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Mobiles, Tablets and Desktop PC's

Posted by Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron
Steve Cameron is the Director Owner of Advent Communication. With more than 25 years experience he has a deep...
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on Thursday, 14 November 2013 in Google

With the introduction of enhanced campaigns Google removed control over which devices ads could target. With the Legacy settings you would choose to show your ads on mobiles only, or desktop PC's only... with the "enhancement" your ads are eligible to appear across all device types.

On the one hand, I get it. There are so many potential touch points to reach a potential client that on one level it makes sense.

But on others it simply doesn't.

There are workarounds. We have discussed them here before - so you can eliminate mobile devices and you can try and reduce as much as possible the traffic to desktops and tablets. But you cannot select one or the other alone.

There are many advertisers - a rapidly growing number - who are becoming increasingly frustrated with the inability to target mobile only traffic - and the 300% maximum mobile bid adjustment just doesn't cut it.

But, perhaps even stranger than this, and what is undoubtedly going to become the straw that breaks the camel's back are tablets.

What are they? Are they mobile devices - or are they small computers? Limited laptops, or just larger screened mobiles?

Even Google doesn't seem to know.

If you look in AdWords, there is no doubt that they are lumped together with PC's - they get the same bid. The only bid adjustment you get is for mobile devices. so AdWords appears to be assuming that tablets and desktops are, at least in terms of the user, the same thing. I could write a whole other post on THAT assumption.

However, switch across to Analytics, segment your traffic by device, and they are considered part of the mobile family.

There are ways to further segment, by make and model, perhaps by OS, but it really should be a simple task to split three broad device types.

The very fact that Google can group them with mobiles on the one hand and with desktops on the other indicates that they can identify them.

There is no reason why we should not be able to have a "base bid" on our Adwords campaigns. Without adjustment all our campaigns would simply use that bid. But we should then be able to adjust our bids - let's say from -100% to +300% for each of the three broad device categories.

Imagine - a base bid of $5. Mobile traffic, which I don't want to target with this campaign adjusted to -100%

Desktops - interesting, but not my preferred traffic - bid adjustment -50%

And tablets - which is where most of my best traffic is to be found +200%

None of my traffic is using the base bid, but all of m,y traffic is exactly where I want it to be.

It's such an obvious solution, it's probably on its way with the next round of enhancements....

How do you workaround the current limitations - and does your approach work as well as you would like?

 

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