So, big PPC news! We can now announce there is a big change coming on the Google Adwords horizon The Adwords system is now allowing bidding on tablet (separate from desktop). Although this was in fact possible in the past, they are finally bringing it back. This will be a major change, and one that will have a significant impact across the industry.

Since the launch of enhanced campaigns in July 2013, tablet traffic was merged with desktop traffic as Google’s research showed that user behaviour was similar on both devices.

What are device level adjustments?
Bid adjustments on your ads allow you to assign a value to your traffic e.g. a bid reduction could lead to the same number of impressions but in a lower position, and a click can be worth more if it comes from a desktop device in the late morning from Central London, for example.

How do bid adjustments work?
Bid adjustments work by being set by percentages. An example of this is that you have a campaign that particularly works well on mobile with a Max. CPC bid of £1, and to get this ad to show up to more customers on mobiles you set a bid adjustment of +20%; this means the final bid will come to £1.20.

The maths behind it is as follows:

Starting bid: £1

Mobile adjustment: £1 + (+20%) = £1.20

Mobile device search bid: £1.20


What have been the problems so far without tablet bid adjustments?
Tablet users use their devices in a multitude of different ways, which means tablet performance can be impacted by how users interact with tablets and not just the site features. Overall though, many businesses were finding that their software did not support tablets in the same way as on desktop.

Google’s response to concerns about it was simply, We’ve found that consumer behaviors on tablets and desktops are becoming very similar, and many users disagreed with this, with some saying:

Until all consumers are all dragging their fingers across their desktop monitors to navigate, there will always be a higher misclick rate on tablets over desktops. This difference alone is enough to prove the need to separately bid on them to a comfortable range of profitability. – Jason F

Not being able to bid adjust for tablets is simply not going to cut it. $800 adword budget is now no longer economical because my sales aren’t paying for it. Our website is more suited to desktops and we’re getting all the tablet traffic. – John C…the reality for many advertisers are the cost/conv are not the same as for desktop browsers.

Please request that a change be made so that advertisers have more control on who they advertise to. – Raymond S

Some of the benefits:

– Tablet, Mobile and Desktop specific bidding

– This will allow us to bid up/down based on performance

– Test tablet specific ad copy

– Create specific landing pages for each device to improve conversion rates

– Capture users at specific times of the day per device (this is dependant on the extent of the change)

Tablet users have the ability to use their devices away from the home or work environment much like laptop users, who are classified under the desktop device user category. Unlike laptops, tablet devices are much easier to use on open WiFi spots such as public transport, coffee houses and restaurants which will give us control over the messaging we send at these times.

The speed, size and convenience of tablet devices make them popular with people to use whilst watching TV or relaxing in bed. At these times, more casual browsing may occur with differing outcomes such as lower conversion rates but better brand engagement for example.  We will now have control over this proportion of traffic and will actively be able to optimise around it.

It seems Google have finally listened, so watch this space! Watch our video below to find out more info: