A massive surge in mobile traffic has now given smartphones the majority of paid search clicks.

Chart on Year-Over-Year Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop Search GrowthIf the release of Merkle’s Q1 2016 Digital Marketing Report teaches us anything, it’s that mobile devices are having a tremendous effect on the paid search industry.

Here’s what we’ve seen in just a year’s time: Paid search clicks coming from smartphones have more than doubled.

Furthermore, the amount being spent on mobile ads has grown a staggering 123%. Despite these substantial increases, your average CPC (cost-per-click) doesn’t skyrocket.

But are these mobile ad clicks valuable?

Yes. The same report found that mobile conversion rates are climbing, proving that mobile clicks are still generating valuable leads and sales.

Why does this matter to anyone running a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign?

Smartphone optimization for your website is no longer just a good idea, it’s necessary.

It’s no secret that we as a society have become remarkably attached to our mobile devices, and in our roles as consumers, our mobile devices play a huge part.

A new study from Google explores just how intimate our relationships with smartphones have become:

82% of us will look to our phones to make a decision while already in a store.

We’ve all experienced running a last minute price check on a shelved item to make sure we’re getting a deal, and not being overcharged.

90% of us will use smartphones to start lengthy, multi-step processes while on the go.

This could mean anything from starting the search for a new car or home while on the elliptical to looking for a better job on your lunch break. I remember first starting to do college applications from the passenger seat of my friend’s car.

91% of us will spontaneously search for new things at some point in our daily routines.

Maybe you’re looking for a new restaurant to take your significant other to tonight while you wait for your clothes to dry. Maybe you caught a glimpse of your suddenly crooked haircut in the mirror at work, and want to find a new barber near the office.

So exactly how should you adjust your PPC campaigns to cater to mobile visitors?

Mobile PPC Ad Campaigns: Click-to-call PPC Campaigns Example

A click-to-call campaign example.

First, make sure you’re taking advantage of “click-to-call” ad campaigns. These allow visitors to click your company’s phone number and be immediately connected to your office.

Then, you need to make sure your landing page is optimized for mobile devices.

A poor display or slow load-time can make visitors navigate away sooner, and you’re already working with a short window of opportunity to begin with.

According to Time Magazine, your online attention span reaches its maximum right around 15 seconds.

This means you only have one shot at gaining, and subsequently holding the attention of your lead. You need to make your pitch clearly, concisely, and most important of all, quickly.

Ron Swanson Frustrated with Computer

Anything else can only make for user frustration and dissatisfaction.

What makes the most successful mobile landing pages?

Making a great landing page for phones and tablets doesn’t have to be a daunting task.

There are even free tools in place that can perform diagnostics for you in determining whether or not you are in fact, “mobile-friendly.” Google provides its own free mobile-friendly test, where you can simply plug in your URL and receive instant feedback.

What if my site’s not mobile-friendly?

If you’re in need of a serious mobile makeover, keep these key concepts in mind.

Your mobile landing page should include at least:

A clear call to action (CTA).

What are you telling your customer to do? Ride in the best limos the tristate has to

offer? Eat as much seafood as I can for 14.99? Make it obvious what you’re pitching and make it as easy as possible for visitors to complete that CTA.

A prominent phone number.

Not everyone may be so quick to give up their personal information. Give an easy alternative with a phone number that visitors can simply click-to-call and be connected to one of your representatives directly.

A short form that doesn’t come off as too aggressive.

Make sure you’re only asking for the information you need. If your lead follows up with a phone call, you can get any additional data after the fact.

Contrasting colors that draw our eyes to your CTA button and phone number.

If it’s attractive enough, your customer may click it on principle alone!

Landing Page Mobile Optimization Example

Proudly displaying all the signs of a great mobile landing page, our client Mr. Omelette passes the mobile-friendly test with flying colors.

The contrasting color scheme draws our eyes to both the CTA button and phone number, and the form is short and sweet.

The call to action is clear: contact them today to have them cater your next event.

Mobile PPC Campaigns: 2016 and Beyond

The recent upward trend of pay-per-click activity on mobile devices is not expected to reverse anytime soon. As smartphones increase in popularity and performance, so does our dependence on them.

Consider the fact that modern day mobile device attachment has placed your ad directly into the hands of your target audience, and without exaggeration. In the not-too-distant past, this idea would have seemed nothing short of ridiculous.

Any modern advertising campaign (let alone a pay-per-click endeavor) that neglects mobile optimization will find itself at a major disadvantage.

By following the steps we’ve outlined, and with a little bit of effort, you can see a greater return on your investment in no time.