Mobile Traffic – Stop The Bleeding

It’s a weird concept, but these days people use mobile phones least for what they were originally intended for. You know… making calls. The bulk of the time they are browsing the net or texting or playing Angry Birds or some scrabble or pictionary rip off like it’s the most badass thing since sliced bread.

This simple fact changes the entire nature of the web as we know it. Many Pay Per Sale offers use videos that cannot be played on some mobile phones, and frankly… nobody is going to sit there and watch a 10 minute sales video on their phone, it’s inconvenient. In addition, any CPL offers that have more than 3-6 fields will probably be abandoned as well, especially if they are on pages not optimized for mobile viewing.

What to do?

You have 3 options:

  • Limit your ads to non-mobile viewers only
  • Run your ads to everyone and accept the bleeding (some ad networks don’t even offer platform targeting)
  • Run your ads to everyone, but redirect mobile traffic to a more reasonable funnel

In the 3rd case, you have a lot of options. For instance, if you’re running a dating offer you can redirect mobile traffic to a mobile dating offer instead, pretty straightforward. You may also be able to work with the offer provider for a host and post type of arrangement and actually build a mobile optimized lander, and in most cases your payout will remain the same which is a HUGE plus since alot of mobile offers have lower payouts than their desktop counterparts.

If you’re promoting an offer that uses a video sales page, you can redirect mobile traffic to a squeeze page that basically says “WHOA there buddy! This video is so AWESOME you’ll want to watch it on your home computer with the speakers blasting – so enter your email and I’ll shoot you the link so you don’t miss out.” The benefits here are two-fold: You capture their email address which means you can continue to remind them about the offer and promote new offers to them, and you actually have a chance at converting from the original click instead of completely losing the lead.

The Method

There are a few commercially available scripts that detect mobile traffic, but free is king so I’ve been using the php-mobile-detect class available for download from Google ‘s code repository. It’s a small and fast PHP class and can be used to display different content based on the platform being used (iOS, android, etc). That’s great but the best part about the class is that you can detect between traffic originating on a mobile phone vs a tablet. This is important because I actually experience a relatively high conversion rate on tablet traffic visiting desktop optimized pages. Something about the iPad makes it really fun to watch a sales video or fill out a 3 page form.

Once you download the php class, upload it your server and use php’s include() function on your page and instantiate the class somewhere near the top of the page:

$detect = new Mobile_Detect();

Now all you have to do is feed it some logic. Let’s say we have a text link to an offer, but want to use a different link for mobile traffic:

if ($detect->isMobile()) {
    $url = '';
else {
    $url = '';

echo '<a href="' .$url. '">Meet Hot Chicks</a>';

Now the link will point to the mobile offer for mobile users, and the regular offer to desktop users. Pretty simple stuff, huh?

You can go as far as you want with this — create mobile specific landers, etc.

But you don’t have to limit this to landers or redirection for PPC/display stuff. Why not detect mobile traffic on your blog and display ads for mobile offers or offers that are more suitable for mobile traffic instead? How about dynamically insterting a “Click Here to Call Us!” button for your eCommerce sites or Pay Per Call landers? How about ALWAYS reverting to a squeeze page for offers that have long sales videos or software downloads so you still may get credit for that sale even if they go to their desktop to complete the offer instead?

Every little bit helps, and when you stop the bleeding it will have a positive effect on your bottom line.