Leveraging Analytics for Mobile Marketing and Search Advertising

Curious about how you can use analytics to maximize ROI of your mobile outreach? Avinash Kaushik (@Avinash), Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google,  led a great webinar earlier this week, discussing how you can engage with  mobile audiences and take a mobile-specific approach to tracking your results:

Here’s a few key takeaways nonprofits can use, along with a link he provided that will create a custom mobile report within your own Google Analytics setup.

Mobile Outreach Strategies: Online and Off

QR codes (image) allow you to build deep relationships with consumers in contexts where you previously had much more limited opportunity for engagement.

Individuals shopping for strawberries in the supermarket can also become fans of your facebook page or engage in other Calls to Action (CTA) with a QR code.

Nonprofit Takeaway: Be creative about opportunities for leveraging mobile. When canvassing a neighborhood or street corner, people are likely to throw out the paper you hand them. If you can get them to download your app, your organization just got a whole lot stickier in their mind. When someone is bored and waiting at a bus stop and sees your billboard with a QR code, chances are significant they’ll click on the link. Where else can you reach mobile users? The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

When people do a search for snow conditions on their phone, Skull Candy has a paid ad that points directly to their iPhone app. By taking advantage of the analytics SDKs, you can track whether people follow through to actually download your app, allowing for calculations of advertising conversion rates (and ROI). Once they download your app you’ve gained critical real estate on their mobile screen, enhancing opportunities for building brand loyalty and other CTAs.

Nonprofit Takeaway: Brainstorm about what potential donors and advocates might be searching for, and design apps that provide a benefit to your constituents while simultaneously supporting your mission.

As people peruse TVs in their local electronics store, LG includes a QR code where you can learn more information about the product. In addition to providing a sense of validation by displaying customer reviews, prospective customers can also save the link on their phone and deliberate further on purchasing your goods later if they decide they need to do more research before purchasing.

Nonprofit Takeaway: Next time you organize a big event, be sure to incorporate prominent QR codes that link to your donation landing page in your collateral. If you’ve set up a text to give campaign, QR codes can prepopulate people’s phones with the text number and message that will send a donation to your organization.

Mobile Targetted Search Ads

Search ads can be targeted to mobile consumers and include CTAs that take advantage of mobile devices. When searching for a locksmith, one company uses their phone number as the primary CTA, rather than their website. When people are locked out of their house and need a locksmith, they don’t want a website: they want the phone number of someone who can get them back in their home. Mobile users clicking on the link have that phone number automatically loaded into their phone dialing app, allowing for one click ease for a sale.

Nonprofit Takeaway: If your nonprofit provides services to the public, include your phone number. Even better, you’ll be able to track the length of the phone call (a frequently useful metric for ROI). Adwords (and other ad providers) can direct people to a temporary phone number and then forward them to your phone number, allowing for tracking call length for each ad variation. You can then compare ads to determine which leads to the longest phone calls (if using that metric for calculating ROI).

Other ads are more easily adapted to take advantage of another mobile-enhanced experience: maps. When people are in the market for a road bike, a search can lead them to geographically targeted ad for a bike shop near them. Even better, the ad can contain the address on a map, allowing for the phone to take advantage of GPS and immediately plot out directions to the bike shop.

Nonprofit Takeaway: If you provide services from a physical location, make it easy for people who need your assistance to find you.

Tracking How Your Website Performs for Mobile Users

Once visitors click on the ad, how well is your website designed to change mobile users from prospects to completed sales? Too often companies send visitors to their non-mobile optimized homepage. Do it right — create customized landing pages for your campaign!

Make your site easily usable by mobile visitors and, just as with desktop design, show a clear CTA, and you’ll find bounce rates drop dramatically while conversion rate hits the roof.

Nonprofit Takeaway: Create mobile optimized donation forms, and follow mobile usability best practices.

Determining ROI for Mobile Users

If your ad contains multiple CTAs, adwords tracks each CTA (and conversion rate) independently. As you test multiple versions of ads, compare CTAs and weight each ad based on the value of each action.

Tracking mobile users against all site visitors can be useful. Google Analytics includes a built in advanced segment for mobile users. If you find that certain devices are showing higher ROI, you can create additional segmentation based on user device, OS or resolution (i.e. tablet vs. phone). Custom reports can be developed to show performance between browsers across three critical areas: acquisition, behavior, and outcome.


Avinash provided a link to automatically add the mobile performance report into your existing Google Analytics account. By looking among the tabs you can quickly review mobile user performance at a glance.

Nonprofit Takeaway: The nonprofits we support have seen a dramatic increase in mobile visitors, and they’ve responded by working with us to develop great mobile sites. In the next couple of years the number of mobile website visits will surpass desktop usage, and it’s important to be ahead of the curve. Your supporters are increasingly looking to engage with you using their mobile devices – are you prepared for them?

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