Google & Duda Webinar: Adaptive Web Design Best for Sky-High Conversion

By Stephen Alemar

by-device_adwords_2If you’re providing Google AdWords as a service to your clients, you’re probably more than aware of recent changes in the platform regarding the text format of ads and a new by-device bidding system (which you should be taking full advantage of). But did you know that it could all be for nothing if you’re not leveraging adaptive web design (the ability to customize sites by device type instead of just reformatting for screen size) to maximize conversion on your landing pages? To tell you all about it and lay out some best practices, the guys from Google sat in on a webinar with Duda.

 For those of you who’d prefer to watch/listen rather than read, here’s the recording of the webinar. For everybody else, read on!

So if there’s any one concept that sums up what we discussed with the guys from Google during the webinar, it’s this: you should be taking a “holistic approach” to search engine marketing. This means fully valuing mobile, and understanding what an actual conversion is across different device types. That may sound vague, but it’s actually pretty straightforward.

For example, a pizza place might say phone calls from mobile devices are the most valuable type of conversion action for them. But let’s say they also have a newsletter sign-up on their website, and when customers visit from a desktop, they often hand over their email addresses, which in turn creates more repeat customers. Even though it’s not the main sales-driver, getting desktop users to sign up for the newsletter is still a valuable action and you’d want to put the right amount of budget behind it.

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Following this line of logic, AdWords broke all the chains and now allows you to change your adspend individually for desktop, tablet or mobile, according to which ones are most valuable. Google’s hope is this will help you take that more “holistic approach” to a business’ overall conversion goals. It’s a great idea; however, to make the most of this new-found bidding flexibility, you’ll want to create user experiences that ensure visitors take that all-important  conversion action on each device.

Bottom line: You’re going to need to customize your landing pages for each device type to go with the new by-device bidding system. Otherwise, what’s the point?

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The most efficient way to do this is to use a website builder that leverages adaptive web design (AWD). As we mentioned earlier, this approach is different from traditional responsive web design, as a website’s layout and content are based on the actual device type instead of the screen size. This is a very important distinction. It means when you’re designing a website or landing page, you can easily make the main call-to-action on mobile a click-to-call button, but hide it from desktop visitors and in its place add a newsletter sign-up form (remember our pizza place example?). This maximizes conversion by focusing the user’s attention on the main action you want them to take and strips out any distractions (i.e., “There is no good reason to have a click-to-call button on a desktop website.”).

Note: Adaptive web design is also sometimes referred to as “responsive design with dynamic-serving,” so don’t be thrown if you see this term. It’s the same thing.     

Now, yes, you could mess with the CSS of a normal responsive website to make these changes, but that can take a lot of time for your developers to get right and this is especially true if they’re using a CMS like WordPress. With a website builder that uses adaptive, you just drag-and-drop all of a site’s elements and content into a template and mark which ones you want to show on each device — done and done.

So there’s the short version. For a more in-depth look into these topics, we’d highly suggest watching the webinar replay above. But whether you do or don’t, we truly hope you’ll take what we had to say here to heart and consider trying out adaptive web design in combination with by-device bidding. Conversion rates hang in the balance!

And as always, we’d love to hear your feedback, thoughts, and any insight you have on adaptive design or by-device bidding in the comments.

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About Stephen Alemar

Stephen Alemar is the Content Marketing Manager and Chief Morale Officer at Duda. Stephen generally splits his time between writing for Duda and agonizing over the proper use of commas. He once brought in donuts for the office, and it is still considered a landmark day at Duda. His favorite Big Lebowski character is one of the bowling balls.
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