How To Manage Ad URLs By Device With ifmobile and ifnotmobile Parameters

By Sarah Bonner | Jul 29, 2013
More Articles by Sarah


The development of enhanced campaigns in Google AdWords has dramatically increased the ability of advertisers to target mobile users (Scott Garrett discussed optimizing ads for mobile using enhanced campaigns here). Now that we can see the light in advertising for mobile, it’s important to have mobile specific landing pages to help increase relevancy for mobile searchers. Websites with responsive web design are thought to have an advantage when it comes to capturing those mobile searchers, but we can also use {ifmobile[value]} and {ifnotmobile[value]} ValueTrack parameters to send users to device-specific landing pages.

Responsive web design means that a site will ‘respond’ with a different look, depending on searchers’ device, behavior, and other environmental factors.

Responsive Design

If a site doesn’t have responsive design, you run the risk of losing potential leads because mobile users don’t have a good landing page experience. BUT, fear not: there is a workaround.

If you want to have a different landing page for mobile users without responsive design, you must create a second mobile-specific landing page and then direct mobile traffic there. How can you direct traffic from the same ad to two separate landing pages? AdWords gives you two options. Advertisers can create separate ads with the mobile-specific landing page destination URL then mark them mobile preferred, but this method is not 100% effective. The second option is to use a simple destination URL technique with the {ifmobile[value]} and {ifnotmobile[value]} ValueTrack parameters.

By using these parameters you can specify two separate, complete URLs, one for computers and one for mobile devices. Be aware that this method can only be used with AdWords keyword destination URLs, not regular ad level destination URLs at this time. For instance, J.Crew has two separate URLs for each version of their landing page.

Desktop Landing Page

J.crew.com Desktop Landing Page

mobilescreenshot

J.Crew Mobile Screenshot

This is an ideal situation to use the ifmobile and ifnotmobile parameters. Here are some examples:

{ifmobile:www.example.com/icecream-mobile}{ifnotmobile:www.example.com/icecream}

Or

{ifmobile:m.example.com/icecream}{ifnotmobile:www.example.com/icecream}

If you have other tracking tags, but sure to include them in each URL, like this:

{ifmobile:www.example.com/icecream-mobile?ls=search}{ifnotmobile:www.example.com/icecream?ls=search}

Once the URL is implemented in the keyword destination URL, AdWords will serve the landing page specific to the searcher’s device. Performance of each landing page can be measured in Google Analytics.

The importance of mobile advertising differs depending on your industry and product. The new AdWords enhanced features make it easy for advertisers to adjust just how much they want to put towards capturing the mobile market. By using these ValueTrack parameters, you’ve got a good starting point to measure your individual need for more mobile targeting.

If you want to know more about ifmobile and ifnotmobile parameters comment below, or tweet me your questions @smb1213.

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