Google AdWords – Creating Separate Mobile Campaigns

Google is doing an increasingly good job of reaching out to agencies through its Google Engage Program. Recently, Skunkworks was even assigned an agency representative to assist us with our clients’ campaigns. We really appreciate this new point of contact for two reasons 1) Google suffers from a Wizard of Oz corporate structure where it can be unclear that there are actual humans existing behind the corporate veil and 2) our agency rep has already been quite helpful.

Although we enjoyed speaking with a living, breathing, member of Google’s team, it was one of our rep’s recommendations that triggered a flurry of campaign adjustments as well as this post. Specifically, Google recommends that AdWords users create separate campaigns for mobile devices. Whereas previously we might have had one campaign servicing mobile devices, laptops, computers, and tablets, we now have created separate campaigns that specifically target high-end smartphones. (While we already had separate campaigns for the display network, we had yet to split our AdWords campaigns by device.)

Benefits of Splitting an AdWords Campaign By Device

The benefits of splitting a campaign are numerous. Not only can we adapt the language and extensions included in our ads to more effectively target the mobile market segment, but we can also easily customize our bidding strategy to more efficiently target mobile customers. The latter benefit is important in the management of a mobile AdWords campaign, as Google’s search results are not the same across devices.

For a user interacting with Google through a tablet or laptop, multiple sponsored ads are visible on the first page of the search results at both the top and on the right sidebar. The same is not true of users searching on mobile devices; where only two or less ads will ever appear at the top of a Google results page. If you have yet to split your campaign and one or more of your keywords’ average position is below 2 and above 5, then your ads will be visible to people using tablets, laptops, and computers but virtually unseen by people using high-end smartphones. By splitting your campaign, you can manage your keyword bidding to ensure that you bid more aggressively for keywords that are searched for on mobile devices without simultaneously increasing the amount you spend on keywords that are searched for on other devices. In short, you will maximize the visibility of your ads according to device.

By splitting your mobile campaign from your greater campaign, you will also be giving yourself the gift of accurate metrics. Keywords tend to be cheaper for mobile devices than they are for other devices; however, if you’re targeting mobile devices within a larger AdWords campaign, then your average cost-per-click will represent the average cost across devices. Using less-specific data might influence you to make decisions that detrimentally affect your campaign. Creating a separate mobile AdWords campaign ensures that you will have to take the device into account when making campaign-level adjustments.

How to Split An AdWords Campaign By Device

1)     Open AdWords Editor

2)     Click on the “Campaigns” tab to select the campaign that you are interested in splitting. Copy the campaign and paste it underneath itself.

3)     Re-name the pasted campaign to differentiate it from other campaigns (include the word mobile so that you can easily remember that these ads will only appear on mobile devices).

4)     Adjust the budget by highlighting the new mobile campaign and adjusting the figure under the heading “budget”.


5)     Beside the heading “Devices” it should read “Desktop and laptop computers, mobile devices with full browsers, and tablets with full browsers.” Click edit and a new window should Open. Remove the check-marks from beside “desktop and laptop computers” and “tablets with full browsers”.


6)     Finally, go back to the original campaign. Click on the “Edit” button beside “Devices” and remove the check mark from beside “Mobile Devices with full browsers.”     

7)     Post selected changes.


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