Monday, January 28, 2013

[G] Go Mobile with Google Affiliate Network: Why Mobile?

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Google Affiliate Network: Go Mobile with Google Affiliate Network: Why Mobile?

This is the first post in our ‘Go Mobile with Google Affiliate Network’ series. Over the next few weeks, we'll highlight best practices to help advertisers and publishers make the most of mobile in affiliate marketing.

There’s no question about it: mobile is everywhere and continues to grow. As more devices are activated each day, users are able to connect to the web in new ways. Two out of three smartphone users now access the web on their devices (Our Mobile Planet, Google & Ipsos, 2012) and more websites are producing smartphone-optimized content, presenting businesses with exciting new opportunities. In fact, a recent study states that over 85% of marketers reported that they plan to increase their mobile advertising budgets in the near future (ANA/MediaVest, 2013).

You can see additional key statistics about US mobile consumer behavior from the 2012 Our Mobile Planet smartphone research in the infographic below.

Click to download US Mobile Consumer Behavior infographic

Mobile's impact on e-commerce
More consumers are using their devices to research and shop online, and smartphone research influences buyer decisions and purchases across channels. Mobile shoppers are primed for online conversions -- 96% of smartphone users research products across multiple devices, and 37% of users that research on smartphones lead to purchases on their desktop (Google & Ipsos, 2012). The latest eMarketer research predicts that the share of mobile sales for all retail e-commerce may increase from 11% in 2012 to 15% in 2013 (eMarketer, 2013).

Businesses are increasingly redefining their marketing strategies to engage the new, constantly connected consumer across devices. Below we’ll share some mobile best practices for the affiliate channel to help you be better positioned to reach consumers across the multiple paths to purchase.

Make your website mobile-friendly
It's critical to have an optimized site that’s customized to mobile users, not just because of the size of each device, but because the context reveals a different consumer mindset. Visitors to a mobile or tablet site may be at a different point of the purchase funnel than visitors to your desktop site. This is especially important in a conversion-oriented channel like affiliate marketing.

Consider how your site might look to mobile users. Are you offering an optimized experience? 79% of consumers say they will turn to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience and 55% say a poor mobile experience hurts their opinion of a brand (Google/Sterling Brands & SmithGeiger, Sep 2012).

Building a separate mobile website is an appropriate solution for many businesses, but it’s also important to understand how responsive design might fit into your plans to GoMo. In this blog post, our Mobile Ads team summarized how responsive design allows you to create a single website that will adapt to the device on which it’s being viewed, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone or tablet.

You can learn more specifics on going mobile at If you’re more technically inclined, take a look at our Webmaster blog post, as well as detailed recommendations on the Google Developers help site.

Go Mobile with your Google Affiliate Network program
In addition to website optimization, advertisers using affiliate marketing need to ensure conversion tracking works as expected. Just as Google Affiliate Network advertisers are required to successfully track conversions on their desktop sites before they launch their accounts, Google Affiliate Network advertisers must also implement our conversion tracking pixel their separate mobile websites.

In addition to conversion tracking, it’s important to use ad sizes common to mobile devices. To help publishers get mobile ads more easily, we've included common ad sizes for Android, iOS, and other devices with full HTML browsers as standard ad sizes in the Google Affiliate Network interface. For a list of all standard ad sizes for mobile, see our Help Center.

Posted by:
Emily Harris, Product Marketing Manager

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