In February of this year, Google announced an upgrade to AdWords called Enhanced Campaigns. The goal is to allow advertisers to target customers more efficiently based on location, time and device in one single campaign. While upgrading was optional over the past few months, Google will automatically upgrade all campaigns by the end of July.
Device targeting in particular has seen significant changes. Tablets have been merged with desktops and you can no longer create a device specific campaign. If you only had one campaign targeting all devices, upgrading to Enhanced Campaigns is as simple as a click of a button. However, if you had your campaigns broken up by device, a little more work will be required.
With the new mobile bid adjustment feature, you can still technically opt out of mobile devices by setting your bid adjustment to -100% and create a desktop-only campaign (including tablets). This ensures impressions will not be triggered on mobile devices since your bid is non-existent.
However, opting out of desktops and tablets to create a mobile-only campaign is no longer a simple checkbox option. Although not perfect, there is a way to minimize targeting desktops and tablets. With a maximum mobile bid adjustment multiplier of 300%, you can try to set a default bid low enough not to be competitive on desktops but becomes high enough when the mobile multiplier is applied. For example, a default bid of $0.25 would become $1.00 on mobile devices when a bid multiplier of 300% is applied. Depending on the competitive landscape, your campaign could still trigger impressions with poor average positions on desktops.
If you are targeting both desktops and mobile devices with different landing pages and ad copy, there is no need to create separate campaigns.
With Enhanced campaigns, there is now an option to set your ads or extensions to mobile preferred. This allows you to customize your ad copy and sitelinks specifically for mobile devices. You can also direct traffic to a mobile friendly website in the Destination URL.
If you are using AdWords Editor to copy existing ads and create mobile preferred ads with a different URL, go to your settings and ensure your importing setting is changed to “Create new ad if display URL or destination URL is different”. Otherwise, your desktop ads will be overwritten if the ad copy is identical.
While we may have lost some flexibility in targeting specific devices, they can still be efficiently targeted with Enhanced campaigns. Hopefully, Google will introduce bid adjustments for desktops and tablets in the future.