements, it’s then much easier to scale your campaign to a nice ROI. When I setup a campaign on Google Adwords I do this on an ad group level, so when I’m looking at my results I can see if one needs cut, bid lowered, scaled, etc.
3. Carrier/Operator – If the campaign your promoting converts based on carrier/operator billing, then this is another big optimization point. You can take a look at your conversions to see if one operator is converting better than another. Also, you may notice you’re getting Wifi traffic which doesn’t really work out especially for offers that use the carrier to bill. That’s something else you can cut to “trim the fat” on your campaign.
4. Creative Copy – Sometimes you may have a cool banner that gets all kinds of clicks but converts like crap. I make this work a lot of times by driving down the CPC (cost per click) with my CTR (click through rate) but if that’s not possible then you may want to analyze the banners that are yielding you a very good conversion rate. A lot of times we see this with campaigns in the adult niche. The creatives can play a big role in how well the landing page of the offer converts!
These four optimization tips allow me to get my campaigns profitable without getting as granular as the exact device. As I mentioned above, ad networks don’t know how much traffic they’re going to get each day from a specific device, so attempting to do this will kill your delivery. Once you get your initial campaigns profitable, you can then create “spin offs” with optimized metrics where you can come in and bid a lot higher and increase your overall bottom line.
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.