12 Oct

service spotlight: device bid modifiers.

Those of you who have been around the block a few times when it comes to AdWords will remember that you used to be able to adjust bids at a tablet and mobile level (still available on Bing Ads, by the way).

For a long time now, the only available device bid adjustment on Google has been mobile, where you change bids on a sliding scale from 0% to 300%. There is no off-and-on switch to stop your AdWords campaigns from showing on mobile phones – you simply have to set the bids to minus 100%.

Have you ever wondered why this is? Surely a flick to ‘off’ is simpler? Well I guess Google’s biggest fear is that if you offer something like this to everyone, then everyone does it and they lose a lot of money. Which is probably why we haven’t been able to set bid adjustments on tablet for so long. The official line from Google used to be ‘because tablets and laptops are now becoming more and more alike there is no need for tablet-level bidding’. Pretty lame, huh? Well it looks like Google thinks so too, because tablet-level bidding is back!

Many advertisers forget or don’t take the time to segment their AdWords data by device. They take a quick glance at the top-level stats and move on. Well, hidden within Segment > Device is some of the most important data you can find in AdWords. On the surface, everything may look okay, but when you segment by device, you may see that cost per conversion on mobile is sky high and this is being masked by a strong performance on laptops and desktops. You may also see that your website has the best conversion rate when people use the website on a tablet. In this instance, you would review your average positions and slide down your bid adjustments on mobile and slide up your bid adjustments on tablet.

With device bid modifiers, you can also zero in on your audience as they switch between devices throughout the day.

Google released a line graph I like a while back and it’s slightly disheartening that most of us are pigeonholed in this way as we go about our working day. We’re on our mobiles on our train commute to and from work and during our lunch hours; we’re on the work’s computer during office hours and then in the evening we reach for the tablet as we’re plonked in front of the TV. If you want to get a little cleverer, you can layer this with ad scheduling and move your device bids up and down throughout the day as the masses go from mobiles to desktops to tablets.

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These are pretty simplistic examples and, as ever, it can be dangerous making broad-brush changes in AdWords. There’s only so much you can put into a blog post before people complain that is too long and boring though, and then they tune out. So if you need us to review your device bid modifiers in detail, get in touch with our digital experts by giving us a call on 519 997 2886 or fill in an enquiry form by clicking get a quote.

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