Tablet optimization in Google AdWords has always been an awkward relationship. Google nicely broke out the data for tablets, mobile phones and desktop. But ever since enhanced campaigns were launched in 2013, there was little to nothing that could be specifically done to optimize in AdWords for tablets. Google merged that tablet traffic with desktop traffic in its PPC advertising because Google’s study established that users behaved similarly on both devices. Some marketers felt otherwise.

Tablet Bid Adjustments in Google AdWords

At the recent Google Performance Summit, Google announced that advertisers could now set individual bid adjustments for each device including tablet, desktop and mobile. This means that the AdWords system will allow tablet bid adjustments separate from desktop bidding — a long-desired change with noteworthy effect across the industry.

Tablet Bid Adjustments in Google AdWords

How will device bid adjustments work?

The change will allow advertisers to set a default bid for a single device and have the choice of setting bid adjustments for the other device types to the benefit of their business. This will range from -100% to 900% (they expanded the amount you could increase bids, as well). If a user doesn’t set a bid adjustment, it’s the same as not setting a mobile adjustment currently, meaning that the base maximum CPC set for a desktop applies to mobile phones and tablets.

Tablet Bid Adjustments in Google AdWords

AdWords advertisers will not have to go back to carrying out multiple campaigns targeting various devices. (Think one campaign for mobile, one campaign for desktop, etc. all with the same keywords.) What this change allows is more control and flexibility for optimizing all devices with greater precision than before while still having to deal with only a single campaign for different device types. But if you want to break things down further, you can.

What are the benefits of tablet bid adjustments?

More creativity and better understanding of conversions by device. Tablet users interact with these devices in a number of different ways. It’s been shown that smart phones are typically for shopping, while tablets (like desktop) tend to have more actual buying. AdWords marketers haven’t really needed to care about this because there was nothing they could do. So, now we need to dive into these users with more creativity and understanding.

Tablet Bid Adjustments in Google AdWords

Tablet users can use their tablets differently. Like laptops that means sometimes away from work or in a home environment. However, unlike laptops, tablets can be deployed easier on open WiFi spots including restaurants and public transport, giving advertisers control over the messages they send during this time.

The convenience, size and speed of tablets are also making them popular to use while relaxing. During this time, casual browsing is more likely to occur with varying results including lower conversion rates but with better brand engagement. Advertisers can now have a better control over this fraction of traffic, hence can actively optimize around it.

Given that tablets use a “touch” screen, misclick rates on them are definitely higher than on desktop. This difference is big enough to show a need to have separate bids on tablets. Look to fine tune your ROI.

Google often talks about winning micro moments online. At Zero Company, that’s what we try to do…win what’s called the Zero Moment of Truth — where the buying decision happens online whether it’s PPC, SEO, Display, Social Media or with the design of your website or conversion rate optimization for your landing pages.

The tablet change will enable advertisers and agencies like us to have more flexibility and control to optimize for these micro moments. A recent Google study looked at the purchasing paths of 3,000 different users and found 3,000 different paths to purchase. Given nuances of how sites display on tablets, how users click and behave, the more control you can have…the better.