Device Specific Bid Adjustments – A Welcome Return

Google have recently confirmed that the long-awaited device-specific bid adjustments will be receiving a full global roll out over the next month. Although mobile-specific bids adjustments have been a staple in PPC strategy for some time now, we will now have full control over bid adjustments for tablet and desktop devices too. Speaking from a live Google Hangout on Tuesday, Product Expert Sally Chung and Product Manager Leo Sei explained the best practices for taking advantage of the upcoming changes, which we’ve summarised here:

1 – Manage All Devices within One Campaign

Google have suggested that keeping all of the targeted devices within one campaign is the best practice moving forward, as appose to breaking each device up into individual campaigns. Why? Simply because duplicating or triplicating each campaign for each device type is a lot of extra work for minimal benefits. Running all-device campaigns allows for consistency in the keyword coverage; plus only one set of ads, ad extension and negative keywords per campaign is much easier to keep under control. If your ads need to be tailored for each device, ad customizers have you covered.

2 – AdWords Smart Bidding

AdWords Smart Bidding (formerly known as AdWords Auto-Bidding) is a category of automated bidding options offered by Google. Google have been pushing hard to encourage PPC newcomers to make use of Smart Bidding in an effort to simplify the complicated process of managing an AdWords account. Although this option is a decent one for PPC novices – here at Circus PPC we are big believers in manual bidding strategies. Although it requires much more work, manual bidding also allows for much more control over PPC accounts; which in the hands of PPC experts, will result in better conversion rates.

3 – Device Specific Bids with Manual Bidding

To calculate device-specific bids manually, Leo Sei has recommended using what is known as “full-value conversions” in order to calculate the full value CPA and in turn determine the optimal device bid adjustment. Full-value conversions include conversion gained directly through AdWords, but additionally any sales made in the real world as a result of the ads (offline conversions, calls, etc.). The new AdWords “assisting devices” report will help in finding the full value conversions total.

When the full value conversion total has been determined and the total full value CPA calculated, the device bid adjustment change can be calculated using the following formula:

Device specific bids

So in this example:

Device specific bids

The device bid adjustment ratio for mobile devices is calculated by taking the total full value CPA (£9.41) and dividing it by the device full value CPA (£10.00). This leaves us with 0.941. Step 2 is taking the device bid adjustment ratio (0.941), subtracting 1 from the total and then multiplying it by 100. This leaves us with a device bid adjustment change of -5.90%.

The calculation can also be used for conversion rates if you prefer, and keep in mind that any existing bid adjustments will need to be factored into the device bid adjustment equation, using the following simple calculation:

Device specific bids

For example:

Device specific bids

We think it is fantastic that Google have implemented this long overdue change to the AdWords platform. By allowing marketers even more control over their bids, we expect plenty of our clients will strongly benefit from the new changes to device bid adjustments.

Ahmed Chopdat
Commercial Director

An expert in high volume, highly competitive markets with a keen eye for trends, motivated by client profitability and success.

Share on