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SEM Tip of the Week


How to Manage Mobile Bid Adjustments

It's 2015, and everyone knows (or should know) the value of mobile device traffic.  Smartphone sales remain relatively strong, while PC sales have been in decline over the past few years.  And certain demographics are driving explosive sales growth, like the coveted "millennial moms".

Our B2B and B2C clients who range from large to small, and global to local are all experiencing significant growth in online visits and conversions from smartphone users.  In some cases, smartphone cost per acquisition (CPA) is lower than for tablet and PC devices.  Smartphones are frequently the "first touch point" in the path to conversion.  They may drive direct conversions, or be part of a cross-device conversion path. For local advertisers, mobile devices are certainly driving foot traffic! Either way, mobile visibility for your Brand and products is crucial.

What does this mean for your PPC campaigns?  It means making sure you have mobile specific ("mobile preference") ads in each adgroup, and mobile specific bids by campaign or adgroup.

It also means that you should be monitoring mobile positions for each campaign (and possibly each adgroup, depending upon your campaign architecture and click traffic) at least once weekly.  You could manage this process one campaign at a time, but there's an easier way that takes only a few quick minutes!

We typically review mobile positions for "prior 7 days" like this:



Since most smartphones display no more than 2 PPC ads, we manage our mobile positions to no lower than 1.5.  To find campaigns where mobile positions for prior 7 days were bid too low, we filter like this:


Then sort by device to group all of our "mobile devices with full browsers" together.  Next, review mobile average positions for each campaign to determine if the value of the campaign traffic warrants raising your bid adjustment higher since the previous round of bid changes:


Not sure how much to raise a campaign's mobile bid multiplier?  Simply click the lighting bolt icon to reveal the bid adjustment simulator:


This entire process should take you less than 5 or 10 minutes, depending upon the number of campaigns or adgroups you're managing.  

NOTE:  We use the same process with a filter for "Avg. position better than 1.3" to identify opportunities to slightly lower bid multiples and save a few pennies without impacting visibility!








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