(Cross-posted on the Google Mobile Ads Blog)

As mobile technology continues to accelerate, our phones are quickly becoming indispensable shopping tools. Whether researching a product or comparing prices before purchasing, 79% of US smartphone users have used their devices to help with shopping and 74% of those smartphone shoppers have made a purchase.*

This means that having a mobile strategy is key when engaging with these tech savvy, connected consumers. And this is especially true for advertisers focused on driving online and in-store conversions. To help you develop your mCommerce strategy, we’ve put together the following list of best practices for driving smartphone users to purchase from your site. Please note that these tips are geared towards ads running on high-end devices with full Internet browsers.

Extend your Online Brand Reputation to Mobile with Seller Ratings
It’s no secret that having a great online reputation is essential to driving online conversions. With Seller Ratings on mobile, you can extend your online reputation from desktop to mobile devices and leverage the power of the mobile platform to drive conversions on your website.

The Seller Ratings extension enables mobile searchers to see merchants who are highly recommended by other shoppers. By showcasing relevant and useful rating information for your business, the extension can help differentiate you from your competition and guide potential customers to purchase from your site. In recent studies, campaigns with mobile Seller Ratings saw a 7.5% increase in clickthrough rates when compared to campaigns without this extension.

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Seller Ratings are aggregated from merchant review sites all around the web and the extension will only show when a merchant's online store has a rating of four or more stars and at least 30 reviews. To learn more about Seller Ratings, please read this Help Center entry.

Take your Customers Directly to your Desired Conversion Path with Mobile Ad Sitelinks
Ad Sitelinks enable direct navigation to specific pages of your website. Since navigating on the mobile web can still be difficult, sitelinks for mobile can be especially useful in taking customers directly to the desired conversion path on your site. For example, with sitelinks you can quickly guide your customers to the best selling products on your site or to your online store locator. Mobile users find this format particularly helpful and on average campaigns with mobile sitelinks see a 30% increase in clickthrough rates when compared to campaigns without sitelinks.

Right now a maximum of two sitelinks can appear on mobile devices with ads displaying two links across one line or stacked vertically on two lines. One-line sitelinks can show with the Click-to-Call Phone Extension and will display one link to your website alongside your phone number. One-line sitelinks can also show with the Seller Ratings Extension and will display your online store rating as well as two links to your website.

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The quality of your ad will determine which variation of mobile Ad Sitelinks will show. Two-line sitelinks typically show for higher quality ads. To learn more about mobile sitelinks, please read this Help Center entry.

Drive Customers to your Store with Offer Ads
Are you running an in-store promotion? You can get the word out and incentivize customers to visit your store by placing a coupon right in your AdWords ads.

Mobile Ads with Offers enable advertisers to include special deals in their mobile search ads, allowing users to store coupons via email or SMS. Ads will also display your phone number or your business location on a Google Map for Mobile so that customers have everything they need to go to your store, redeem the offer and make a purchase. Mobile Ads with Offers are currently in beta, but we hope to make it broadly available soon.

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Make it Easier For Customers to Contact you with Click-to-Call Ads
Whether you take orders over the phone or have a physical store location, you can ensure that your customers can easily connect with you by including your business phone number in your mobile search ads. Since users who make a call are showing interest in your product or service, they are more likely to make a purchase. With a call costing the same as a click to your ad, this is a very cost-effective ad format for driving quality leads and conversions for your business.

Are you specifically focused on driving calls to your business? Try the Call-Only Creative, an enhancement to the Click-to-Call ad format that ensures your phone number is the only clickable part of your mobile ad.

Do you have a vanity phone number? Use the Vanity Phone Numbers feature of Click-to-Call to display an alphanumeric phone number in your mobile ad and ensure that customers easily remember how to get in touch with you.

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To learn more about mobile ads with Click-to-Call please read this Help Center entry.

We hope you’ll find these tips helpful in driving conversions with your mobile campaigns and look forward to developing more mCommerce ad features for you in the future.

Posted by Anna Khesed, Google Mobile Ads Marketing Team
*source: US Mobile Smartphone Consumer Study, Google & Ipsos, 2010