We’re Big Fans of AdWords New PPC Bid Adjustments—And Here’s Why

If you’re a PPC pro, you’re probably aware of AdWords’ recent changes to PPC bid adjustments. With this change, users can now set up separate bid adjustments for all device types, including mobile, desktop and tablet.

AdWords also upped the max bid adjustment percentage, from +300 percent to +900 percent.

You can read the AdWords announcement here.

From our perspective, this is a big move in the right direction.

Why? Because as PPC pros, we’re always looking for more data and more control. And this change gives us both.

(Cue silent, yet vigorous, fist pump.)

PPC bid adjustment

What’s the Change All About?

Prior to the change, desktop and tablet bids were grouped together into a base bid. If you wanted to bid differently on mobile, you could apply a bid adjustment.

This setup created two main issues:

  1.  You couldn’t set different bid amounts for desktop and tablets.

This meant that if desktop and tablet ads performed differently, you had no way of capitalizing on it.

  1. Your mobile bid was always anchored to your desktop/tablet bid.

Because your mobile bid was always a multiplier of your desktop/tablet bid (to a maximum of 300 percent), you were limited in how much you could adjust it.

In a sense, this change corrects a previous change made in 2013, when Google grouped desktop and tablets bids together in an effort to simplify campaign management.

What’s Prompted the Move?

While we can only speculate, it’s likely that this move partly comes in response to the changing landscape of device usage.

In fact, in its announcement, Google noted that of the trillions of searches performed on Google every year, half of those searches happen on mobile. With mobile’s growing reach, it hardly makes sense to continue to tie all bids to desktop.

We also hope this change signals a return to granting greater control and transparency to users. Because while AdWords likes to simplify its processes for users (an understandable goal), those simplifications often come at the cost of control and transparency for advanced and pro users.

Is It Time to Ditch Desktop Bids?

With this newfound control, some business owners and marketing departments might be tempted to ditch desktop bidding entirely, especially if mobile is the dominate device in their business.

However, that’s not an approach we recommend. Even if most of the action is happening on mobile, that doesn’t mean desktop is dead.

For example, it’s not unusual for people to research products and services on their mobile when away from their home or office (e.g. while standing in line or waiting for a bus). But often, users will wait to return to their home or office to complete transactions on their desktop.

You want to keep all your bases covered!

At Group Twenty Seven, we’ve already started to take advantage of these changes on behalf of clients. And we’re eager to examine the new data as it accumulates so we can fully leverage this change.