AdWords’ Mobile Bid Adjustments: How To Guide & Best Practices

August 15, 2018 · Industry Developments

mobile bid adjustments adwords

Mobile bid adjustments appeal to the control freak in all of us. Really.

You’re able to do what you do best—get behind the driver’s wheel and take greater control of your mobile ads.

If you’re a new to the concept, bid adjustments allow you to decide how (what device), where (geo-location) and when (ad scheduling) your ads show. If you’ve been optimizing your AdWords campaigns solely on keyword performance, that’s great; bid adjustments simply offers yet another layer to optimize.

Mobile bid adjustments give you the choice of choosing specific device bids for ad groups and campaigns.

In other words, you choose when your ads show on desktop or mobile devices.

For example, if you know your ads perform particularly well on mobile devices, you may wish to increase your AdWords bid by, say, 30%. Of course, it’s well worth it to you if you know you’re going to see higher returns from mobile devices.

Let’s say your starting bid is $1– from here a 30% increase for mobile would come to $1.30, giving you a $1.30 bid on mobile searches. The inverse holds true, too—you can also decrease your mobile bid adjustments, as well.

The mobile bid adjustment calculation

You kick off your mobile bid adjustments where you should be kicking off all your digital ad decisions: deep in the weeds of your reports.

Looking at your data is the only way you can accurately understand the role mobile conversions is playing in your business.

Are mobile conversion data through the roof? Increase your bid! Are desktop conversions looking enticing? Then quiet things down on the mobile side.

Once you know your goals, it’s time to drill down to the specifics. What value is mobile generating (or not generating) exactly? Google gives a handy step by step list to walk you through the formula here.

mobile bid adjustments adwords

Best practices for mobile bid adjustments

Ready to rock your mobile bid? Follow these pro tips to get the most out of this AdWords feature.

  1. Listen to the data. This is not a time to go trust your intuitive side. If you make a wrong adjustment, you could be spending more just because, without making any positive impact.
  2. Device-only campaigns. You have the option to run mobile-only, tablet-only, or desktop-only campaigns. Additionally, you can avoid these three categories, too. To make this happen, place a -100% bid adjustment on the devices you wish to avoid.
  3. Avoid bid adjustments if: If you’re not seeing any competition and/or your position is already healthy, then there’s no real reason to make a bid adjustment. However, you may want to save on your overall ad spend by decreasing your bid at the keyword or ad group level.
  4. Avoid bid adjustments: if you don’t have data to rely on. You may be in this boat if you’ve just newly launched a campaign. There’s no need to rush to flip any switches—give it at least a few weeks, if not longer, to drum up some data for you to chew on.
  5. Don’t stress about having multiple campaigns for different devices. That’s not the goal here. Google AdWords wants you to have more control over your existing campaigns—not cause you more headache.
  6. Do not set it and forget it. Bid adjustments require consistent monitoring.