Oh no, here it comes again: a Web geek claiming the “next big thing” on the Internet is here. (Some of you are hiding your wallets already.) But wait ... Amid all the clutter and the new digital trends that seem to emerge daily, I wanted to stop and point out something that I’ve actually seen work; something that generates tangible, measurable lead results for home improvement companies.
That something is: mobile.

How to Advertise on Mobile

Two factors allow mobile advertising to be efficient.
First, it blends seamlessly with your current online advertising strategy. The concepts are the same as for desktop. For example, Google AdWords campaigns can be customized specifically for mobile. There are best practices for mobile pay per click (I’ll get to that shortly) but, just like desktop, you are bidding on keywords and paying per click with a set daily budget -- the same as for desktop.

Second, mobile advertising complements what you’re already doing. Say the consumer sees your ad on TV or in the newspaper. An ever growing percentage of consumers will whip out their smartphones and research your company on the phone, calling you for an estimate if they like what they see there.

Ready for Mobile Advertising?

Here’s how you would know if your company is ready to do business via mobile.

1. Your website is built using responsive Web design. It should now be considered standard that your company’s website is responsive. This means that it automatically reformats to fit any size screen (desktop, tablet, or smartphone). This way, anyone who finds your website – regardless of what device or browser they are using -- can easily navigate around your site and find what they’re looking for.

2. You’ve created a separate mobile campaign. Search for something on Google using your regular desktop computer, then search for the same thing using your smartphone. Notice that the search results are formatted differently? On the desktop, there are three ads at the top and seven ads on the right side. On mobile, there are only two ads at the top, no ads on the right side, and then three ads at the bottom. Your goal should be to have an average mobile ad position of 1.5 to have the best impact and avoid being buried at the bottom of the page. (On Google, of the three paid ads you see at the top, the highest ad is in position 1, the second is position 2, and so on. To have an average ad position of 1.5 means your ad shows up most often in position 1 or position 2 to have an average of 1.5 overall. The reason I suggest this is that for mobile, because there are only two ads at the top instead of three, if you don't bid enough to be in the top two, your ads will be buried at the bottom of the page because, unlike desktop, mobile doesn't have any ads on the right.)

3. You have tracking down to a science. To effectively measure how many mobile leads have been generated, the “when they called in, we asked where they saw us” method isn’t going to cut it. Tracking numbers that forward to your regular telephone line are inexpensive and are highly effective. For the more advanced ones among us, Dynamic Number Replacement is a great tool for tracking call volume by specific source. I’ll let you search Google for that one yourself.

Ron Jumper is the marketing director at Ron Sherman Advertising, which specializes in lead generation for home improvement companies across the U.S.