Device Level Bid Adjustments for your Campaigns in Google AdWords

In the previous blog, we understood the working of AdWords auctions in detail. We discussed Google’s adaptation of Vickrey Auction called Generalized Second Price Auction. We learned about Maximum Bid, Actual Bid and different Quality Factors that Google considers when deciding the Ad Position. I have also mentioned about Bid Adjustments. I will be explaining the basics of bid adjustments, how they can help an advertiser and what different types of bid adjustments (device level bid adjustments etc) are available in AdWords.

What are Bid Adjustments?

Bid adjustments allow you to set the frequency of your ads. You can adjust the bid based on the time of the day, the location of the user, the device that the user is on when using Google search and more. Bid adjustments come in handy when you want to target certain audiences from a particular geography, a particular time or a specific device to show your ads.

AdWords offers three basic bid adjustments, Device, Location and Ad Scheduling. In this blog, we will see how device level bid adjustments can be set.

Note: Bid adjustments are set by percentages either at campaign level or at ad group level.


How to set Device Level Bid Adjustments?

  1. Pick a campaign to which you want to add device level bid adjustment.
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  2. Switch to setting after selecting the campaign.
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  3. Select the devices tab under setting menu.
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  4. Click on the cell corresponding to the device (computer, mobile, tablet) you want to adjust bid for in the Bid Adj column.
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  5. You can either increase the bid or decrease it. Enter a value in the box and click Save to set the adjustment.
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  6. You can leave the box empty to remove the bid adjustments.
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Additional Information about Device Level Bid Adjustment –

You can set device level bid adjustment at ad group level too. Instead of selecting a campaign, select an ad group and follow the steps mentioned above.

Note: When you set a device level bid adjustment for a campaign and an ad group within that campaign, the ad group bid adjustment will be used to determine your bid.

The range of device level bid adjustment is -90% to +900%. If you don’t want to show ads for a particular device, set its bid -100% (decrease by 100%).

Note: If you decrease a campaign’s bid by 100% for a particular device, then the ad group-level adjustment for that device won’t be used.


An example of Device Level Bid Adjustment –

Let’s say you are advertising on AdWords to promote your Mobile Performance Optimizer app. Users searching from a mobile device are more likely to click on your ad rather than those on tablets or computers. You can use device level bid adjustment to bid higher or lower depending on the device the user is on.

  • You increase your bid by 50% for mobile devices.Your starting bid: $5
    Mobile bid adjustment: + 50%
    Resulting bid: $5 + (50% x $5) = $7.5Hence, for any user searching from a mobile, your bid will be $7.5.
  • You decrease your bid by 30% for computers and tablets.Your starting bid: $5
    Computer and tablet bid adjustment:30%
    Resulting bid: $5 – (30% x $5) = $3.5

Hence, for any user searching from a computer or tablet, your bid will be $3.5.

I hope the example has given you an idea on how you can use device level bid adjustments to render your campaigns more efficient. Following the above steps you can set device level bid adjustments to your campaigns. We will discuss location based bid adjustments in the next blog.


About the author

Mantha Sai Praveen

Content marketer by day, a poet by night.