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Device Bid Adjustments Return To AdWords

Device bid adjustments are once again available for all AdWords campaigns! Ever since Google removed device bid adjustments advertisers have been forced to treat all devices as if they were equal. Smart advertisers know this is not the case. What does the return of device bid adjustments mean for AdWords advertisers?

device bid adjustments

Not all devices work for all businesses.

Some businesses may not be able to conduct transactions on all devices. For advertisers in the printing industry especially, device targeting is a necessity. If your products require design before a customer can make a purchase, not all devices are capable of rendering those designs. It’s hard enough to try and type on a smart phone, let alone create unique graphic designs. In addition, not all devices in the same category are created equal. An e-reader tablet is a completely different device, with far more limited abilities than an i-Pad. Because Google treats all these devices within each category as the same, even with he return of device bid adjustments there is still something left to be desired. However, some control is better than none at all. So this is definitely a step in the right direction!

Not all advertising strategies are the same.

If the goal of your advertising is to generate phone calls, by definition, a phone must be involved. Customers may use several different devices, and conduct several different searches before making a phone call. However, smart phones are the devices closest to the point of conversion. You may be willing to spend much more per click on these devices, if that click is likely to result in a click-to-call click of higher value. When enhanced campaigns first rolled out, mobile device bid adjustments were all we had. You could bid up to 300% more, or down to 100% less on mobile devices, but the device bid adjustment was based off a combined desktop/tablet bid. Now you can raise or lower your bids on desktops or tablets, and use your mobile bids as your baseline.

Expanded text ads changed everything.

When Google recently rolled out expanded text ads, advertisers lost any device preference options at the ad level. Now the only way to be certain that your mobile ads land on mobile pages, is to use those pages as the final URL. The only way to ensure that non-mobile devices do not accrue impressions for those mobile landing page ads, is to use device bid adjustments. These two new options go hand in hand. Google had to change something to make expanded text ads work. Apparently, they were waiting to roll out expanded text ads before allowing device bid adjustments again. Why we all had to wait so long is anyone’s guess. But, finally enhanced campaigns are actually starting to make some sense!

How do you use device bid adjustments?

Making device bid adjustments couldn’t be easier. Just click on the device tab of your campaign settings, and you can make adjustments from there. Your adgroup level bids make up the “base” bid. Any adjustments you make up or down per device will be based off of the adgroup level bid. If you want to target desktop devices only, set your tablet and mobile bids to -100%. To target mobile devices only, set your desktop and tablet bids to -100%. Any combination of device bid adjustments can be used for any campaign type, or any advertising strategy. For the first time in years, advertisers actually have control over their accounts again. It’s about time!