Get a complimentary Google Analytics 4 Setup
when you sign for 12 months of services or a full website project.
The AdWords Secret to Creating Mobile-Only Campaigns
Splitting AdWords campaigns into mobile-only campaigns enables you to target people better than just lumping all devices into one campaign. And YES, it is possible to run single-device campaigns in enhanced campaigns.
Why should I run single-device campaigns?
The real question you should be asking yourself is, “Why aren’t you running single-device campaigns?” Mobile devices are essential to most individual’s day-to-day lives and it shows no signs of slowing down.
If you run single-device PPC campaigns, you could optimize campaign settings, ad extensions, and bids by the device. Let’s take campaign settings for example. You will probably find certain devices are more effective with different ad schedules and location targeting. Plus, you can allocate a bigger budget to the better performing device campaign.
Ultimately, I would let device performance data determine if you should create single-device campaigns.
5 Steps to Create Single-Device Campaigns
Let’s get crackin’. Follow these instructions to create device specific campaigns.
Duplicate the campaign(s) you want to be device specific. Rename one as desktop/tablet (DT) and the other as mobile. This is the format I use:
Network | Theme | DT
Network | Theme | Mobile
Decrease the desktop/tablet campaign’s mobile bid adjustment by 100%. This will prevent the campaign from showing on mobile altogether.
Increase the mobile campaign’s mobile bid adjustment by 300%. This makes it so the campaign will run on mobile devices. Keep in mind, there is no way to completely exclude mobile ads from displaying on desktop and tablets.
Here is where it gets slightly tricky. Since the mobile campaign’s mobile bid adjustment is increased by 300%, this means the mobile campaign max CPCs are four times higher than the desktop/tablet campaign max CPCs.
To return mobile max CPCs back to a reasonable level, you need to lower the mobile campaign’s max CPCs by 75%. This lowers the bids by four times.
Lastly, make sure the right device targeted ads are running in each campaign. Oh, and don’t forget to optimize ad extensions by device campaign.
Running mobile-only campaigns are not always guaranteed to work. In some cases, you might find your mobile ads pop up on desktop and tablets. This might be due to higher quality scores or higher bids in the mobile campaign.
However, single-device campaigns are worth it if the data shows a particular device performs better than the other. Besides, you can always make bid adjustments down the road if you find mobile ads popping up on desktop and tablets.
In the end, don’t wait on Google and Bing to bring back single-device targeting. Google killed it with enhanced campaigns in 2013 and Bing Ads ended the ability in 2014 with Unified Device Targeting. It’s up to us to take charge and implement workarounds to get the results we need.
Let’s raise our glasses to single-device campaigns.
Want help with Mobile-Only PPC Campaigns?
7 thoughts on “The AdWords Secret to Creating Mobile-Only Campaigns”
Great how-to Erika!
One thing I remember from some back & forth in the Google Partners community was the need for at least 1 desktop ad (not marked as mobile) in every ad group of the \”mobile\” campaign – otherwise the ads wouldn\’t show at all….do you know if this is still true?
That\’s a great question that I used to wonder about as well, so I tested only having mobile ads in a mobile-only campaign and it ran fine. So you don\’t have to create \”All\” ads or leave them paused to run mobile ads. Let me know if you have any more questions.
I have been reading some articles on how to accomplish single-device campaigns. I am curious about your assertion that setting the campaign level mobile bid modifier to -75% will adjust the ad group mobile bid modifier down. According to Google Adwords documentation: \”If you set a mobile bid adjustment at the campaign level and at the ad group level in a single campaign, the ad group mobile bid adjustment is used when determining your bid. However, if the campaign mobile bid adjustment is -100%, then the ad group mobile bid adjustment isn\’t used.\” Do you have any data you can share the debunks this claim?
I bet this will qualify as the silly question of the day but here goes: in your example, after having decreased the mobile bid by 100% in the desktop campaign to ensure ads aren\’t running on mobile for that campaign, why wouldn\’t I decrease the desktop/tablet bid by 100% in the mobile campaign, and be left with (I assume) only mobile ads running in that campaign?
Thanks Jake, I have tried this trick and so far for on my Google Adwords campaign where I targeted mobile-device only.
My only fear here is that we have great performance (well-established history) on one of our campaigns (campaign A). The campaign is producing 30%+ conversion ratios on mobile and desktop! Having said that, we would love to make it even better, driving more calls. So let\’s say we separate this campaign, changing the bid to -100% on mobile as you suggested, then creating a duplicate campaign for the \”mobile only\” and putting the bid to +300% mobile. My fear is that the history in the new campaign will be non-existent, plus we need to alter the ads slightly to have a strong call to action inside the description, so truly we could be sacrificing the great performance campaign A is already producing, why separate a campaign that is already generating lots of leads, taking a CHANCE that it COULD perform better in a mobile-only campaign. Wouldn\’t it be better to just create a brand new campaign with new keywords and ads, just making it a mobile focussed campaign, and for us leaving (campaign A) alone? In my experience, sometimes we separate well-performing campaigns with the intention of improving them, but the results kick us in the butt, and it hurts us due to the fact that it\’s new, in other circumstances taking these chances has improved our lead generation volume, so its a tough call, please give me your insight on this.
I bet this will qualify as the silly question of the day but here goes: in your example, after having decreased the mobile bid by 100% in the desktop campaign to ensure ads aren’t running on mobile for that campaign, why wouldn’t I decrease the desktop/tablet bid by 100% in the mobile campaign, and be left with (I assume) only mobile ads running in that campaign?