The problem: desktop and tablet biddding is now one and the same Ive been using the new Adwords Enhanced campaigns now for a little while and it has some really great things about it and I promise ill be sharing some of those great things here shortly. I cant help feeling however exceptionally frustrated about Google not allowing me (and you) the ability to bid differently for tablet devices. Ive read alot about others finding tablet traffic converts higher. My experience is usually the exact opposite in that they convert significantly worse.
Why is this a problem? As good practise I use desktop, tablet and mobile version of campaigns (3 campaigns) as each device tends to convert very differently and without this separation, and bids being equal, CPA varies alot. In my experience worse on tablets and much worse on smart phones. The solution; have the 3 campaigns and bid differently based on the CPA data you witness, just as with any PPC campaign. Now we can bid different for smart phones, BUT not at keyword level anymore (thats a whole different story) but we cant bid separately for desktop and tablet. This in effect means either a) reducing the desktop/tablet combined bid to counter the higher CPA from tablets and get overall CPA back where you want it or b) keep the bidding where it is to avoid a reduction in conversions and accept that your tablet traffic is going to convert more expensively and overall CPA is going to be higher.
Another solution Responsive web design. If you havent heard this phrase yet and you even remotely rely on a web site or sites for a living then you soon will. If you are a siteowner and especially an ecommerce site owner, responsive web design will be something you need to address sooner rather than later. In short we all need to get our sites to convert better from tablet and smart phone traffic. Google’s insistence that tablet and desktop traffic behaves similarly will then not be such a problem.
Why does tablet (in my experience) and mobile perform worse than desktop (when I say desktop I also inc laptop)? Screen size and ease of browsing/shopping is perhaps the biggest factor. User intent is at least a close 2nd i.e. people are more likely to research or look out of interest on a smart phone and part with their cash on their desktop when they have the inclination and easier experience of purchasing. Having a site that allows people to view your products clearly and, more importantly, buy them easily is important. Duh, stating the obvious I know but its going to become increasingly important because a) more and more people have smart phones and are using them to browse possible purchases b) increasingly more and more of your sites traffic is from smart phones (if you dont believe me just check your analytics!) and c) your competitors are building sites that work better than yours on tablets and smart phones. Ill also throw in a d) if you do any kind of serious email marketing a disproportionate amount of your opens will be from smart phones. To wrap up, Adwords is changing, device usage is changing and all of us that rely on the web had better adapt and get used to it!