PPC in a Cross Device World #SEMrushchat Recap

73% of consumers use multiple engagement channels in their interactions with a single preferred retailer, which is why a brand that can provide a seamless experience across all channels is more likely to have an 89% retention rate when compared to others. Whether you are looking to explore multichannel engagement for your business, or you are just...
PPC In A Cross Device World #SEMrushchat Recap

73% of consumers use multiple engagement channels in their interactions with a single preferred retailer, which is why a brand that can provide a seamless experience across all channels is more likely to have an 89% retention rate when compared to others. Whether you are looking to explore multichannel engagement for your business, or you are just looking to tweak it, we invited Lisa Raehsler, SEM expert at Big Click Co. who has helped numerous businesses grow through integrated search engine marketing strategies, to our latest #SEMrushchat. Lisa and our chat participants discussed PPC in a cross-device world and provided key insights on nailing multichannel marketing. In case you missed it, here is what they had to say:

Q1. Do you think a cross-device strategy is essential in today’s digital world?

For most of our chat participants, the answer was unanimously a yes. Lisa pointed out that a cross-device strategy is more of a default move in today’s marketing strategy than an option.

A1: Absolutely! It has to be our new default moving forward to capture every opportunity from our advertising. Right now, the typical HH contains 5+ connected devices! That’s last years data! Source: Pew https://t.co/JlNdEdPan3 #semrushchat

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

With the average household having at least 5 connected devices (as of 2017), the buyer’s journey has drastically changed. Nowadays, a user can start a search on one device, move over to another device, and then complete the purchase. So without having a cross-device strategy, you run the risk of having gaps in the buying journey that can negatively impact your conversions.

A1: Yes, a cross-device strategy is essential in today's digital world. Users can start a search on one device and convert in another device. If we don't use the cross-device strategy, we are potentially leaving gaps in our data. #SEMrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 6, 2018

A1. Yes. A cross-device strategy is essential in every aspect of production from developing to marketing to writing. #SEMrushchat

— Joe Jason Cayetano (@GameofJoes) June 6, 2018

A typical buyer’s journey becomes multi-touch and multi-channel. It could begin with a promo email on the user’s phone, then continue on a desktop for a more detailed search, and finally, end in a purchase from a tablet at a more convenient time. So, having a strategy that does not take into account such a fractioned user journey across channels would be, as Craig Campbell - @craigcampbell03 pointed out, “madness.”

A1. Well analytics suggests people use multiple devices and may purchase when using specific devices on a more frequent basis so would be madness not to tweak your strategy to suit #semrushchat

— Craig Campbell (@craigcampbell03) June 6, 2018

A1: For sure. Marketing is multi-touch & multi-channel. I may get a promo email on my phone, go to my desktop and search the product, read the blog on my iPad at lunch, + after I've gone home-- finally purchase the product. That user journey should be accounted for. #semrushchat

— Carolyn Lyden (@Carolyn_Lyden) June 6, 2018

A1 With the amount of times I send stuff to my phone, back to my computer, back to my phone again, I would say yes, a cross-device strategy is essential! #SEMrushchat

— Hilary St Jonn (@HilaryStJonn) June 6, 2018

For this to work, a thorough understanding of the buyer’s journey across devices is essential. For instance, if only a small fraction of conversion happens through one particular channel, then it can be focused on less, but not ignored.

A1. (Fun Fact) Less than 1% of 45 million turnover was made on Mobile / Tablet with one of my hotels. #SEMrushchat

— Tim Capper (@GuideTwit) June 6, 2018

A1 (Fun Fact) largest mobile purchase on Mobile I have seen is $212,000 for a watch. #SEMrushchat

— Tim Capper (@GuideTwit) June 6, 2018

As technology impacts search even further, marketers will have to focus not on just the devices, but the way people are searching as well. With emerging technologies such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Voice influencing the way that people search, ComScore predicts that voice is expected to dominate 50% of searches by 2020. Therefore, your marketing strategy should reflect that.

A1. Absolutely. Think of devices with different Form and Engagement Attention factors. We would add: Start thinking about the medium. Voice is projected to represent 50% of searches by 2020. @lisarocksSEM #SEMrushchat

— Flockrush (@Flockrush) June 6, 2018

A1 Yes a cross device strategy is key - the strategy might not be different for different devices but they must be taken into consideration - desktop, tablet, smart phone, dumb phone, tv, console, fridge, Alexa, Google home, Siri etc.

Hello everyone in #semrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 6, 2018

A1 and it's not just the devices it is the apps on those devices using the data in different ways.#semrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 6, 2018


Q2. What is your best practice for optimizing cross-device campaigns?

A three-pronged approach is required to optimize your PPC strategy across various channels:

1. Targeted Content

The strategy should be mobile first since 89% of media is viewed through mobile applications.  That means not just having a responsive landing page, but getting the Ad format right, that having exclusive mobile-specific content is required. The content can also be device specific, campaign specific, and more targeted to get better results.

• Mobile responsive web pages - mandatory
• Mobile-tested and approved emails - mandatory
• Mobile-specific content - good to have#SEMRushChat

— Narmadhaa (@s_narmadhaa) June 6, 2018

A2: Making sure clients' sites are mobile-friendly/responsive is the top of the list, followed by PPC campaigns that target all devices. #semrushchat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 6, 2018

A2. Purpose-built device-specific content to summarize it in a single phrase :) @lisarocksSEM #SEMrushchat https://t.co/fIJivXQRlQ

— Flockrush (@Flockrush) June 6, 2018

A2: First think of the content & relevance of Device!
Basic - Device bid adjustment or device targeting,
Mid - Campaigns for Device & Device & Re-targeting,
More Taxing - Campaings for device & Landing Pages for device#PPC #SEMrushchat @lisarocksSEM @semrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 6, 2018

2. A/B Testing

Testing each of the variations or a tweaking marketing strategy is an absolute must. A/B test the bidding strategy, device placements, the responsive design, and any other variables that will have an impact on conversions.

A2: Make sure you're actually testing your site on multiple devices. Don't just optimize your site and assume it's functional.

Test it yourself. Have a friend test it. And go through the checkout process on your site too because there's where many go wrong. #semrushchat

— Express Writers (@ExpWriters) June 6, 2018

A2 Not really got a best practice - other than testing, testing and get someone else to check what you have done then test it again. Then get a cup of tea, nice, and then test again.#semrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 6, 2018

A2: A/B testing and increasing bids for certain device placements, as well as ensuring the creative is optimized for multiple devices. Also, make sure the landing pages are mobile-friendly! #SEMrushchat pic.twitter.com/wc7ezdmldS

— Brafton (@Brafton) June 6, 2018

A2 experience and testing. Actually testing is because of experience #SEMrushchat

— JoMarie in Anchorage (@JoMarieT) June 6, 2018

A2. Ideally create some A/B testing for each device and constantly improve as needed. Or at the very least be mobile friendly. #semrushchat

— Nathan Driver (@natedriver) June 6, 2018

3. Data Analysis

To find out what actually works best for your business and converts, you should analyze the data of the A/B tests where the campaign result is mandatory. This is why you should ensure that “cross-device tracking” is enabled on Adwords.

A2: One of the first things I do is enable "cross-device conversion tracking" in AdWords. After that, I'll make sure the campaign has responsive landing pages w/ device bidding strategy in place. I'll always build out multiple remarketing For Google & FB. #SEMrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 6, 2018

On a basic level, you can analyze which channel is giving you more ROI. In the example that Lisa shared below, she outlined how the conversion rate for mobile is less, even though it has it has a higher number of conversions. This could mean that, for your business, mobile as a channel definitely has a lot of potential. However, the ads or the landing page could be made more conversion centric to improve conversion rate.

lisa-example.jpg(Credit: Lisa Raehsler)

A2 Pt2: back to the screenshot...the -20% bid mod may be too much. We might be able to reduce or eliminate the bid adjustment and see what happens. Also, what is the LP like? Obv mobile users are converting at a lower rate. Your thoughts? #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/PJzezybjX8

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

While performing a detailed data analysis, it is also essential to know which metrics to focus on. For instance, if the mobile channel has more traffic, yet the desktop channel commands more conversions, then there is a noticeable difference in the customer expectations from either channel.

a2. Mind your metrics. Traffic is one thing. Behavior another and conversions a third. Mobile may get more traffic and desktop most likely has more conversions. WHat do they want on mobile? What do they do on desktop?#semrushchat

— Marianne Sweeny (@msweeny) June 6, 2018

A2. Analyse your data you have, the stats will be different for diffent campaigns. Do A/B tests and tweak accordingly until you get a great ROI. I start compact then open the campaign out. #semrushchat

— Craig Campbell (@craigcampbell03) June 6, 2018

This insight could help you go back to the content and tweak it to further improve the ROI of your campaigns.


Q3. Explain the process of how you define your audience segments across devices and the data that feeds into them?

Audience behavior across devices can vary depending on the business. To figure out what you should do, you should choose to go with the initial buyer persona and then adjust the campaigns across devices based on it.

A3: Different audiences and markets have different attributes
ie dating site many users prefer using mobile and site selling b2b my only use pc's #PPC #SEMrushchat @lisarocksSEM @semrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 6, 2018

A3: Defining audience segments tends to come on a client-by-client basis. On a PPC front, we take the initial client personas and adjust campaigns device-wise as we go (all to start, followed by moving to desktop/mobile only, depending on conversions). #semrushchat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 6, 2018

Segmenting them can be as simple as identifying mobile users by screen size or based on the channel used, for example, Facebook and Instagram ads tend to be geared towards mobile users.

A3. Probably the first easiest way is to identify mobile users by screen size and if the device is "tappable."

In many cases, your channel defines your device -- FB/Insta is extremely highly mobile.

By comparison: YouTube has significantly-higher TV usage #semrushchat https://t.co/GHaRTYSrXY

— 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰 𝓡. 𝓣𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓪𝓼, 𝓔𝓼𝓺. (@ferkungamaboobo) June 6, 2018

A3: How does one segment ones Market?
Look at the stats, but its how do you define the segments of your business then see how this corresponds to footfall/relevancy of device, tweak accordingly.
#PPC #SEMrushchat @lisarocksSEM @semrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 6, 2018

If the above methods do not work for you, then here are some options you can try:

Audience Segmentation Based on Campaign Performance

Start with data, but don’t analyze blindly without having a particular goal. For instance, check your data for campaign performance across each device and compare it with the overall performance. This information will tell you how your audience is already engaging across multiple devices. You can always tweak and test it to improve the ROI.

A4: As we mentioned in our A3, we start with all-device campaigns (unless our client discussion and strategy leans toward device-specific campaigns) and narrow the device window to desktop, mobile, or tablet, depending on conversions and overall performance. #semrushchat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 6, 2018

A3: First and foremost, you've gotta have a goal. Then you can analyze from your existing data what your audience is already doing across devices; tweak/test to cater to them according to "device."#semrushchat https://t.co/65sMXFzZmc

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 6, 2018

You can also use a tool Like Google Analytics to attribute traffic to conversions by device.

A3: We start by using @googleanalytics to look at traffic and conversions by device! #SEMrushchat pic.twitter.com/vSSmvBjcQC

— Brafton (@Brafton) June 6, 2018

A3 A close look at analytics and how the audience reacts to each platform is helpful to understand all the adjustments we need to make from one channel to another. The demographics might be different, for example, which means that the A/B testing might differ. #semrushchat

— Digital Uncut (@digitaluncut) June 6, 2018

Audience Segmentation Based on Demographics

You can also carry out competitor analysis and choose to segment the audience based on demographics.

A3: the first step is analyse the competition and then choose specific demographics. #SEMrushchat

— Ashok Sharma (@Ashok83) June 6, 2018

Audience Segmentation Based on User Intent

Another approach could be to identify the user intent behind each channel or content type (content journey). For instance, desktop users would be researching your product, while mobile users would be more likely checking for offline stores. This can help you build a buyer’s profile that you can use to segment your audience. Moreover, this can help you use content to direct the users to pages that you think will encourage them to convert better.

A3: For each content type we assign a purpose or intent.

then we map most likely intent types onto audience segments

this data is a part of our markup allowing easy segmentation#SEMrushchat

— JP Sherman (@jpsherman) June 6, 2018

A3: Business data, user onsite behavior, CTR, keywords, messaging, conversion behavior, etc. Create a profile of what diff devices need and the place in BUYING FUNNEL. Ex, mobile more likely to want to drive to a physical store, desktop maybe more in research phase. #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/swGz9LBmSF

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

A3. We use what we have built in #ContentJourneys to solve this massive issue, using signals to direct traffic to personalized pages based on factors such as visitor, device, and form - making the segmentation across devices a breeze. @lisarocksSEM #SEMrushchat https://t.co/EPHKySFLiI

— Flockrush (@Flockrush) June 6, 2018

Key metrics like user onsite behavior, CTR, messaging, conversion behavior, keywords, etc., can all form part of the profile to help make the segmentation more targeted.

A3: I'll typically segment my audience by the device, and manufacture (i.e., Apple, Samsung.) I'll also segment by demographics, intent, and awareness. Then I'll build a remarkeing list to focus on; all users, product views, abandon cart, past conversions #SEMrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 6, 2018


Q4. When creating a PPC strategy, is it crucial to have device-specific campaigns?

Most PPC platforms give you the option to indicate if a particular ad is mobile-specific in an all-devices campaign. So, it is not strictly necessary to always opt for separate strategies for each device because a good device specific campaign is a lot of work.

A4: It's not necessary. And device-specific campaigns are a lot of work. And, not all businesses perform well on mobile. A lot is subjective.

But—device-specific pop-ups, banners, text ads, and emails get far more attention than generic ones. That's a good reason. #SEMRushChat

— Narmadhaa (@s_narmadhaa) June 6, 2018

A4 Pt1: Maybe… most PPC platforms give you the opps to specify mobile specific campaign elements in all-devices campaign. HOWEVER, if there is a large amount of traffic, budget, business need (like an app download) it might make sense to separate by device #semrushchat

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

A4. Almost absolutely not.

Use IF functions and Mobile Final URLs if you're concerned about copy or landing pages.

Use bid adjustments if you're concerned about a different CPA #SEMrushchat https://t.co/c1PZRlpyZX

— 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰 𝓡. 𝓣𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓪𝓼, 𝓔𝓼𝓺. (@ferkungamaboobo) June 6, 2018

However, it is something you should consider if:

  • A specific channel commands a large portion of traffic, conversions, and budget. You can identify this by starting an all devices in one campaign and then segment the campaign performance according to the device.

A4. I would typically start a campaign with all devices in one and then segment by performance. Things like this differ by client, target market, and scope of campaign. #semrushchat

— Kim Doughty (@Howdy_Doughty) June 6, 2018

  • It makes more sense for the business objective, like an App download, which can have a mobile-specific campaign.

A4. 100% yes. Target your imagines and verbiage to tailor each platform. You want to make the most of the money spent, so take the time to create device-specific and platform campaigns. #semrushchat https://t.co/tSf7YVZScS

— Leader Graphic Design (@LGD_IT) June 6, 2018

  • The creatives and messaging for each device are vastly different. The mobile version can be more action-oriented, with a compelling CTA, while the desktop version can have different copy.

A4 yes in certain circumstances it is. The format is very different from desktop so your creative needs to address a different situation. But don't fall into the trap of assuming your user is out because they are using a phone! Likely to be on the sofa! #SEMrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 6, 2018

A4: Typically, I'll create a specific campaign for desktop/tablet and one for mobile, while they'll have the same landing page, my ad copy will be different. I'll be more action oriented on mobile than on desktop. #SEMrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 6, 2018

A4. Absolutely! The device the user comes from has embedded intent and urgency. Use this information to create personalized content. @lisarocksSEM #SEMrushchat https://t.co/05QTk2b1i8

— Flockrush (@Flockrush) June 6, 2018

  • The ROI for a particular channel is higher than others. This could stem from a wide difference in audience behavior across devices like using desktop for research while using mobile to search for offline stores.

A4: Depending on how differently your audience interacts/converts across devices, it could. I.e., they start on desktop with brand messaging; move to mobile to find store location/purchase/etc.

Pay attention to your Analytics so you know who's doing what/where!#semrushchat https://t.co/olCNwRfCDT

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 6, 2018

A4: If it was a spike then yes or if you know what journey part or engagement there at if its preforming -/+ can help on those bits by using ppc or if footfalls there and there is little or high competition for cpa on device, but its roi #PPC #SEMrushchat @lisarocksSEM @semrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 6, 2018

  • Fine tuning and micro-optimizing each campaign is important. Having a device-specific strategy allows for better budget management and more opportunities to increase conversions.

A4 Pt2: Better budget mgmt and full customization can be accomplished with a separate campaign, along with micro-optimimzation opportunities and TONS of fun data that results! #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/i48Y7gZddy

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

a4: I believe that is wise in that you can better track device specific conversions and events. #semrushchat

— Marianne Sweeny (@msweeny) June 6, 2018

A4: Yup! Depends on the targeting audience is necessary. Device campaigns may increase the conversion. #semrushchat

— Veeraeswari (@VeeraeswariS) June 6, 2018

Ultimately, it boils down to you or your clients' goals and user behavior. So, set up a comprehensive campaign first and then use the analytics data to integrate a cross-channel strategy for your campaigns.

A4 It depends on the client and the goals. it may not be essential, but it can certainly boost your results with the right optimisation! #semrushchat

— Digital Uncut (@digitaluncut) June 6, 2018

A4. Not initially i would set up a basic campaign and then integrate my cross platform strategy as i go. Get the basic set up right first and collect data then implement the rest #semrushchat

— Craig Campbell (@craigcampbell03) June 6, 2018

A4: It really depends on how your audience interacts with your website and where they convert. It's important to take a deep dive into analytics before you make any decisions on device-specific campaigns! #SEMrushchat pic.twitter.com/Kp1E6smZFy

— Brafton (@Brafton) June 6, 2018

A4. It depends on the product, audience, and buying patterns. #semrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 6, 2018


Q5. When, if ever, should an advertiser opt-out of targeting a specific device?

Here are some scenarios our chat participants mentioned to let you know it is time to opt-out of device-specific targeting:

Limited Budgets

Device specific targeting can be incredibly draining on your PPC campaign budget. So, if you are faced with a budget constraint, it is better to switch to an all device mode and use bid adjustments.

A5. Extremely limited budgets. #semrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 6, 2018

A5 cont. Now that there are bid adjustments available, it's a lot less important to have different campaigns for each. #semrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 6, 2018

When the ROI is Less

If the device-specific campaign is not performing, thus resulting in lesser conversions, then it may not make much sense to continue with it.

A5: Its down to ROCE. I've seen seen device types drain ppc performance, Where ad's don't work on certain devices. So its down to your astute PPC manager and goals for what the ppc objectives are for. #PPC #SEMrushchat @lisarocksSEM @semrush

— Alexis Huddart (@Flexoid) June 6, 2018

A5: If you find that a specific device is taking a lot of spend and not converting, you're better off not targeting that device. Be smart with your dollars! #SEMrushchat pic.twitter.com/3n6zoZ9YZX

— Brafton (@Brafton) June 6, 2018

A5. When one device isn't converting. #semrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 6, 2018

A5: If said device isn't converting any traffic -- and you've tested/tweaked/tried to make it happen -- because what's the point?

Don't spray-and-pray; know where your audience is and where they're going to fulfill the goal.#semrushchat https://t.co/wH6zv1ugiu

— ThinkSEM (@ThinkSEM) June 6, 2018

When the Device is No Longer Supported

It is not logical to have a mobile-specific campaign for a website that is not mobile friendly. While you will win conversions with this, it will drain out your resources. Even worse, it will just end up being a bad user experience and frustrate your site users instead of helping them.

A5: When we no longer provide support for that device. Example, when we're promoting a mobile app that doesn't have a Windows version. #SEMRushChat

— Narmadhaa (@s_narmadhaa) June 6, 2018

A5: Easy...if the website is not mobile friendly, it makes no sense to target mobile. It will be difficult for users to convert and they will be annoyed 😠 at the user experience. It could potentially cause more harm than good. Thoughts? #semrushchat pic.twitter.com/tEPbkchXy8

— Lisa Raehsler (@lisarocksSEM) June 6, 2018

A5. Perhaps when your goal conversion doesn't make sense for a device (i.e. mobile app downloads on desktop) #semrushchat

— Kim Doughty (@Howdy_Doughty) June 6, 2018

A5: Easy: if the device isn't converting. And, as others have been saying, if it's an app that's not available on a certain device, don't target that device. #semrushchat

— Marccx Media (@marccxmedia) June 6, 2018

When There is a Better Way to Segment the Audience

Unless the market for your product is highly device specific, (like a mobile app for Android), the audience can be segmented and targeted using other criteria. If this segmentation results in much more engagement and conversions, then it negates the need for a device-specific strategy.

A5 When they don't need to. I would think there are a lot more important segments to target, than device, that will give you a better ROI - except, of course, in device markets themselves. If you're selling tennis balls devices might not matter at all.#SEMrushchat

— Simon Cox (@simoncox) June 6, 2018

When User Behavior Does Not Vary with Device

If the user or your target audience behaves the same across all devices, more often than not, the ROI across all devices will be rather similar. So, having a different strategy for each device will just be redundant and a waste of resources.

A5. I also sometimes find that splitting out by device just isn't necessary when performance doesn't differ much or strategy wouldn't differ much between the devices. #semrushchat

— Reva Minkoff (@revaminkoff) June 6, 2018

When the Strategy is Not Relevant to the Audience

If the audience or the customer journey is not device specific, then targeting them accordingly will not make sense for your business. This could be specific for a lot of B2B companies, which rely on different audience segmentation to accelerate conversions.

A5. When it's not relevant to their target audience/ customer journey. I can think of several B2B companies who would not benefit from targeting all devices... #SEMrushchat

— Sarah Marks (@_ofwanderings) June 6, 2018

A5: I only opt-out of a device targeting if its; not a suitable or a reliable device for my target audience, or it's spending too much without any return. #SEMrushchat

— Danny Ray Lima (@dannyraylima) June 6, 2018

Remember to opt-out only after a thorough analysis of why your campaign is not working and only after trying various combinations and A/B tests. It could just be that the device-specific campaign only needs specific tweaks to perform.

A5. Is it not working? Not a hard stop, but gives you reason to pump the brakes.

Why isn't it working? Can you fix that problem or is it a "I can't imagine how someone would want to do this on their {device}."

If you can't fix it, then opt-out.#semrushchat https://t.co/zwKf2pMuRj

— 𝓓𝓸𝓾𝓰 𝓡. 𝓣𝓱𝓸𝓶𝓪𝓼, 𝓔𝓼𝓺. (@ferkungamaboobo) June 6, 2018

A5. If a specific device wasnt converting then you would opt out. To be fair ive personally never seen that happen. I would give myself opportunity on all devices. Only if the site looked good and there were no faults on a device would i opt out #semrushchat

— Craig Campbell (@craigcampbell03) June 6, 2018


That is all for today! What challenges are you facing in implementing a seamless PPC campaign across devices? Let us know in the comments!

Make sure to join us this week as we discuss “Successful Link Building Through Content Marketing” with special guest, James Brockbank!

Source: www.semrush.com