Today’s post is by Joey Muller of CPC Search.

keyword bids mobile Earlier this year, Google introduced enhanced campaigns as a simpler way to manage AdWords. With enhanced campaigns, all devices roll up into one consolidated campaign, and any bids set at the keyword level have to work for all devices, with the aid of a bid multiplier in the case of mobile devices.

This raised many a PPC pro’s eyebrow, including our own, as it signaled some loss of control for a group of folks who hate to give up control!

The old way of handling mobile clicks was to break out a mobile-only campaign and bid on keywords individually. This affords tons of control.

The new way—with enhanced campaigns, which must be adopted by July 22—would be to consolidate mobile and desktop/tablet traffic into a single campaign, and then apply a campaign-level bid multiplier (X%) for your mobile traffic. This approach values mobile at X% of desktops and tablets, end of story. (Can you smell the frustration?)

But just as we had thrown in the towel, the AdWords team threw us a bone! On April 9th they announced ad group level mobile bid adjustments, coming soon to enhanced campaigns. While some folks may have missed that piece of news, we certainly did not as we subscribe to a method of campaign management called SKAGs (single keyword ad groups – download this whitepaper for more details and use tips).

With SKAGs and enhanced campaigns, we actually will have keyword-level mobile bid control. Yep—that’s one better than ad group level and a whole lot better than campaign level.

To rehash Google’s April 9th hypothetical example, a mobile advertiser found that 5% of their keywords have very different bid ratios when comparing mobile-only campaigns with their equivalent desktop campaigns. See below:

Example: A nationwide retail chain currently uses mobile-only campaigns to optimize bids for several hundred thousand keywords. They’ve found that 95% of their keywords in mobile-only campaigns have bids that are 10% lower than in the equivalent desktop campaigns. The remaining 5% of their keywords have very different bid ratios (ranging from 40% lower to 100% higher) based on differences in performance and competition on mobile and desktop. By using the new ad group bid adjustments for mobile, this retailer can better maintain their desired bids and ROI on different devices as they upgrade to enhanced campaigns.

If we assume this advertiser has 1,000 keywords in their mobile-only campaign, 50 of them will need individual attention. So, we will create 50 SKAGs and set bid adjustments for each ad group based on keyword performance from mobile-only campaigns relative to desktop equivalents.

To figure out our adjustments, let’s take the following performance data:

mobile desktop performance

Adjustments are calculated using the following formula:

Bid adjustment = mobile-only bid / desktop bid – 1

Then we apply these adjustments at the ad group level, where Keyword 1 maps to Ad group 1, Keyword 2 maps to Ad group 2, and so on.

bid adjustments mobile

Now, just create some mobile device-specific ads and a few ad group-level sitelinks, and you will be rocking and rolling (and skagging, too) with enhanced campaigns.

Do you think Google will eventually roll-out keyword-level mobile bid adjustments, or will they get behind SKAGs as a practical alternative?

joey muller cpc searchJoey Muller is a certified Google AdWords Professional at CPC Search, a PPC agency in San Francisco. Joey has generated millions of dollars in revenue for ecommerce, gaming, healthcare, and IT companies. Joey received his BA in Cognitive Psychology from Dartmouth College. See Joey’s LinkedIn profile and follow him on Twitter @jmthefourth.

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7 thoughts on “Enhanced Campaigns Mobile Bid Adjustments – Get Keyword-Level Control

  1. SKAGs. That is one way to do it. You should do a post about how your quality scores do using the SKAGs approach.

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