Mastering the Use of Device Specific PPC Campaigns

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People use different devices for different tasks. Would you go app shopping for new apps on your tablet or smartphone from your desktop? Probably not. Would you try out a new business program on your tablet? Probably not. So, it makes sense to use device-specific PPC campaigns when your business is targeting behaviors that are also device specific.

Search and shopping behaviors are different from the desktop to the tablet to the smartphone. When you’re able to learn how your target audience is using their devices, you can capitalize on this information to enhance your PPC campaigns, thus giving you a chance to improve your ROI.

 

How You Can Use Device Specific PPC Campaigns

Building your PPC campaigns based on user habits is an effective strategy to increase your click through and conversion rates for your product. This type of campaign uses a unique strategy, targeting, and copy to best fit the device you’re targeting.

Thanks to changes to the AdWords platform, you now have more control over your budget and bid adjustments. You can set a default bid for one type of device, while making bid adjustments for the other two. This gives you the ability to focus on mobile, and bid down on tablets and desktops. You can use this strategy to increase your bids on mobile during the hours when your mobile traffic is at its peak.

And because mobile and tablet bid adjustments are now separate, you can save money on campaigns where you’ve targeted toward mobile devices by not having to spend on tablets, and vice versa.

 

Pros of Device Specific PPC Campaigns

  • Desktops will always be there, but mobile device usage is on the rise. More traffic is coming from mobile devices than desktops these days, but that doesn’t mean you need to neglect desktop all together. Device specific campaigns allow you to make adjustments according to the needs of your business and how they align with your target audience.
  • Each audience has a different amount of time for specific searches. People searching on their phones want their search results faster than those who are searching from desktop devices. Generally speaking, those who are mobile are on the go and need something right away, whereas people on desktops are stationary and have more time to browse for the right solution.
  • With device specific campaigns, you can use your budget more efficiently, assigning the exact amount of money to each of your campaigns according to the usage habits of your audience.
  • Messaging can be adjusted for each device, allowing for better targeting and thus, better conversion.

 

Cons of Device Specific Campaigns

  • Device specific campaigns require more effort, and thus more work, because you have more actions to check and more data to analyze. Your time investment will be bigger than if you’re using a traditional campaign. Typically, though, your investment is worth the reward.
  • The data you get from the campaign is distributed amongst all the devices that are part of the campaign, meaning the end result displays smaller numbers. Based on this, data driven decision making becomes a bit more difficult.
  • Not all search engines are offering the ability to run device specific PPC campaigns, meaning your campaigns have to be separated accordingly. This translates to additional information to process, and more effort from a larger workforce.
  • Even though Google allows for device specific campaigns, there is no technical support service. It may mean spending some time on trial and error to ensure your campaigns run smoothly.

 

Is a Device Specific Campaign the Right Choice for Your Business?

This depends entirely on your product and messaging. If you’ve got a campaign that’s advertising a new software, it can be different depending on device. On desktops, you’d include copy with more details, with ads that go to demo or testimonial pages. But on mobile devices, the copy will be more direct, and send users to the app page, or to call your company. In this case, device specific campaigns give you more control than sending the same campaign to all devices.

There are, however, some cases when you should not focus on segmenting your audience by device, such as:

  • When the data is difficult to find: If you’ve got a small data-set, I think it’s a good idea to avoid segmenting your campaigns by device. If you’re only getting a few clicks a day, then you can’t really get enough data to make these changes.
  • When your PPC account is too large or confusing: If the idea of adding something else to make your account even more complex feels like the last thing you’d want to do, then it may be a good idea to avoid going to device specific campaigns. Making the switch means you’ll basically have three times the variables to monitor, so if you don’t feel like you can keep up, it’s okay.

Before you make any kind of changes to your PPC campaigns, consider device user habits, and how they relate to your target audience.

  • Device usage varies based on the time of day.
  • Desktop engagement lasts about three times longer than mobile engagement.
  • Typically, mobile purchases increase on the weekend.
  • Purchases with higher average order values are generally made from desktops.

 

Tips for Mobile and Tablet Campaigns

  • When running mobile campaigns, make use of call and message extensions. You don’t need to waste these on your desktop campaigns, but those who are interested can click to call you and speak to you directly. This makes a great way to connect directly with your mobile customers.
  • If your company has an app, use the AdWords app extension. This extension allows the people who click your ad to download your app, and doesn’t cost you more than the typical click.
  • Consider your cost per click when setting your bid adjustments at the device level. Your tablet and mobile clicks are generally lower than desktop clicks, so keep this in mind as you set the base bid adjustments for each device.
  • Keywords for mobile devices are typically shorter. It’s a good idea to increase bids on direct keywords and those that are shorter in character length.
  • Create a strategy for your landing pages. The user experience varies dramatically from tablet to desktop; and the keywords can, too.
  • Tablets should be treated like a home device. In the evenings when people are sitting on the couch watching TV, they’re more likely to be using a tablet as a second screen. You may want to consider adjusting your bids accordingly.
  • Opt for voice search friendly keywords, as voice search is becoming more popular. Adjust the mobile bids for those keywords accordingly.
  • Segment your brand campaigns to tweak them so they are device specific. You can greatly expand your brand awareness this way – catching target audience members no matter which device they are using.
  • Experiment with mobile, geographic specific campaigns. Create mobile only campaigns that focus on certain geographic areas at various times of day.
  • Experiment with demographic bid modifiers. Millennials use smartphones more than other generations, so it’s a good idea to use this on your mobile specific campaigns.

 

Can a Business Succeed Without Using a Device Specific Approach?

Yes, it can. Device specific campaigns are not a hard requirement for PPC success. However, this doesn’t mean your business should flat out ignore them. Segmentation is always a good thing because it allows for better targeting, there is not always a clear need to segment your campaigns by device type. It’s not the best choice for every website, every campaign, or every keyword. There are some situations where it doesn’t make sense – and that’s why it’s important to spend time thinking about how you can (or cannot) use it specifically for your business and the audience you’re seeking to find.

Do you use device specific PPC as part of your marketing efforts? Why or why not? Share your thoughts below.

SEO virtuoso, CEO @Sachs Marketing Group. Focused on being of service to business owners – helping to better position them in the eyes of their audiences.

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